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Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

My classic Victoria sponge cake is the best Victoria sponge cake recipe, tried and tested over many years of baking. This step by step guide will have you producing the best Victoria sandwich cake every time you bake.

A slice of Victoria sponge on a pink plate with added fresh raspberries and the whole cake on a cake stand in the background.

I make my Victoria sandwich using the creaming method, which starts by creaming together the fat and sugar. I’ve experimented with using both butter and margarine when baking sponge cakes, to see which give me the best rise and lightest cake.

When making this simple sponge cake recipe, I always use baking margarine as it results in a far lighter texture and fluffy sponge cake. Mary Berry uses margarine in sponge cakes for this very reason and I have to say it works.

Egg sizes vary so I like to weigh out my eggs for my Victoria sandwich, adding the same weight of eggs as I do margarine, sugar and flour, ensures a good rise to the cakes. I was given this tip years ago by an experienced baker and it really does result in consistently good cakes every time you bake.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • A simple Victoria sandwich is a great recipe for novice bakers, as it’s not a complicated bake.
  • Make ahead by baking the sponge cakes the day before then they can be wrapped in baking parchment and a layer of clingfilm until you are ready to finish icing.
  • No fancy equipment required this easy chocolate sponge cake can be made with just a bowl, a wooden spoon and a bit of elbow grease!
  • A versatile cake as you can fill it any way you wish, from jam and buttercream, to fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Recipe ingredients

Victoria sponge ingredients

Victoria sponge cake recipe ingredients set out in individual bowls.
  • Caster sugar: has a light texture making it ideal for baking. You can also use golden caster sugar in this recipe.
  • Margarine: is something I always use when baking a sponge cake as it results in a far lighter, fluffier cake and you really will notice the difference. However, if you prefer you can substitute the margarine for some softened unsalted butter instead.
  • Flour: I use self raising flour in this cake, which results in a great light texture.
  • Eggs: I use free range eggs when baking.
  • Baking powder: I like to add a level teaspoon of baking powder to help give the sponge a little lift.
  • Jam: I filled the cake with raspberry jam, but you can use any flavour of jam.

TOP TIP: Don’t be heavy handed with the baking powder, only add what is asked for otherwise you can end up with a cake that will rise too quickly in the oven and then collapse!

Buttercream ingredients

Butter icing recipe ingredients set into individual bowls.
  • Icing sugar (powdered sugar): is the best sugar for baking butter cream as it has a really fine texture.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter when making buttercream, although salted can work too.
  • Milk: I use just a tablespoon or two of milk to loosen the buttercream to a spreading consistency.

TOP TIP: When creaming butter always bring it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you need it to allow it time to soften. This will make it much easier to beat to smooth.

How to make a classic Victoria sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 170C/150CFan/340F. Grease and flour 2 x 25cm (10″) round sandwich tins and line the base with baking paper.
  • Using a mixer cream together the sugar and margarine until completely combined and very pale in colour.
  • Add in the beaten egg and mix gently to combine.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl and beat together until well combined.

TOP TIP: Always sieve the flour into the mixing bowl as it adds airiness and therefore extra air into the batter, resulting in a better rise.

  • Spoon the cake mixture evenly between the tins.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
  • After 40 mins insert a toothpick into the centre of each sponge and it if comes out clean the sponge is baked, if not return to the oven and continue baking until done.
  • Leave the sponge cake in the tin to cool for 5 minutes then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to to cool completely.

TOP TIP: For really even cakes, I like to weigh the cake batter into the tins, adding the same amount of cake batter into each tin.

How to make buttercream (butter icing)

  • To make the buttercream filling put the soft butter in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until very creamy and light in colour.
  • Sift in the icing sugar and add the milk, gently beat together until very smooth.
  • Once the cake is cool spread one cake with a layer of buttercream and place icing side up on a plate.
  • Take the second sponge and spread with a layer of jam before sandwiching both sides together together.
  • Finally, dust the top of the sponge with a light sprinkling of icing sugar to decorate. Slice and serve.
Classic Victoria sponge cake on a glass cake stand with fresh raspberries added.

Recipe variations

This classic Victoria sponge is sandwiched together with a layer of raspberry jam and buttercream and finished with a dusting of icing sugar. However, you can easily adjust the filling to suit your own tastes. Here are some ideas:

  • Use any flavour jam: raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant; rhubarb
  • Flavour the the butter cream by adding cocoa powder; citrus zest; fruit extracts
  • Swap buttercream for a chocolate ganache
  • Try chocolate buttercream with raspberry jam
  • Swap jam for lemon curd and add a lemon zest flavoured buttercream
  • Swap buttercream for fresh whipped cream and jam for slices of freshly sliced and macerated strawberries, or add raspberries or blueberries.
A slice of Victoria sponge on a pink plate with added fresh raspberries and the whole cake on a cake stand in the background.

Useful hints and tips

  1. Accurately weigh the ingredients: the trick to baking is always to accurately weigh out your ingredients. You can be creative when cooking, adding a little extra here and there. However, baking is a science, if you want a light sponge cake weigh everything out accurately.
  2. Take time to properly cream the margarine and sugar together as this will result is a lovely even, light baked cake.
  3. Always weigh out your eggs! I was given this tip years ago by a coffee shop owner in the Peek District who baked the best cakes I have ever eaten. It might sound like a chore, but it will result in consistently good cakes if you take the time to weigh your eggs. Eggs vary in size and weight so always weigh out your eggs when making sponge cake. This ensures a good rise as you are using the same weigh of eggs to flour, margarine and sugar.
  4. To weigh eggs, I recommend cracking them first into a bowl then removing a little excess egg. It will work fine if it is just a little under or over.
  5. No special equipment required, so don’t worry if you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer will work just as well and is what I often use. You can also use a wooden spoon to cream everything together, you just have to work a bit harder.
  6. Loose bottomed cake tins make baking cakes a lot easier. The loose bottom allows you to pop the cakes straight out of the tin without too much handling.
  7. Lining the baking tins could not be easier. I like to first grease my tins with some softened margarine, then dust them with flour before lining the base with a circle of baking parchment. You can completely line the tin if you prefer or use a special cake release spray.
  8. Allergy advice: soya free and nut free. For comprehensive and detailed allergy advice go to Allergy UK.
Classic Victoria sponge cake on a glass cake stand with fresh raspberries added.

FAQs

Why is my sponge cake not rising?

There are a number of reasons for a flat sponge cake. Firstly add just the right amount of baking powder, too little and it won’t rise, too much and it will rise too quickly and then collapse. Don’t under whisk the cake batter, but likewise don’t knock all the air out either, just enough to form a thick and creamy batter. Finally make sure you put it into a preheated oven at the right temperature.

Why is my sponge cake dry?

Don’t over-bake the cakes, leave the cakes in the oven too long and the sponge will start to dry out. Cook only until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, then remove to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, before turning the cakes out of the tin and allowing to cool completely.

How long can you store sponge cake?

Once iced, place in a large airtight cake tin or box and store for 2-3 days.

Can you freeze Victoria sponge cake?

Whilst I don’t recommend freezing the whole cake, you can freeze the individual sponge cakes. Cover in baking parchment, wrap with clingfilm and place into a large airtight freezer bag. Store the cakes in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, remove and defrost thoroughly before icing.

Pin the recipe

Pinnable image with recipe title and a slice of Victoria sponge on a pink plate with added fresh raspberries and the whole cake on a cake stand in the background.

Additional recipe suggestions

If you love baking then try some of my favourite cake recipes:

If you enjoyed this bake have a look at my Best Cake Recipes post, where you will find lots of useful hint and tips as well as a selection of my favourite cake recipes.

A slice of Victoria sponge on a pink plate with added fresh raspberries and the whole cake on a cake stand in the background.

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

A simple Victoria Sponge cake using the creaming method, filled with butter cream and a layer of homemade raspberry jam.
5 from 8 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 440kcal

Equipment

  • large mixing bowl
  • Electric hand whisk
  • measuring spoons
  • weighing scales
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • 2 25cm (10") round sandwich tins

Ingredients

Sponge cake

  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 250 g baking margarine
  • 250 g self raising flour
  • 250 g egg (beaten)
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 level tbsp raspberry jam

Buttercream

  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 65 g unsalted butter (softened but not runny)
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Instructions

Baking the Victoria sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 170C/150CFan/340F. Grease and flour 2 x 25cm (10") round sandwich tins and line the base with baking paper.
  • Using a mixer cream together the sugar and margarine until completely combined and very pale in colour.
  • Add in the beaten egg and mix gently to combine.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl and beat together until well combined.
  • Spoon the cake mixture evenly between the tins.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 40 minutes. After 40 mins insert a toothpick into the centre of each sponge and it if comes out clean the sponge is baked, if not return to the oven and continue baking until done.
  • Leave the sponge cake in the tin to cool for 5 minutes then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to to cool completely.

Making buttercream icing

  • To make the buttercream put the soft butter in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk until very creamy and light in colour. Sift in the icing sugar and add the milk, gently beat together until very smooth.
  • Once the cake is cool spread one cake with a layer of butter icing and place icing side up on a plate.
  • Take the second sponge and spread with a layer of jam before sandwiching both sides together together.
  • Finally, dust the top of the sponge with a light sprinkling of icing sugar to decorate. Slice and serve.

Notes

  1. I’ve experimented using both butter and baking margarine for baking sponge cakes, and the baking margarine always results in a lighter sponge cake.
  2. However, when it comes to the best flavour for buttercream icing, I always use unsalted butter.
  3. Accurately weigh the ingredients, baking is a science, if you want a light sponge cake weigh everything out accurately.
  4. Take time to properly cream the margarine and sugar together as this will result is a lovely even, light baked cake.
  5. Always weigh out your eggs! I was given this tip years ago by a coffee shop owner in the Peek District who baked the best cakes I have ever eaten. It might sound like a chore, but it will result in consistently good cakes if you take the time to weigh your eggs. Eggs vary in size and weight so always weigh out your eggs when making sponge cake. This ensures a good rise as you are using the same weigh of eggs to flour, margarine and sugar.
  6. To weigh eggs, I recommend cracking them first into a bowl then removing a little excess egg. It will work fine if it is just a little under or over.
  7. Loose bottomed cake tins make baking cakes a lot easier. The loose bottom allows you to pop the cakes straight out of the tin without too much handling.
  8. Lining the baking tins could not be easier. I like to first grease my tins with some softened margarine, then dust them with flour before lining the base with a circle of baking parchment. You can completely line the tin if you prefer or use a special cake release spray.
Nutrition Facts
Classic Victoria Sponge Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 440 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 228mg10%
Potassium 71mg2%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 996IU20%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Baking
Cuisine : British
Keyword : baking, best victoria sponge cake recipe, cake, victoria sandwich, victoria sponge
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Recipe Rating




Hazel

Thursday 4th of April 2024

This is such a good recipe. Usually my sponge cakes just don't rise as high as this, so I'll definitely make this my go-to recipe from now on.

Lesley

Friday 5th of April 2024

Thank you Hazel, it is a very reliable recipe.

Sophie

Sunday 24th of March 2024

I made this for family recently and it was absolutely perfect. So light and fluffy and simple to make.

Lesley

Monday 25th of March 2024

Thank you Sophie, it's one of my favourite cake recipes, simply delicious.

Laura Michie

Saturday 11th of July 2020

Thank you Anna for this fabulous recipe, myself and Chloe tried it this morning and it was a huge success, never had a cake come out to tall yet still light and fluffy! Chloe thought it was hilarious having to weigh the eggs!!

Lesley

Saturday 18th of July 2020

Thank you Laura, I'm really glad you all enjoyed your sponge, it really is a very good and reliable recipe. Tell Chloe that measuring the eggs makes all the difference in a sponge cake. Lesley x

Cara Hay

Friday 4th of November 2016

Well done Anna! What a lovely post! I remember fondly baking with my mum when I was your age but my mum says I wasn't very good at the tidying up!

Michelle

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

Thank you! Anna loves to bake and it's a great way to spend time together. She's actually really good and tidying up! Hope that lasts!

William Cleek

Friday 4th of November 2016

Thank you Anna, for sharing your baking skills. It seems that every time I bake, which is several times a week, I learn something. Your suggestion to weigh the eggs is new to me and I'll try that. I like to keep an open mind to new ideas.

Michelle

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

Thank you for the comment. That's so nice to hear!