Nothing says quintessentially British quite like the classic Victoria sponge. Well, that was until the Queen’s bakers dropped their very own Victoria sponge recipe.
The sponge cake has proven very popular during the coronavirus lockdown, with it regularly featuring in the top ten lists of best lockdown bakes.
The Buckingham Palace bakers’ creation, aptly named the “Queen Victoria” was shared on the Royal family’s official Instagram account.
It’s recommended the cake is served with a pot of English tea, of course.
The sponge is named after Queen Victoria, who would often enjoy a slice of the cake with her tea each afternoon.
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The recipe was shared to mark the Royal Garden Parties by the Palace’s pastry chefs. The classic cake would have been served at the parties, but they’ve been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In usual circumstances, the parties are a way of recognising and rewarding public service men and women. Around 8,000 people attend the events each afternoon.
In lieu of the usual celebrations, we can still make a pretty spectacular cake to celebrate in our own way and the ingredients are all (hopefully) quite easy to come by.
The Queen Victoria sponge recipe:
-150g caster sugar
-150g unsalted butter
-150g sieved self-raising flour
-1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
-100g jam (strawberry or raspberry)
-150g softened unsalted butter
-220g sieved icing sugar
-1/3 vanilla pod or vanilla essence
-Preheat the oven to 180C (375F, gas mark 4)
-Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins (if you only own one tin, you can bake the sponge and slice in half)
-Cream the caster sugar, vanilla essence and softened unsalted butter until light and fluffy
-In a separate bowl whisk the eggs
-Gradually add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, to avoid the mixture curdling
-Sieve the flour and fold into the mixture
-Divide the cake mix between the two cake tins and smooth
-Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the cake appears golden brown
-Insert a skewer and ensure it comes out clean
-Remove the sponges from their tins and leave to cool
-Cream the softened butter with the sieved icing sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod (or vanilla essence)
In order to assemble the cake, the pastry chefs recommend that you wait until each of the sponges has completely cooled - however tempting it may be.
Then, spread a layer of jam onto the surface of one of the sponges and a layer of buttercream on top.
Respecting everybody’s individual choices when it comes to cream and jam, the chefs make it clear that you can put the buttercream on the bottom if you’d rather.
Then, gently place the sponges on top of one another and press down carefully.
Finish by sprinkling with icing sugar and serving with a fresh pot of English tea. Delightful.