Victoria Sponge Cake (also known as Victoria Sandwich Cake) is a classic English dessert. Two light and airy layers of buttery cake encompassing a center of velvety vanilla whipped cream and sweet strawberry jam, all topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. It’s a seemingly simple recipe but the art lies in preparation of the batter to create the fluffy texture. There are all kinds of variations on the filling (some prefer vanilla icing over heavy cream) but in an effort to use up some leftover Strawberries and preserve, I decided to make this dessert in one more non-traditional way – as a casserole cake. Several blogs ago, I wrote about my invention of the casserole cake (a true triumph from an almost disaster) and have been itching to play around with new flavours ever since. This dessert is perfect for summer parties, potlucks and picnics as it’s light, sweet and very fresh.
The Cake Batter:
3/4 stick of room temperature butter
3/4 cup of sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
Preheat oven to 350 C. Cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time taking care to incorporate them well before adding the next one. Slowly fold in the flour just until completely mixed without over beating and removing the air. Separate batter into two 6 inch cake pans. Make a slight well in the center of each pan to ensure the batter doesn’t form a peak in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes (when light golden or bounces back when you gently press with your finger). Set aside to cool. While the cake is in the oven, whip one small container of heavy cream with 1/4 cup of sugar until firm but still fluffy. Dice 5-6 large strawberries and set aside.
Once the cake has cooled, fork out one layer into the bottom of an 9 inch Pyrex dish.
Then sprinkle over the diced strawberries and dribble your favourite strawberry preserve (the better the quality, the more flavourful the cake). I slightly heated my preserve so I could easily control the pour and positioning.
Next, drop spoonfuls of the cream all over the fruit and smooth across the Pyrex forming a thick white layer.
Crumble out the final 6 inch round cake over the cream and dust with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
As I mentioned, this traditional English dessert is supposed to be light and fluffy, and I truly believe that, the little pockets in between the cake crumbs of this casserole version, only enhance the effect. It is a fool-proof version of the original recipe.