Victoria Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream and Jam Recipe

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As the era of Queen Elizabeth II ended in 2022, it seems fitting to commemorate it with a special cake named after her great-grandmother. Queen Victoria had quite a sweet tooth, and this sponge cake made with eggs, sugar, butter, and flour and filled with jam was one of her favorites. It established itself as an iconic teatime treat that has endured since Victorian times throughout the British Isles. 

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas


What Is Victoria Sponge Cake?

Let’s get one thing straight before we have arguments; there is no set-in-stone version of this cake! Technically, it is not even a true sponge cake in the classic French tradition since it contains butter and leavening. What you need to know is that it is a scrumptious and simple cake, easy to make and very satisfying as an afternoon snack with tea or as a light dessert. Personally, I’d take it for my birthday, but I’d want to have half-birthdays and quarterly birthdays because this is the cake for me, and I don’t want to wait for a special occasion to eat it!

You can find several versions of the cake in the U.K. that range from a simple cake split in half and filled with jam, to more elaborate versions with whipped cream, buttercream, fruit filling, flavored cream fillings, fresh fruit, and any number of fruit jams, from strawberry to mango to pineapple. I love the traditional raspberry jam, but you can play fast and loose with your favorites. 

An Unconventional Mixing Method

This version takes the middle road, veering closer to uncomplicated and unfussy. I’ve taken a slightly unconventional route to getting to the finished cake by making it a one-bowl wonder starting with eggs and sugar beaten until thick and light. Fold the flour into the eggs, and then fold in melted butter. This technique aerates the cake with eggs and sugar rather than butter and sugar. A more traditional Victoria sponge approach would be to cream the butter and sugar together first, but here you can be spontaneous and melt the butter instead of having to wait for it to soften.

Finally, I bake the cake in two layer-cake pans so you don’t have to fret about splitting one thick layer in half. 

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas


Use All-Purpose or Self-Rising Flour

The recipe here calls for a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. If you have easy access to self-raising flour, you can substitute the same amount of self-raising flour for the all-purpose flour in the recipe but omit the leavening and salt. 

Victoria Sponge Cake Filling

While some Victoria sponges, aka Victoria sandwich cakes are filled with jam only, I think the whipped cream is essential to taking the cake to the next level. Yes, and yum!

  • Jam: Raspberry is a favorite but strawberry or any other jam you fancy will also be delicious. It’s up to the baker!
  • Cream: Plain and lightly sweetened whipped cream is perfectly fine to use in the filling, but to add stability so the whipped cream holds up longer and to prevent it from weeping, I like to beat it with sour cream or crème fraiche. It adds a subtle tang without changing the character of the cream. If anything, it makes it even more luscious. When whipping cream, the most important thing is to take care not to over whip it. Stop the mixer before the cream is fully whipped and use a few strokes of a whisk to bring it to a fluffy, light consistency.

Make Ahead

While it’s best to make the whipped cream filling just before assembling the cake, you can bake and cool the layers, wrap them well in plastic, and store at room temperature for one day. Wrapped in plastic, the layers will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature.

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas


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