My all-time favourite cake is just simple victoria sponge with lots of vanilla cream and berries – what’s not to love? The best kind is when you cut the sponges in different sized circles and then layer them with the biggest at the bottom (smaller and smaller towards the top), layering the sponges with vanilla cream and berries into a tiered cake! I did one like this for my Wonderland Neverland party (I hired a rugby team to do the waitering)..
However many tiers you are looking to make, just multiply the below recipe.
For 2 victoria sponge tiers you will need:
- 225g caster sugar
- 225g self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 225g softened butter (at room temperature)
- 4 free-range eggs, beaten
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 2 packets of cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 400g of powdered sugar
Method (victoria sponge) :
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then sift in the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter.
- Mix everything together – the easiest way to do this is with an electric hand mixer. Be careful not to over-mix – as soon as everything is blended then stop. The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency – it should fall off a spoon easily.
- Grease and line two round cake tins with some butteruntil the sides and base are lightly coated (not too much – just enough to make it shiny!).
- Divide the cake mixture evenly between the tins – use a spatula to scrape the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
- Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for five minutes. Then run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
- To take your cakes out of the tins without leaving a wire rack mark on the top, put the clean tea towel over the tin, put your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside-down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel – then you can turn it from your hand onto the wire rack.
- Set aside to cool completely
Meanwhile, you can start making the icing!
Method (icing) :
Cream together the butter and cream cheese with a wooden spoon – don’t whip it as it will go too liquidy! Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla essence and taste – add more sugar or vanilla extract if you prefer.
Now to assemble the cakes I like to slice each sponge horizontally to create two thin sponge layers for each – so you are left with four thinner slices. Then just layer the cream cheese icing in between each sponge layer, with a bit of strawberry jam or fresh berries!