I've been baking for quite a long time, yet never made a Victoria sandwich cake before. Can you believe it? I somehow imagined this staple British cake as dull, dry and filled with sickly sweet buttercream. Well, I was wrong. While it certainly looks unassuming, if made well it's moist, soft, sweet enough and above all, easy to make. Since I fell in love with Mary Berry's 100 Cakes and Bakes (which I mentioned in this post) I decided to put my trust in her wisdom yet again.
My friends were celebrating British summer (of which we haven't seen that much so far) with a barbeque in their garden and since I love them so much I decided 'Let them eat cake' (you do need something sweet after all that meat!) and chose a Farmhouse orange Victoria sandwich. It disappeared within minutes, so I gather it was a success!
To make it, you'll need:
For the sponge
175 g butter, softened
175 g light muscovado sugar (if you don't have it, caster sugar should be fine)
3 large eggs
175 g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 orange
For the filling:
40 g butter, softened
150 g icing sugar
2 tbsp fine cut orange marmalade
icing sugar for dusting
Start by preheating the oven to 180 C/160 C fan. Grease two sandwich cake tins and line them with baking parchment.
Put flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest and butter into a mixing bowl.
Add eggs and beat with an electric mixer until the batter is smooth and all ingredients are incorporated.
Divide the mixture between the tins and smooth with a spatula.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and have shrunk slightly from the sides of the tins. The cake should spring lightly when you press it with your finger.
Let the cakes cool and peel off the paper.
While the cakes are cooling you can make the filling. Put butter, icing sugar and marmalade into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
Use a spatula to transfer the filling onto one of the cakes, spread evenly and cover with the second cake.
Dust with icing sugar. And voila! It's ready and you can call yourself the Queen of Cakes. I mean, you just whipped up a staple British cake in under an hour.
If, like me, you didn't trust Mary's 'press the cake with the finger' method and insisted on poking the sponge with a skewer (or, in my case, a wooden chopstick) go ahead and poke it some more to create a little heart design. It's off centre, but I'm all about the rustic look!
Annoyingly, there are no pictures of a single slice - the cake was gone before anyone remembered to whip out their camera...again...Sigh.