This is the cake of cakes. I judge anyone’s capability in baking by how well they can make one of these. One of my interns a couple of years ago (hello Laura!) was a superb baker and her Victoria Sandwich was the finest cake I’ve ever had! So here’s my stab at it. The golden rule for a very light sponge is to cream your butter and sugar like your life depends on it! It needs to be very very pale and creamy.
For a whole cake, you will need:
- 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Half a jar of decent raspberry jam
- A dusting of icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins and place a circle of baking paper in the base of each one.
In a large bowl, cream the butter for a minute with an electric whisk. You can use a wooden spoon but be prepared for hard work!
Gradually add the sugar, continuing to whisk. Carry on until the sugar is all in and the mixture turns very pale. It could take around five minutes.
In a small bowl, gently beat the eggs and vanilla. Very slowly add this to the mixture, whilst whisking. There is a small chance the mixture could curdle but if it does just add a little of the flour whilst mixing in the remaining eggs.
Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and add the milk. Very gently fold this in so you keep the air inside that you’ve beaten in. Stop once no visiable bits of flour remain.
Pour in equal measures into the baking tins, smooth over and make a shallow well in the middle. This prevents too much doming whilst baking.
Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden in colour and it has a good spring when gently pressed.
Leave to cool a little in the tins before pushing a knife round the edge and turning out onto a wire rack, with baking paper still attached, to cool completely.
Place one sponge upside down on a plate or cake stand, remove the paper and spread the jam over the top. Take the paper off the other sponge and place the right way up in top.
Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!