Classic Victoria Sponge Cake – all in one method

This is a classic and if anyone is new to baking and wants to start at ‘the beginning’, then I would say this is it.

The ’all-in-one’ method I’ve demonstrated here is very straight forward and you are sure of success if you follow the hints and tips that I’ve suggested below. There are endless debates as to which method is better: the ‘all-in-one’ method where you put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl and beat it, or you cream the butter or margarine with the sugar first, then add the eggs very slowly, and then the dry ingredients. If you are short on time as I was today, the ‘all-in-one’ works for me.

There is also the debate as to whether margarine or butter is better. For me, the jury is still out. I would need to have a complete blind tasting before I could really say. I’ve used margarine here for no particular reason.

The Victoria Sandwich is very versatile when thinking about the end product you want to achieve. The classic way to serve it is very simply with strawberry jam in the middle and dusted icing sugar on the top. I’ve used whipped cream and strawberries here. Also, as I had some homemade lemon curd leftover in the fridge that need using up, I added that to the whipped cream which gave it a nice ‘zing’ in the final flavour.

The recipe is simply that of the old pound cake using equal quantities of eggs, butter, sugar and flour. The eggs are weighed in their shells and then simply the same quantity each of butter, sugar and self-raising flour is added. If you wanted to make a larger cake, simply increase the number of eggs and then follow the same principle of using equal quantities of the remaining ingredients. Easy!

Postscript note:  I originally posted this recipe instructing to weigh the eggs without their shells.  The recipe works perfectly if you happened to do the same but decided I would update this posting as the weighing of eggs in their shells is the universally recognised method.  And as I started out this recipe posting with the beginner baker in mind, I thought it best to keep things simple.  In my view, there is no real difference in the quality or outcome of the cake in the end.  The only difference is a slightly wetter batter once everything is all beaten together and also a smaller quantity of cake if the eggs are weighed without their shells.

Before you start, here are some hints and tips to follow:

  1. Your margarine or butter must be soft before you start. If it isn’t you’ll have lumps of fat in the mixture that haven’t been full combined with everything else and it’ll result in an uneven bake.
  2. Your eggs must be at room temperature; the mixture will combine better if all the ingredients are at the same temperature and it will result in a better bake.
  3. If you use a different sized tin than given in this recipe, you will need to adjust the baking time depending on whether your tin is larger or smaller (shorter time if the tin is larger, longer if the tin is smaller)
  4. Grease your tin well and line the bottom with baking parchment otherwise you might have difficulty getting the cake out of the tin

Happy baking!

Ingredients and method

  • Prepare two baking tins 18cm in diameter. Grease well and line the bottom with baking parchment.

Grease the tins well – I use the lining of a pack of butter

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Measure out a circle of parchment to line the bottom of the tin

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Line the bottom of the tin

  • Heat the oven to 175C
  • Weigh 3 large eggs (in the shells) – I recommend you weigh on digital scales for accurate results. Make a note of the weight in grams (mine weighed 193g)
Weigh the eggs

Weigh the eggs

  • Pour these into a mixing bowl.
  • Then add to the bowl, equal quantities for each of the following:

Self-raising flour (193g in my case)

Caster sugar (193g in my case)

Margarine or butter, softened (193g in my case)

  • Finally add:

1 tsp of vanilla extract

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  • Beat the mixture until it’s well combined and no lumps of margarine or butter are evident. This should only take about 5-10 mins depending on how soft your margarine or butter is and if you are using a free standing mixer or not.  A free-standing mixer would need no more than 5 mins.  Don’t be tempted to mix it any longer than this because it will result in a heavy and ‘tough’ cake due to the gluten in the flour being worked too much.  You are aiming for a light, moist cake.
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Add all the ingredients into the mixing bowl

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Mix very well for no more than 5 mins

The mixture should be silky without any lumps and should drop off the mixing blade in easy dollops

The mixture should be silky without any lumps and should drop off the mixing blade in easy dollops

  • Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and smooth the mixture with the back of spoon or spatula.
Smooth the mixture

Smooth the mixture

  • I weigh the tins so that I can be sure of there are equal quantities in each tin to ensure the same depth of each cake.

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  • Bake for 20-25 mins until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes in their tin for 10 mins and then carefully turn out the cakes onto the rack to cool completely removing the baking parchment.
Remove the baking parchment

Remove the baking parchment

  • When the cakes are completely cold, make up the cake as you wish, either with icing or jam, cream and fruit. I am using cream and some lemon curd with fresh strawberries here.
  • To decorate:

200ml double cream

100g of lemon curd (optional)

Fresh strawberries

Icing sugar

Lightly beat some double cream

Lightly beat some double cream

Add lemon curd (optional)

Add lemon curd (optional)

Spread the cream mixture on one side of the cake

Spread the cream mixture on the top of the bottom half of the cake

Spread the cream mixture right to the edges

Spread the cream mixture right to the edges

Do the same to the underside of the other half

Spread cream mixture on the underside of the top half of the cake

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Quarter some strawberries and lay on the bottom half of the cake

Place the top half of the cake on top of the strawberry layer

Place the top half of the cake on top of the strawberry layer

Dust with icing sugar

Dust with icing sugar

Done! Now, just needs a cup of tea …

 
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5 Responses to Classic Victoria Sponge Cake – all in one method

  1. JJ says:

    The ‘weight of eggs in fat, sugar and flour’ method is traditionally done with eggs weighed in their shells, since, in ye olden days, It was easier to place the eggs on one side of a simple balance and measure against this on the other side. Given that the difference in weight between shelled and unshelled eggs is just over 10% I’ve always found it curious that it seems to make absolutely no difference to the finished product.

    • Shamwari says:

      Thanks very much for your comments. I have always weighed my eggs without the shell but as you say, it still seems to work. The mixture is just wetter than if weighing the eggs with the shell. You’ve got me inquisitive now though! I will have to remind myself of the outcome weighing the eggs with the shell and convince myself of my ‘non-conformist’ approach.

    • Shamwari says:

      Following on from my reply to your comments, I did some investigation on the two methods and, yes, there is little or no difference between the two approaches other than what I’ve detailed in the ‘Postscript’ I’ve added to my introductory notes. I decided to change the instructions however to the ‘traditional’ method because I started this posting with the beginner baker in mind and think weighing the eggs in their shells would be an easier method for them.

  2. JJ says:

    You should also give the butter vs margarine taste test a whirl sometime, for curiosity’s sake. Margarine produces a sponge with a lighter texture, but butter tastes better. Ahh… ’twas ever thus! 🙂

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