Sometimes the simple things are the best. This is the first cake I learnt to make as a teenager and I have never found a better traditional Victoria Sponge Cake recipe (thank you Mum!).
This versatile recipe can be adapted to add all sorts of delicious flavours – like lemon or chocolate. Just remove the vanilla extract and add your flavour with the flour at the end.
For example, you could add lemon zest, fresh raspberries or cocoa powder.
For the Cake...
8oz soft brown sugar
8oz self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling and icing...
strawberry or raspberry jam
4oz softened butter
10oz icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Smear some butter around the base and sides of an 8inch round baking tin. Then line the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to gas 5 or 170 degrees fan.
In a stand mixer, with an electric whisk or with a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl really well. The mixture will change to be light and fluffy and the colour will turn pale.
Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each egg. If the mixture curdles slightly, you can add one spoonful of the flour and then beat well.
Slowly stir in the flour. Take care not to beat hard and knock out all of the air that has just been worked into the mix.
If adding fruit or extra ingredients here, using a spoon, gently fold half of the strawberries into the cake batter until just mixed.
Spoon the mixture into the tin evenly and level the tops so they are mostly flat. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The cakes will be done when the cakes have come away slightly from the edges of the pan and the top of the cake is springy to the touch.
Leave the cakes to cool.
To ice the cakes: Remove the sponges from the baking tin.
Make a simple buttercream icing by combining the butter with the icing sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer and beat well together. Initially the mixture will become too stiff. Add a few of the fresh berries in and keep mixing gently (if adding - note, the juice from the berries will loosen the icing. If the mixture is too soft, you can just add some more icing sugar).
Place one sponge onto a large plate. Spoon on some jam and smooth over. Then add a little of the buttercream and smooth over. Place the next sponge on top. Add the remaining buttercream onto the top of the cake and smooth over.
TIP – if you refrain from making cakes because you can’t quite eat the whole thing before it goes off, then just make 1 layer by halving all the ingredients in the recipe below (the method is the same) and baking in just 1 round tin. Once the cake is cool, cut the sponge in half and stack as normal.