Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (2024)

Jump to Recipe

Victoria sponge cake is possibly the most quintessential British cake, and loved by Brits across the world. Don’t worry if you’re no longer in the UK, now you can make this beauty in your own kitchen!

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (1)

Isn’t this cake a beauty?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A classic Victoria sandwich, or Victoria sponge cake, can still be found all over Britain at tea rooms, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and homes. Madeira cake doesn’t seem to have held on to its popularity as much as the Victoria sponge. I’d liken it to chocolate chip cookies in the US. If you visit the UK, do not leave without having a slice of Victoria sponge cake!

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (2)

Why is it Called a Victoria Sponge Cake?

That’s an easy one: Queen Victoria was the reason. The cake is also called a Victoria Sponge, although truly, a sponge cake has no butter. Queen Victoria’s love of this layer cake with jam (and later, also cream) is the reason for its name.

According to Mrs. Beeton (an authority in British cookery), the original Victoria Sandwich was baked in an oblong tin and filled with jam or marmalade and then sliced into fingers, or “sandwiches.”

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (3)

A British Tradition

This cake is such a British classic and readers have often asked me for a recipe over the years that I’m so happy to finally share this recipe with you. As with many other recipes on my site, this is not mine. I change and adapt recipes, but I always try to give credit to where the recipe originated. This Victoria Sandwich recipe is from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Cookery and Household Management.

Sometimes, the recipes are just from what my mother taught me when I was growing up, like my apple pie recipe, another British classic. Just like the apple pie, a Victoria sponge is finished off with sugar. My Favorite (British) Apple Pie

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (4)

Keeping it British

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you’ll know I give a rant or “strong suggestion” from time to time. I won’t go into a full blown rant this time, but I want to give you a few tips about the decoration and filling, especially about the cream, if you decide to use it.

  • I’ve never had cream in the US that wasn’t sweetened. However, in the UK, more often than not, especially in Scotland, cream is left as is. It’s probably because it’s so fabulous and so incredibly creamy that nothing else is needed. I still never add sugar to my cream here in the US. So, please, don’t be tempted to add sugar (or vanilla) to the cream for a Victoria sponge cake; it just won’t taste the same.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (5)

  • Even Mary Berry’s recipe doesn’t have sugar in the cream, and many people think she’s the original recipe creator, which is pretty funny! She’s even been quoted as saying, “I know people think I invented the Victoria Sandwich, but I’m really not that old.” – Mary Berry
  • Use good quality raspberry jam, if possible. Strawberry jam is a second choice, and obviously, you can choose to use any jam you like, but raspberry is the classic choice.
  • To keep it authentic, use granulated sugar to dredge on top.
  • As noted below, please USE A SCALE. The weight of the ingredients is so important with this cake which is why a scale is so important for best results. Scales are readily available and inexpensive in the US now, and you won’t regret buying one.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (6)

Here’s my point: if you decide to make this Victoria sponge cake, make it as the recipe is written the first time. Don’t top it with frosting, and sprinkles, or add sugar to the cream (in fact, the most geniune and original Victoria sandwich only had jam). Taste a traditional and genuine Victoria sponge here in the US, and let me know what you think.

If you ever end up with stale Victoria sandwich cake, make a trifle!

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (7)

The next time you bake one, add the frosting and sprinkles if you like, but I have a feeling they won’t even cross your mind.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (8)

Victoria Sponge Cake,
Traditional British Afternoon Tea Cake

slightly adapted from Mrs. Beeton’s recipe makes one 8″ cake
please use a scale for best results!

FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 sticks (300g) good quality butter, unsalted and at room temperature (if you only have salted butter, omit the salt)
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) superfine or Baker’s sugar (caster sugar in the UK)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups (300g) self-rising flour (or all purpose flour with 2 tsp baking powder), SIFTED
  • a good pinch of salt
  • raspberry jam for filling
  • heavy whipping cream for filling
  • superfine/Baker’s or confectioner’s sugar for the top of the cake

Special equipment: 2, 8″ round cake tins, parchment paper, handheld mixer

Oven temperature: 350° F (180°C)

Make the Victoria Sponge Cake

Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Grease the pans using butter or a spray and dust with flour. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. It will begin to pale in color, too.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (9)

Add about one third of the beaten eggs, and mix well at medium speed.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (10)

Then add about a third of the sifted flour. Repeat this step. Add the rest of the eggs and mix well, then turn the mixer to low and add the final flour and just mix until well combined.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (11)

Using a scale, divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and place in the center of a preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Since ovens vary greatly, do not open the oven until you start to smell the cake and it looks well risen (through the glass).

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (12)

Carefully check that the cake is done with a cake tester or thin skewer. If it is too raw, the cakes will fall and you won’t be happy, so the previous step is important. When the cake is done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tins.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (13)

To remove: place a cooling rack over the top of the cake and flip it over quickly. Remove the tin and the parchment paper and allow to cool completely before filling.

Fill and Decorate the Victoria Sponge

Beat the cream without any added sugar or flavorings until it’s thick enough to fill the cake, and support a layer, but not so thick that it starts to become butter.

Using a cake leveler, or large serated knife, place the cake layers, flat side down on the counter and slice off the top to make them even.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (14)

Save or freeze the leftover cake to make trifle(s)! More trifle recipes at the very bottom.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (15)

Individual English Trifles

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (16)

Place one layer, CUT SIDE UP on a serving plate and spread a generous amount of the raspberry jam to cover the top.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (17)
Don’t worry if you put too much or too little jam the first time as it will take a little experience to know just how much to put, and it won’t affect how good it will taste in the end.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (18)

Next, spread the cream over the jam. Again, be generous, but bring it almost to the edge as the weight of the top layer will push it down a bit.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (19)Top with the second layer, but this time, CUT SIDE DOWN.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (20)

Sprinkle with sugar, or dust with confectioner’s sugar, and place in the refrigerator for an hour or two. This helps a lot in making nice slices when you cut into the Victoria Sandwich.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (21)

All that’s left is to enjoy this beauty with a hot cup of tea!

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (22)

Let me know what you think in the comments below, thank you!

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (23)

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (24)

Victoria Sandwich, Traditional British Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens

Yield: 1 cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Additional Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

A classic British afternoon tea cake named after Queen Victoria. Yellow sponge filled with jam and usually cream.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 sticks (300g) good quality butter, unsalted and at room temperature (if you only have salted butter, omit the salt)
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) superfine or Baker's sugar (caster sugar in the UK)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups (300g) self-rising flour (or all purpose flour with 2 tsp baking powder), SIFTED
  • a good pinch of salt
  • raspberry jam for filling
  • heavy whipping cream for filling
  • superfine/Baker's or confectioner's sugar for the top of the cake

Instructions

Special equipment: 2, 8" round cake tins, parchment paper, handheld mixer

Oven temperature: 350° F (180°C)

Make the Cake

  1. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Grease the pans using butter or a spray and dust with flour. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. It will begin to pale in color, too (given that you're using a good quality, yellow butter).
  3. Add about one third of the beaten eggs, and mix well at medium speed. Then add about a third of the sifted flour. Repeat this step. Add the rest of the eggs and mix well, then turn the mixer to low and add the final flour and just mix until well combined.
  4. Using a scale, divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and place in the center of a preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Since ovens vary greatly, do not open the oven until you start to smell the cake and it looks well risen (through the glass).
  5. Carefully check that the cake is done with a cake tester or thin skewer. If it is too raw, the cakes will fall and you won't be happy, so the previous step is important. When the cake is done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tins.
  6. To remove: place a cooling rack over the top of the cake and flip it over quickly. Remove the tin and the parchment paper and allow to cool completely before filling.

Fill and Decorate the Victoria Sandwich

  1. Beat the cream without any added sugar or flavorings until it's thick enough to fill the cake, and support a layer, but not so thick that it starts to become butter.
  2. Using a cake slicer, place the cake layers, flat side down on the counter and slice off the top to make them even.(Save or freeze the leftover cake to make trifle(s)! More trifle recipes at the very bottom.)
  3. Place one layer, cut side up on a serving plate and spread a generous amount of the raspberry jam to cover the top. Don't worry if you put too much or too little jam the first time as it will take a little experience to know just how much to put, and it won't affect how good it will taste in the end.
  4. Next, spread the cream over the jam. Again, be generous, but bring it almost to the edge as the weight of the top layer will push it down a bit. Top with the second layer, but this time, CUT SIDE DOWN.
  5. Sprinkle with sugar or dust with confectioner's sugar, and place in the refrigerator for an hour or two. This helps a lot in making nice slices when you cut into the Victoria Sandwich.

Notes

Please, don't be tempted to add sugar (or vanilla) to the cream for a Victoria Sandwich; it just won't taste the same.

Use good quality butter and jam.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 12Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 196Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is estimated.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review by clicking on the 5 stars above, in the purple header (a form will appear) or tag me on Instagram! 😍

Christina’s Cucinais a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking toAmazon.com.

Victoria Sponge Cake, Afternoon Tea Cake - Recipe for US Kitchens (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nicola Considine CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6130

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nicola Considine CPA

Birthday: 1993-02-26

Address: 3809 Clinton Inlet, East Aleisha, UT 46318-2392

Phone: +2681424145499

Job: Government Technician

Hobby: Calligraphy, Lego building, Worldbuilding, Shooting, Bird watching, Shopping, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Nicola Considine CPA, I am a determined, witty, powerful, brainy, open, smiling, proud person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.