I am currently auditioning cakes. Our dear friends (and next door neighbours) are getting married this Saturday (squeee!) and they have asked me to provide the cake(s). Before you picture a tiered extravaganza, I should explain that their wedding is going to be small and informal and their ‘reception’ a potluck lunch at their house. So the cake has to be delicious but equally down to earth – just as well as I don’t have the skills (or will) to create a sugarcraft masterpiece!
A garden tea party vibe is what I am aiming for and it would be an oversight to leave out an absolute classic like the Victoria Sponge. Despite being a favourite of Queen Victoria’s it is a rather humble cake – two sponge layers sandwiched together with jam and whipped cream and dusted with icing sugar. Doesn’t sound like much but it does taste delicious and it is usually the first cake to disappear at cake sales. You can pimp it up of course – add fresh fruit as filling and decoration on top and so on but then it wouldn’t be a classic Victoria sponge anymore. Do you prefer yours simple or with bells and whistles?
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line the base of two springform cake tins with baking paper. Dust with flour and shake off any excess.
- Sift all the dry ingredients together and add them to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to combine.
- Add the cubed butter and beat together on low speed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.
- Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat together. Stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula. Continue mixing for a couple of minutes until batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter between the prepared cake tins.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Whisk the double cream, buttermilk, icing sugar and vanilla until you have firm peaks.
- Warm the jam in the microwave for a few seconds to make it more spreadable. Spread the underside of the cakes with jam.
- Pile whipped cream in the centre of your bottom sponge layer and spread it outward until it almost reaches the edge. Sandwich with the top layer and press down slightly until the cream is evenly distributed and fills the cake to the edges.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
Disclosure: Wayfair provided me with a small selection of their products but I have received no payment for this post. All opinions are my own.