Perfect Victoria sandwich cake

Perfect Victoria sandwich cake

Lucy's Bakes
15 mins
Cooking time
20 mins
Jacqui Melville

Queen Victoria’s preferred afternoon tea cake was a plain sponge sandwiched with raspberry jam and dusted with caster sugar – known to us as a Victoria sandwich. If you felt like adding a touch of whipped cream or buttercream to the filling it would no longer be a Victoria sandwich according to the Women’s Institute, and if you entered one of their cake competitions with such additions you would be immediately disqualified. If you are not entering such a competition then you are free to fill it with whatever you like – the choice is yours.


Quantity Ingredient
4 eggs
caster sugar
self-raising flour
butter and margarine, at room temperature
pinch salt
10g water
10-minute berry jam, (or use shop-bought)
Vanilla buttercream
or cream, freshly whipped, (optional)
caster or icing sugar, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two 20 cm sandwich tins.
  2. Weigh the 4 eggs in their shells and weigh out the same amount of sugar and flour and half their weight each of butter and margarine (or all butter, but you get a lighter mix with a combination of the two).
  3. Beat the butter and margarine together with the sugar in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until pale, smooth and fluff y, about 3 minutes. Do not over-beat as this can make the cake sink later.
  4. Beat in 1 egg at a time, mixing well after each addition until soft and fluffy again.
  5. Sift the flour and salt over and gently fold in using a metal spoon (do not over-mix or you will knock all the air out). It will be slightly too thick, so add the water and fold in gently.
  6. Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and level the surface with the back of a spoon or a palette knife.
  7. Bake for 20 –25 minutes, until the cakes have risen and are springy to the touch, or when a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack so they can cool with air around them, which will help make them lighter.
  9. When they are completely cool, sandwich together with good jam and whipped cream or buttercream, if liked, and dust with caster or icing sugar to serve.


  • This recipe is vegetarian and nut-free.

What the testers say

  • LYNSEY JONES AND HELEN WOOLDRIDGE – ‘A perfect cake – I kept it simple and added fresh strawberries. My tin was a bit big so not quite as tall as I wanted, so check tin sizes or make extra cake mixture'

    ROGER AINGER – ‘Went for the heart attack option and filled it with jam and cream! Absolute baking beginner and making a Victoria sponge felt like real baking. I am looking forward to trying it again to achieve perfection.'

    FIONA GALLAGHER AND OLLIE EVANS – ‘We added whipped cream flavoured with a dash of vanilla extract and piled it high with fruit.'

Victoria sponge step-by-step

  • Line your cake tins in one of three ways: (1) use cake tin liners; (2) cut out a circle of baking paper large enough to line the tin completely, then cut incisions round the edges; (3) grease the tins with the butter paper or oil and line the bases with a disc of baking paper.

    Using an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon, beat the softened fat (I use half butter and half margarine) with the sugar in a mixing bowl for about 3 minutes until pale, smooth and fluffy.

    Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until you have a mixture that is a softer version of what it looked like before you added the egg.

    Sift the flour and salt over the mixture. This will add more air to the cake and make sure there are no lumps in the flour, so will give a good light, even texture.

    Use a metal spoon to gently fold the mixture over and over until combined. Don’t over-mix or you will knock out all the air.

    Add the measured amount of water to loosen the cake mix and help give a light sponge and gently fold this into the mixture with the metal spoon.

    Spoon the mixture into the tin or divide it equally between 2 prepared sandwich tins. Spread it to an even layer with the back of the spoon. Bake immediately in a preheated oven at 180°C.

    Place the cake and tin onto a wire rack. To test the cakes are done insert a cocktail stick or skewer into the centre. It should come out clean. Alternatively, the cake should spring back if lightly pressed with your finger.

    The simplest way to remove your cake from the tin is to place another wire rack on the top of your cake, being careful not to burn yourself. Leave the cake to cool slightly.

    Carefully flip the cake around, holding on to the edges of the wire racks as you do so. The cake should now be upside down. Lift off the top wire rack.

    Remove the cake tin and paper and leave to cool completely. If making one deep cake, slice it in half horizontally, using a cake leveller or cutting towards the centre all round with a sharp bread knife.

    Spread jam or your chosen filling over one sponge. Carefully slide the second sponge over the jam. Dust the top with caster sugar or sifted icing sugar.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again