With apologies to Mary Berry.
The pandemic has brought much binging of The Great British Baking Show (as well as many other shows) and a slightly slower pace of life. With that, we have been spending more time in the kitchen, and have practiced a bit more creativity when planning meals and baking treats. The result of the kitchen time, Amazon prime binging, with a little bit of longing for past travels sprinkled in, was Sami’s request for tea time, and Victoria sponge cake.
We first tried a Victoria sandwich last year while at Eat Drink and Bee, a cute cafe in Winchester in southern England. With all that 2020 had to bring, our 2019 trip seems like a lifetime ago. Nevertheless, the kids look on the experience with fondness, and Sami especially wanted to bring a little bit of that holiday magic back. So I acquiesced and found a recipe for the tea time favorite.
The recipe I based this one off of was by Mary Berry and BBC Food. Being in America, I had to make a number of conversions, as well as a few changes. The whipped cream recipe is one that I’ve been using for years, and I cheated and used a jar of organic raspberry spread rather than making it from scratch. The end result was a cake that had a good consistency, and made for a pleasant afternoon treat. I present to you a classic Victoria sandwich, with a few American modifications.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups plus two tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 small jar good quality raspberry spread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two eight inch cake tins with butter or cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add sugars, flour, baking powder, and butter. Mix until well combined using either a hand mixer or wooden spoon, taking care not to over mix. The mixture should be of a consistency to easily drop off a spoon.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two baking tins, using a baking spatula to scrape the mixing bowl and to gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown and pulling slightly from the edge of the tins. The sponge should be springy when lightly pressed. Let cool on a cooling rack.
- While waiting for the sponges, prepare the cream. In a medium bowl, combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- To assemble the cake, place one sponge upside down on a plate and spread it with the raspberry spread. Layer with whipped cream and top with the second layer of sponge. Sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar.
For Sami, having an afternoon tea time while watching some good BBC helped to break up the lockdown doldrums. I wish all of you a happy holiday season, with good friends and family, whether safely in person or on the Zooms, and plenty of holiday treats. Cheers!