Welcome to the Great British Bake Off technical challenge series! Each week, we will explore a new scrummy english baked classic. This victoria sandwich recipe was inspired by episode 1’s technical challenge. It has two layers of heavy butter cake sandwiched with raspberry jam and whipped cream. Cheers!
I like to think that miss mary berry would be proud of my victoria sandwich. Paul, on the other hand, would find some fault somewhere, I’m sure. He would look up at me from under his eyebrows and tsk tsk and tell me it looks a bit of a mess. That is okay, Paul Hollywood. I can’t see your disappointment over my luscious slice of victoria sandwich cake, topped with extra raspberry jam, extra whipped cream, and oh heck extra raspberries, too.
If you have not yet become 100% addicted to the Great British Bake Off, hellooooooo. Where HAVE you been??? It is only the most brilliant food show ever. In sharp contrast to the screaming matches that always seem to occur in American food shows (here is lookin at you, Hell’s Kitchen), the Great British Baking show is filled with sunshine and smiles and friendly hugs and contestants helping each other out with words of encouragement. They bake victoria sandwiches in a tent in the English countryside and there are bunnies and butterflies and happiness. You think I’m exaggerating or that I’ve gone stark raving mad. But watch it. You will see.
As I watched this show, I realized everything I never knew I don’t know about baking. I may be able to make a cookie or a scone or a loaf of bread or a generic cake with the best of them. But start handing out technical challenges with all sorts of detailed requirements and yikes! So, I had this crazy idea to start baking my way through the technical challenges, until I master each of them.
Victoria sponge is most closely associated with an American pound cake–a heavier, more dense cake thanks to the butter fat. (I know . . . sshhhh . . . there is no fat in cake. Comfort your inner fat girl (or boy). Better yet, give her a piece of cake.) And unfortunately, we don’t get double cream here in the States, so whipped heavy cream will have to do . . .
Ees okay. I eat victoria sandwich cake now.
2 layer 9-inch cake
40 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted european sweet cream butter + extra for buttering pans
- 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon white granulated sugar + extra for dusting
- 5 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups + 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Add 1 Tablespoon sugar
- Remove 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Add 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Drop to 4 eggs
- 1 cup raspberry jam
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- extra raspberries for topping
- Preheat oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit. (Low altitude: 350 degrees.)
- Allow butter to come to room temperature. While butter is sitting, measure sugar into a food processor plus some extra for topping the cake. Pulse sugar 12-15 times to get a finer sugar. (You are essentially making caster sugar.) Set aside.
- Use a little extra butter to grease two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, measure out necessary sugar from the sugar you processed in the food processor. Beat butter and measured sugar on low speed until fully combined. Beat in eggs on low speed until incorporated. Beat in flour and baking powder on low speed until incorporated.
- Divide the batter between the two greased pans. It will be thick. Smooth out the tops as best as possible. Bake for 18-20 minutes until top edges are starting to brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Low altitude: 20-22 minutes.)
- Allow cakes to cool for five minutes in the pans set on a wire rack. Then turn out cakes on wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the whipped cream. On high speed, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until peaks form and whipped cream stands up on its own.
- Assemble. Level the bottom layer of the cake if necessary. Spread raspberry jam almost to the edge, making the jam slightly thinner at the edge. Add whipped cream to piping bag and pipe dollops of whipped cream around the edge. Pipe enough whipped cream to fill in the rest of the cake. (See picture above.) This prevents you from having to spread the whipped cream, which may push jam over the edge. Top filling with second cake and sprinkle with extra sugar. Top with raspberries.
- Serve immediately with extra jam and store covered on a cake dish in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Assemble the cake right after you whip the cream. If you have to make the cake ahead of time, assemble and immediately refrigerate it. Otherwise it is very hard to keep the whipped cream from deflating.