The secret to the perfect victoria sponge is making the lightest, airiest cake possible. This recipe is a simple one but there are lots of little steps in the method that will culminate in big differences to the final bake. We’ve swapped raspberries for strawberries as we think the extra tartness they give balances out all that sugar.
8 simple steps to the perfect victoria sponge
1. BE PREPARED
Having everything weighed out, the tins lined and oven heated beforehand means you can get the cakes into the oven quickly before the airy batter starts losing volume.
2. SOFT BUTTER
Make sure your butter is extremely soft (but not melted). The butter will bond more easily with the sugar allowing for extra air bubbles when you beat it.
3. GOOD EGGS
Fresh, room temperature eggs hold more air than old or fridge cold ones, so this will give you a head start on creating a lighter sponge.
4. ADDING THE EGGS
At once would make the mixture too heavy, stopping it from whipping up. Adding them one by one means you can avoid knocking the air out of the mix.
Sifting the flour separates out the particles, creating more air pockets, meaning more air gets into the mixture.
Using a large metal spoon to gently fold the flour in, in two halves, means you knock out as little of the air you’ve created as possible.
7. DROPPING CONSISTENCY
‘Dropping consistency’ – getting a batter that drops easily off a metal spoon – is a careful balance between butter, sugar and flour. If the mix is a little stiff, add a little milk until you get exactly the right consistency, which will mean the sponge will bake to its full, light potential.
8. GET THE KETTLE ON
Victoria sponge should be eaten on the day, when it’s at its soft, springy best.