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Victoria sponge cake on a glass plate with lots of thick butter icing and strawberry jam

Classic Victoria sponge cake recipe with jam and buttercream

recipe Aug 30, 2023

My husband's favourite cake is the classic UK recipe, a Victoria sponge cake with jam and buttercream. 


When it comes to this cake, we can be a bit picky. Our pet peeves are:

  • a cake with jam and no buttercream (really Mary Berry, what were you thinking?)
  • buttercream made with margarine, or whatever non butter alternatives are called these days
  • ditto, a cake made with anything but butter

I hardly ever bake cakes anymore - there's nothing like baking thousands of lemon drizzle cakes over 17 years to put you off baking ( almost ) for good. But it was our wedding anniversary last Saturday and I thought Rob deserved his favourite cake.

It didn't quite turn out as planned...and was probably the ugliest cake I've ever made. But it amused my social media followers. And more importantly, IT WAS THE LIGHTEST BEST VICTORIA SPONGE I'VE EVER EATEN!

My guests would always be welcomed with a whole lemon drizzle cake in their room and I did try changing the variety cake sometimes. But repeat guests would be disappointed that the lemon drizzle was missing, so I decided it was just easier to stick with that.

And actually, it is the easiest, most cost effective cake to make. You get 3 loaf cakes out of one mix, and they freeze beautifully. You can find my much loved lemon drizzle cake recipe here >>  lemon drizzle cake recipe

I did offer the guests the opportunity to buy a different cake  as an extra when they booked online. And one of those options was a victoria sponge cake.

Back to this last week's sponge cake. I have to admit, it wasn't pretty. My kinder social followers called it rustic.

I'd used some cake tin liners that had been hanging around in a drawer for ages, and despite greasing them well they turned out to be anything but non stick.

Anyway, as I wasn't making it for guests, it didn't need to be pretty and it tasted sooooo good. And I think that was down to the magic ingredient, natural greek yoghurt!

I normally always put buttermilk into any cakes I bake, but I had none so I subbed it with yoghurt. Recipe below.

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Victoria Sponge Cake with Buttercream Recipe

Tins & Liners

You'll need 2 loose based 20cm sandwich cake tins, greased really well or lined if you have non stick liners! 

I love using these reusable non stick liners. But mine have gone missing >> Bake-o-glide non stick liners

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees for a fan oven, or 180 degrees for non fan.

Victoria Sponge Cake Ingredients

  • 225g butter - must be soft! I use a whole 250g pack of butter and use the the remaining 25g to butter the tins
  • 225g caster sugar ( actually I used granulated sugar this time and it worked perfectly, so don't worry if you have no caster! )
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons natural full fat greek yoghurt ( the magic ingredient )

Buttercream Ingredients ( enough for one cake )

  • 140g very soft butter
  • 280g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Strawberry Jam

  • 1/5 jar good quality strawberry jam. If I don't have any homemade in, I use Bonne Mamman strawberry conserve.

Victoria Sponge Cake Method

  1. Put all of the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat on medium for 2 minutes. I always use my Kitchenaid electric mixer  for this.
  2. Divide the batter mix between the 2 tins. There will be a lot of mix, so if you have anyone that likes to lick out mixing bowls, they're in luck ( provided you've made it with red lion mark eggs of course )
  3. Bake for 25 to 40 minutes. I baked mine for 20 minutes, then kept checking every 5 minutes and it needed the full 40. It's going to depend on your oven. Sorry I can't be more exact. You need it just bouncing back when you press the top.
  4. Put the cakes on to a wire cooling tray and wait for 5 minutes before turning out.
  5. Put all of the buttercream ingredients into your cleaned mixing bowl and beat until smooth. If you're using an electric mixer, start very slow unless you want to find yourself and the kitchen dressed in icing sugar.
  6. When the cake is completely cooled, spread the bottom liberally with jam, then buttercream. Put the other layer on top and dust some icing sugar over the top. 
  7. I put my cakes under a glass dome. It's 4 days since I cooked this one and it's still tasting very fresh. Though my general rule of thumb for a sponge cake is that it has a shelf life of a couple of days.

If you've enjoyed this recipe you can find many more of my recipes, tried and tested on thousands of B&B guests over the years, on my blog here >> Bed and Breakfast Academy Recipes 

Interested in running a B&B? Then check out this mini workshop,  First Steps to Owning a Bed and Breakfast? You can watch the workshop immediately and grab the bonuses here for just £30 >> First steps workshop


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