The addition of ground almonds helps this Victoria Sponge stay fresh for longer, making it ideal if you need to prepare it in advance.
Everyone has their own opinion of what a ‘Victoria Sponge’ (you might even call it a ‘sandwich’!) should be; flavour of jam, the addition of cream or buttercream, a dusting of icing or caster sugar? The list goes on…
A classic Victoria Sponge is classic for a reason. This recipe aims to extend the shelf life of a Victoria Sponge so it can be prepared days in advance.
I made a version of this recipe as the central cake on our wedding cake table. I love the look of ‘naked cakes’ and was keen to have the Victoria Sponge as one of the cake flavours. However, in my experience, a classic Victoria Sponge should be eaten on the day it is made to enjoy the fluffy soft sponge at its best. My mission was to create a Victoria Sponge which could be made at least 2 days in advance. Success – ground almonds are the answer!
LONGER LASTING VICTORIA SPONGE
adapted from ‘Classic Victoria Sponge Cake’ by Tess Ward
For the sponge:
- 4 large eggs (weigh these in their shells)
- unsalted butter (same weight as the eggs)
- caster sugar (same weight as the eggs)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- self-raising flour (same weight as the eggs minus 100g)
- 100g ground almonds
- 3 tsp baking powder
For the filling (double this if you wish to cut each sponge in two to create four layers per cake – see below):
- 90g unsalted butter
- 175g icing sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 2 tsp milk
- 4-6 tbsp jam (while raspberry is traditional, you could use any flavour of jam or curd.)
- icing/caster sugar to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C. Grease and line 2x 20cm deep sandwich tins.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This will take a few minutes if using an electric mixer, and quite a bit longer if beating by hand.
3. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat after each addition. I like to add a little of the flour with the eggs to prevent the mixture from curdling. Mix in the vanilla extract.
4. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds and fold gently to combine with a spatula or metal spoon.
5. Spoon half the mixture into each tin and level with a spatula (weigh the mixture and divide by 2 if you want completely even sponges).
6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden, springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes before turning out and removing the baking paper. Leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
7. While the cake cools, make the buttercream. Beat the butter until soft then sieve in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla and milk and beat until smooth and creamy.
9. Place one sponge top-side down and spread carefully with buttercream (you can make a slight lip at the edge if you want to hold the jam in). Spoon the jam on top and spread over the buttercream. Place the other sponge on top and dust with icing sugar. (For the recipe in the photo I chose to turn the top sponge upside down to create a flat top. It also looks lovely the other way up.)