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Zoe Francois' Victory (Victoria) Sponge Cake

Victory (Victoria) Sponge Cake

byZoë François
Total 1 hour and 45 minutes
Active 70 mins
Makes 10 servings
I fell in love with Victoria sponge cake on a trip to Dublin. The cake itself was so deliciously light but I had a difficult time replicating its texture when I got home. Once I employed "self-raising" flour, a common ingredient in the UK, which contains baking powder and salt in the mix, I had a total victory! The traditional filling is whipped cream and jam with a dusting of confectioners' sugar. I added some strawberries for flavor, texture, and decoration along with some edible flowers.
TIP: This cake is best served right away with the remaining macerated strawberries and whipped cream, but any leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
  • 1 cup (220 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (220 grams) superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups (220 grams) self-raising flour
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) strawberries, thinly sliced, plus whole strawberries with stems left on for decorating
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 pinch ground pink peppercorns (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) store-bought jam
  • 1 recipe Chantilly Cream (recipe follows)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • Edible flowers for decorating (optional)
  • Whole pink peppercorns for decorating (optional)
    Chantilly Cream
    • 2 cups (480 milliliters) heavy whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup (65 grams) store-bought jam
      1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously grease two 8 x 3-inch (20 x 8-centimeter) round cake pans, then line them with greased parchment paper.
      2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on high speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.
      3. Turn the mixer speed to medium-low, add the superfine sugar and vanilla to the butter, and mix until incorporated. Then turn the speed to medium-high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
      4. Turn the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Add one-third of the flour to the butter mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Repeat with another one-third flour until just incorporated. Add the final one-third of the flour.
      5. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Gently tap the pans on the counter several times to release excess air bubbles.
      6. Bake until the cakes are golden and a tester comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans completely on a wire rack.
      7. In a medium bowl, toss together the thinly sliced strawberries, granulated sugar, lime zest, and pink peppercorns (if using). Allow to macerate until the sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes.
      8. Remove one cooled cake layer from its pan and place it on a serving plate.
      9. Spread the jam over the top of the cake, then cover the jam with a 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) layer of the chantilly cream. Distribute half the macerated strawberries over the chantilly cream.
      10. Place the second cake on the chantilly cream, then run a spatula along the side of the cake to ensure the filling stays within the cake layers.
      11. Dust the top generously with confectioners' sugar and decorate with strawberries, edible flowers (optional), and pink peppercorns (optional).
      1. Chantilly Cream
        1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until just thick—it will start to leave marks from the whisk in the cream.
        2. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using the whisk attachment, continue whipping by hand for several seconds until the cream holds medium-stiff peaks. Fold in the jam. Doing so should thicken up the cream to stiff peaks. It should be fluffy, but stiff enough to hold the weight of the cake.