If you didn’t know I am making my way through every single challenge on the Great British Bake Off. My first challenge was a Caramel Cake and was delicious – I recommend that you check it out now. This week I am taking on GBBO’s first ever technical challenge, though unlike the contestants I didn’t bother with the time limit and had the full recipe to hand.
The second challenge is actually one was really excited about – Victoria Sponge. I grew up making Victoria Sponge at one point every weekend with my dad and it was always so much fun. We would cheat and use the pre-mixed packs where you had to add butter and eggs so to make it from scratch was an exciting idea.
I must admit I thought that after last week’s incredible success with the Caramel Cake that I would struggle to repeat such an amazing second cake – I was happily surprised though when I pulled out a perfect Victoria sponge. BF took it to his work and apparently someone kept coming back for more and more slices as it was so yummy. The biggest praise however came from BF himself who actually tried cake, something he openly admits to dislike, and he loved it! For me that is the highest of praise.
So this recipe is from Mary Berry herself though has a big history of royal fans – it is well documented that this recipe is one of Queen Victoria’s favourites. I am a big fan of this bake too – it is so simple yet delicious and in a world where most cake growing up seemed to taste overly chemical or covered in chocolate.
With only the cake, jam and whipped cream make it up, you have to have a great cake or it just won’t work. I was worried that my cake was going to go wrong somehow and so stand out like a sore thumb in the naked bake then I looked over the recipe and found it was very similar to my caramel cake but without the caramel and buttercream.
As I was making it the day before Bf took it to work I when without adding the whipped cream filling, keeping to the original yet equally yummy jam only centre – if you want to add a creamy filling I recommend trying buttercream though you can add
To make this you will need the following:
- 4 free-range eggs
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp of icing sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 225g soft butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins
- A lot of Jam
To make this delicious cake start by turning on the oven to 180C or Gas mark 4 and using butter to grease your cake tins. Now you should use two but I only had one (and one shelf in my oven which is a pain) – it is possible to use one but you will need to increase the time that you bake it and be able to carefully cut the cake in half. Now if you have a metal tin you will need to line it but I’m lucky to have an amazing silicon cake tin.
Next up is adding the eggs, caster sugar, flour, baking powder and butter in a bowl. Mix everything together being careful not to over mix it – it should drop off the spoon basically. Now I used an electric mixer but you can mix it by hand.
If you have two tins, split the mixture evenly between the two – if you only had one put it all into your tin. Use a spatula to even out the top and then put in the oven.
With the cake mixture split between two tins you will only need 25 minutes, while all together the cake mix will need at least 40 minutes. Try to avoid opening the door as much as possible.
The cakes should be golden brown in colour and the smell will be amazing. I check my bakes by stabbing a sharp knife through the centre of the cake and pull it back out – if nothing sticks to the knife it is ready to take out.
Now that they are ready, let the cakes cool for 5 minutes before running a blunt knife around the edge and turning the cakes out to cool further. Once cooled you can add the jam and decorate with a dusting of icing sugar. If you have bake the cake whole you will need to cut the cake in half before you do – I use a long serrated knife to do this.
You’ll need more jam than you expect – I used half a jar of strawberry jam for mine. Add lumps of jam across the top of bottom piece and then use an knife to evenly spread it across the whole of the top. Once you are happy with your layer of jam, carefully match up the top and bottom pieces so that when you place them together you don’t have to move it around too much – this will move the jam.
To finish it and make it look amazing, dust the top with some icing sugar. If you don’t have any icing sugar, some recipes recommend using caster sugar to dust the top of the cake. So that is how you make a Victoria Sponge!
What do you think? Will you try this bake? Do you prefer yours with cream and jam or just jam? Do you prefer caster of icing sugar on top? Do you have any tips on how to make a Victoria Sponge? What do you think of this as a technical challenge? I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below!