A question I get asked a lot is how to make the perfect Vicky Sponge so I thought it was about time I dedicate a post to this very question.
Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert here HOWEVER I have picked up a few little tricks along the way which have resulted in a pretty mean tasting Victoria Sponge (if I do say so myself…)
The recipe you choose is VERY important. I have tried and tested a lot of combinations out there, and without fail, I always end up coming back to a Mary Berry recipe, the same as I used in one of my most popular posts My Jazzy Victoria Sponge. Use the same method too, although of course omit the sprinkles if you want a “normal” looking cake. Personally I like a bit of jazz!
Some of these tips may seem pretty basic, but follow them all and I guarantee you’ll have a great end result.
1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature. HELLO butter, eggs and milk, I’m looking at you. The butter should be softened, but not melted. It’s ok to zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so to achieve the desired effect!
2. Make sure your oven is the right temperature for the recipe. I bought an oven thermometer for about £1.50 off eBay and found that my oven was out by 20 degrees!!
3. Always line the bottom of your tin with grease proof paper, but you don’t need to do the sides, just butter them.
4. While we’re on the subject of butter, margarine is fine for the cake mixture but always use butter for the buttercream. It’s a MUCH nicer flavour!
5. The most important tool (in my opinion) is an electric mixer. It doesn’t have to be an all-singing-all-dancing affair, you can pick them up pretty cheaply. The two pronged sort will suffice and it really makes all the difference.
6. Mix the ingredients as the recipe directs, but don’t stop once everything is combined. Oh no. Keep going. Give it another good 2-3 minutes on a medium/high speed to get the mixture light and fluffy. You’ll see it change colour and texture as you go on… Magic.
7. This sounds a bit anal, but I always weigh the amount of batter into each tin and try to get the same amount in each. If you do it by eye they’ll never be the same and you’ll likely end up with two layers of different thicknesses.
8. Once the batter is in the tins, take the time to use a palette knife/normal knife/spoon to spread the mixture evenly. Check it from all angles to make sure one side isn’t higher than the other. If it’s starts off wonky, it’ll end up wonky!
9. Try to place the cakes on the same shelf and they should bake at a similar rate. Use the clock as a guide, but I always set my alarm 5-7 minutes earlier than the recommended time so I can check how the cake is doing and pull it out if it’s done early. Remember, it’ll be done when it’s lightly golden, springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean. The longer you bake it, the dryer it will become so I whip it out as soon as I can.
10. The best part of a Victoria Sponge (for me anyway) is the filling. DON’T BE STINGY. A nice amount of jam and buttercream please!! (Top tips for buttercream coming up soon)
Add a sprinkling of sugar on top once cool (caster or icing, whichever you prefer… Some people have a pretty strong opinion on this but I’m not fussy!).
Have you got any top tips to share?