I have a confession to make.
Contrary to popular belief of those who know me, I’m not actually the biggest fan of baking. Gasp! I just don’t find it relaxing, which is pretty much the whole reason I like being in the kitchen in the first place. The precision required to prevent a baking flop is nail-bitingly stressful for many, including me. Cooking, on the other hand, allows you to throw just about anything into a pot and make it taste reasonably good.
Anyway, my point is that many people would probably enjoy baking a whole lot more if it was:
- Both of the above, but didn’t come from a box. This last one’s the real killer.
Luckily, my friend Emily’s Victoria Sponge Cake is all three of these things. With a mere five ingredients for the cake (in very memorable quantities), you really can’t go anything but right. Em recently made this for her sister’s 21st– and not only was it simple and absolutely delicious, but it looked pretty spectacular too. Make this and everyone will worship your baking skills. Guaranteed.
Now head over to your pantry and grab the following:
For the Cake
- 250g butter, room temperature
- 250g castor sugar
- 4 jumbo eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g self-raising flour, sifted
- Cream, whipped. Lots and lots of it. At least 500ml.
- Jam of your choice
- A big tub of assorted berries
What to Do
Now here’s the thing. You can make this cake in any format you want. Emily’s original recipe called for two equal 20cm tins, but she used 3 tins of various sizes to make a tiered cake and that turned out beautifully.
Right, so let’s get started.
- The oven. Turn that thing on and turn the dial to 180°C
- Grease those pans and line them with baking paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until you have a pale, slightly fluffy mixture
- Beat the eggs and pour them in gradually as you mix.
- Add the vanilla essence.
- Fold in the flour slowly
- Pour into the baking tins and bake for 20-30mins.
How easy? Now let’s get onto the pretty part:
- Let the cake cool down.
- Grab your punnet of berries from the fridge. Eat a few. You can never be too sure these days.
- Our cake had three layers. Take your biggest cake, put it on a cake stand and smear the top of it with a generous gloop of jam, followed by an even bigger dollop of cream.
- Put the next layer of cake on top. Is your cream oozing out from between the layers? Excellent.
- Repeat the previous step.
- Add the last layer. You know what to do.
- Now, take those berries and put them everywhere. On top. On the stand. On the little ledges in between the layers. Everywhere.
- Emily added some greenery from her garden too, which looked beauteous. But make sure they’re not poisonous or anything first. That could end really well…
Now, who’s making tea?