Victoria Sponge Cake was named for Queen Victoria, who enjoyed a slice of this cake with her afternoon tea. We imagine that it must have also been a favorite of Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess of Grantham, who grew up during Victoria’s reign.
Victoria Sponge Cake
Yield: 12 servings • Preparation: 45 minutes • Bake: 15 to 16 minutes
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- ⅔ cup plus 3 tablespoons self-rising soft-wheat flour, such as White Lily or King Arthur
- ½ cup castor or superfine sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1¾ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup plus ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
- ¾ cup hulled and chopped strawberries
- ¼ cup seedless strawberry jam
- Garnish: 1 strawberry, cut into a fan
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Spray 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Line each pan with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until ingredients are well incorporated, approximately 5 minutes. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing evenly.
- Bake until edges of layers are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, approximately 15 minutes.
- Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert layers onto wire racks, bottom sides up. Remove parchment paper, and let cakes cool completely.
- In a large bowl, combine cream, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add chopped strawberries, stirring well. Set aside.
- Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate, bottom side down. Tuck strips of waxed paper under cake layer to protect cake plate when sifting confectioners’ sugar.
- Stir jam until smooth, and spread over first cake layer. Carefully spoon strawberry–whipped cream mixture over jam, spreading into an even layer. Place second cake layer over whipped cream, bottom side up.
- Lay a decorative stencil* over cake. Sift remaining ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar over stencil, making sure all cutout areas are filled in evenly. Very carefully lift stencil off cake. Carefully remove waxed paper strips from around cake base.
- Garnish top of cake with a fanned strawberry. Serve immediately.
- *We used Martha Stewart Crafts Doily Lace Cake and Cupcake Stencils, which are available at eksuccess brands.com/marthastewartcrafts/.
- • Cake layers can be baked a day in advance and wrapped in plastic wrap. Whipped cream can be made earlier in the day and refrigerated until needed. Add strawberries just before using. Cake can be assembled up to an hour before serving and refrigerated until needed.
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