Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe - Bigger Bolder Baking (2024)

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe - Bigger Bolder Baking (1)

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WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE:MyClassic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe is a traditional take on the beloved British dessert, made with light and airy sponge cake and filled with soft whipped cream and sweet strawberry jam.

Simple and beautiful, there’s not much to improve in a Classic Victoria Sponge Cake recipe. If you’re looking for a classic, my Victoria Sponge recipe is the way to go.

This classic British dessert, also known as a Victoria Sandwich Cake, is composed of two lighter-than-air layers of sponge cake “sandwiched” together with lovely Irish cream and sweet strawberry jam and then dusted with powdered sugar. When made right and with high-quality ingredients, this humble cake is hard to beat.

A Classic Victoria Sponge Cake is perfect for a tea-time snack, and it makes for a festive cake for any celebration! I’m not one to pass it up for a sweet breakfast with a cup of coffee, either.

Table Of Contents

  • What Is Victoria Sponge Cake?
  • The History Of Victoria Sponge Cake
  • Tools You Need
  • Ingredients
  • How To Make Classic Victoria Sponge Cake
  • Why Use Self-Rising Flour In Sponge Cake
  • Can You Make Victoria Sponge Cake Ahead Of Time?
  • Can You Freeze Victoria Sponge Cake?
  • Storing Leftover Victoria Sponge Cake
  • FAQs
  • Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
  • More Delicious Cake Recipes

What Is Victoria Sponge Cake?

Victoria Sponge Cake, also known as a Victoria Sandwich Cake, is a popular British dessert made with two layers of sponge cake with jam and cream sandwiched in between.

The History Of Victoria Sponge Cake

As you could probably guess, given its name and being a British favorite, this cake was a favorite of Queen Victoria’s during tea time. Queen Victoria, to give you context, reigned from 1837-1901 and is King Charles’s great-great-great grandmother.

The cake, which was originally made with only eggs, saw a boom in popularity once baking powder was invented in 1843. Baking powder, which is a leavening agent made of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), an acid (like cream of tartar), and cornstarch, made making the perfect sponge cake even easier.

Because when baked, thebaking powderreleases carbon dioxide in thebatter. When airis heated,the molecules start vibrating and get collided with each other creating more space. In this case, air expands to leaven baked goods,which creates the light, fluffy, and airyspongecake structure.

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe - Bigger Bolder Baking (2)

Tools You Need

  • Measuring cupsandspoons
  • Two 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Stand mixer with a paddle attachment and whisk attachment (or large mixing bowl with handheld electric mixer)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Wire rack

Traditional Victoria Sponge Cake Ingredients

  • Butter:Butter does not only lend fat but also adds flavor to the recipe.Make sure yourbutteris softened correctly:when you push thebutterand it makes an indent, but your finger doesn’t easily squish right through.
  • Granulated sugar:A bit of white sugar sweetens the sponge cake.
  • Eggs:I use large eggs for all my recipes. Be sure they are at room temperature before using.
  • Self-rising flour:Self-rising flour works much better than all-purpose flour for these sponge cakes. Don’t worry if you only have all-purpose flour! You canMake Self-Raising Flourat home; all you need is all-purpose flour and baking powder.
  • Baking powder:Adding a touch of baking powder makes the sponge cake light and airy.
  • Salt:Salt highlights all the delicious flavors of the cake.
  • Whole milk:I use full-fat whole milk for all of my recipes.
  • Heavy whipping cream:Heavywhippingcream is the higher-fatlayer(with a fat content of 36%) skimmed from the top ofmilkbeforehom*ogenization. It’s the key to easy yet deliciousHomemadewhipped cream.
  • Strawberry jam:I like strawberry jam in this recipe, but see my Pro Chef Tips below for substitutions.
  • Powdered sugar:Also known as confectioner’s sugar oricing sugar. You canmake it at homeand use it here for dusting.

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How To Make Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

  1. Using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Do this for at least 5 minutes, if not more, for best results.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Then, slowly add in the flour until just combined. Finally, stir in the milk.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between two cake tins that have been greased and lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cakes to rest for 5 minutes in the pan, then invert them onto a wire rack to cool fully.
  6. Make the whipped cream by whipping the heavy whipping cream until medium peaks form, about 4 minutes. Medium peaks hold their shape pretty well except that the tip of the peak curls over on itself when the beaters are lifted.
  7. To assemble the cake, spread the strawberry jam on top of one of the cake layers. Then, spread whipped cream on top of the jam. Place the second layer on top.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

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Why Use Self-Rising Flour In Sponge Cake? Self Rising Vs. All-Purpose Vs. Cake Flour

Self-rising flour, alsoreferred to as self-raising flour, is a combination of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and sometimes salt. The reason why I use self-rising flour for sponge cake is that it guarantees there are enough rising agents in the cake batter to achieve that light, fluffy texture you want from a sponge cake.

All-purpose flour also has a bit more protein in it than self-rising flour, which means self-rising flour will yield a more tender cake than AP.

Cake Flour is not the same as all-purposeorself-rising flour. Cake flour does not contain baking powder. On top of that, it has a lower percentage of protein and gluten, which means it will give you a light product, but it will also have a tight crumb instead of the airy texture needed for the perfect sponge cake.

If you don’t have self-rising flour, learnHow To Make Self-Rising Flourat home with my easy guide. You only need all-purpose flour and baking powder.

Can You Make Victoria Sponge Cake In Advance?

Since Victoria Sponge Cake has fresh whipped cream in the middle, it’s best to serve the cake the day it is made. However, you can make the cake up to 2 days in advance. Bake the cake off and then wrap it well with cling wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Remove the cake from the fridge and then assemble it with your fresh cream and jam. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe - Bigger Bolder Baking (5)

Can You Freeze Victoria Sponge Cake?

Victoria Sponge Cake, fully assembled with fresh whipped cream and jam, does not freeze well.

If you are looking to freeze this cake, I suggest only freezing the cake itself. Let the cake cool completely, and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. It will keep frozen for up to 2 months. When you are ready to eat, allow the cake to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, bring it to room temperature, assemble it, and serve.

How Do You Store Leftover Victoria Sponge Cake?

While the cake is best eaten the day it is made, you can still store any leftover cake in an airtight container for 1 day in the refrigerator.

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe FAQs

What do I do if I don’t have self-rising flour?

Making self-rising flour at home is as easy as combing all-purpose flour and baking powder!Learn how to make self-rising flour here.

Do you need a stand mixer or electric mixer for this recipe?

Even though a stand mixer or an electric mixer would make this recipe easier, it’s not impossible to make by just using good old-fashioned elbow grease. Keep in mind that the cake may not be as light if made by hand.

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Can you make gluten-free Victoria Sponge Cake?

Yes! You can make this Classic Victoria Sponge Cake recipe gluten-free by replacing the self-rising flour with gluten-free self-rising flour.

Why did my sponge cake sink?

While tempting, it’s important not to open the oven door while the cake is baking.

The heat and steam escaping could cause the cake to sink. Your cake may also have sank because you overmixed the batter, underbaked the cake, or let the cake batter sit out for too long before baking.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

  • When making cake, always be sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before mixing or baking unless otherwise stated. Ensuring they are all at room temperature will yield the best rise.
  • Don’t skimp on time when it comes to creaming the butter! Be sure to cream the butter and sugar for at least the full five minutes until it is very light and fluffy. This step is to add air to the batter, helping obtain a fluffy, airy sponge cake.
  • You can switch out the strawberry jam with any other flavor of jam that you prefer! Also, although it is not traditional, you can swap the jam for sliced fresh berries or fruit.
  • For an unusual and delicious twist, make this with myCrème Fraiche Whipped Cream!
  • If you want your cake to look a little fancier, place a doily on top of it and dust the powdered sugar over it. Once removed, the doily will leave a lovely design.

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe - Bigger Bolder Baking (7)

Try More Delicious Cake Recipes:

  • Best-Ever Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting
  • My Mum’s Irish Apple Cake
  • Gemma’s Best-Ever Vanilla Birthday Cake
  • Best-Ever Chocolate Cake With Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache
  • Lemon Yogurt Loaf Cake

Try These Recipes!

Vanilla Almond Flour Yellow Cake Recipe
Hazelnut Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
Classic Opera Cake Recipe
Classic Austrian Sacher Torte Recipe
Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe - Bigger Bolder Baking (2024)


How do you make a sponge cake rise higher? ›

  1. Beat your eggs with sugar for at least 15 minutes before adding dry ingredients.
  2. Do not mix a second more than absolutely necessary when adding dry ingredients. ...
  3. Use a high mold. ...
  4. Bake on no higher than 180C, for 45-60 minutes. ...
  5. Cool your cakes upside down. ...
  6. Make sure you have a correct leavening agent.
Jul 26, 2023

Why is my Victoria sponge not fluffy? ›

Make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature. If the ingredients are at different temperatures then they may not combine properly and the cake will be dense. If the eggs are stored in the fridge then remove them several hours before using, so they are properly at room temperature.

How do you increase the fluffiness of a cake? ›

Go with room temperature ingredients
  1. Go with room temperature ingredients.
  2. Make sure that the butter you use is not too cold. ...
  3. You want your cake to be pale yellow and fluffy. ...
  4. Cover your tin in baking paper, butter up the sides, top off with butter on the baking paper and bake up wonders, cook.

How do you make a dense cake fluffier? ›

Flour: Opt for cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. Cake flour has less protein, resulting in a softer crumb and lighter texture. Leavening Agents: Ensure that your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. These leavening agents help the cake rise and create a fluffy texture.

How do you increase the height of a cake? ›

Trim the parchment down to a reasonable height. You'll probably only need to extend the pan by two or three inches. This will make it easier to pour in batter or layer ingredients, and too much excess paper can bump into the top of your oven.

How do you make a cake rise level? ›

In order to bake cake evenly, you have to insulate its edges. Preventing the temperature of batter at the edge from increasing quickly allows the cake to rise longer before it sets. A cake whose edges rise at nearly the same rate as its center will remain flat across the top — no dome, perfect for stacking and icing.

What makes a Victoria sponge rise? ›

Most cakes will call for a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda. These create the bubbles you need for the cake to rise. If the flour you use is self-raising, it already has a leavening agent in it. Make sure your butter is room temperature, and beat the butter and sugar together until properly creamed.

Why is my Victoria sponge so dense? ›

Problem: My cake is very dense.

This could be because the cake mixture didn't have enough air beaten into it or perhaps eggs were added too quickly and curdled. Another reason could be that there wasn't enough raising agent.

What ingredient makes cakes light and fluffy? ›

Most cakes begin with creaming butter and sugar together. Butter is capable of holding air and the creaming process is when butter traps that air. While baking, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy cake.

What makes cake more fluffy, baking soda or baking powder? ›

Baking soda changes the texture of baked goods by causing a batter or dough to spread, while baking powder produces light, fluffy texture.

How can I make my cake mix fluffier? ›

Swap out each cup of water called for with milk. Buttermilk: Instead of water, use the same amount of buttermilk. The acid in the buttermilk interacts with the leavening agents in the mix for a better rise. "Swapping out the water for buttermilk creates a fluffier cake and a moister one, too," says Waterson.

Why is my sponge cake not light and fluffy? ›


If the butter is too cold, it takes too long to blend into the sugar and eggs which can cause over-mixing. This will result in a heavy, dense cake. So be sure to cut your butter into cubes to get it to room temperature quicker.

What ingredient makes a cake more dense? ›

Add structure. On their own, boxed cake mixes have a structure that's loose and airy. But if you add ¼ cup flour or half a box of instant pudding mix, the texture of the cake becomes denser and tighter, ideal for a pound-cake-like consistency that will hold the shape of a Bundt pan.

What makes cake dense and heavy? ›

Your cake is too dense A cake that is overly dense typically has too much liquid, too much sugar or too little leavening (not excess flour, as is commonly thought).

How do you make a cake rise taller? ›

To make a box cake mix rise higher, try using a smaller pan, adding an extra egg, using milk instead of water, adding baking powder, mixing for longer, using room temperature ingredients, baking at a higher temperature, or using cake strips.

Why is my sponge cake not rising enough? ›

Too flat/didn't rise

If your cake failed to rise, check you put the raising agents in it. Also, check your raising agents are in date as out-of-date ones won't have the same oomph. It could also be a symptom of it not being cooked enough, in which case, pop it back in the oven for a few more minutes.

What makes a cake rise higher in the middle? ›

lower the baking temperature: a high oven temperature will cause the edges to bake quickly and the middle to rise. Consider baking your cakes at lower temperatures for longer to bake a flat cake without a dome.

Why is my sponge cake so flat? ›

If you add baking powder and still end up with a flat cake, check the best before date. Add eggs and other liquids to the mixture slowly to avoid curdling, which can cause heaviness and a flat cake. It is crucial to preheat the oven and to get your cake into it as soon as the dry and wet ingredients are mixed together.


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