Victoria sponge

Victoria sponge

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

You can totally make this cake! It is so easy that it is the only recipe in this book for which I’m putting in almost no measurements. Once you’ve got the hang of making this, the world of cake will open up for you. For me, this was the gateway cake that got me hooked on baking many years ago. Hopefully it’ll do the same for you. It’s important that everything is at room temperature, so if your butter is chilly, chop it into 2 cm blocks, put it into a jug of tepid water for 10 minutes to soften it up, then drain.


Quantity Ingredient
unsalted butter, at room temperature, (the same weight as the eggs), plus more for the tins
4 large eggs
caster sugar, (the same weight as the eggs)
plain flour, (the same weight as the eggs)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100g strawberry jam
300ml double cream
a little bit icing sugar, to dust

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
2 20 cm round sandwich tins
electric whisk
wire cooling rack


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and butter 2 x 20 cm round sandwich tins. Butter the tins and line with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Put a bowl on to your kitchen scales and set the weight to zero. Crack the eggs into the bowl, write down the weight, then set them aside. Weigh out the butter and put it into a large mixing bowl with the equal weight of sugar. Beat together with an electric whisk until the colour lightens and the texture goes smooth. Weigh out the flour in a separate bowl and mix the baking powder into it.
  3. A little at a time, thoroughly beat the eggs into the butter mixture with the vanilla bean paste. If the mixture starts to split, add 1 tablespoon of the flour. Sift the remaining flour into the mixing bowl and gently fold the batter together by cutting through the middle of the mixture with a spatula, turning it over, then rotating the bowl slightly and repeating until fully combined. Be careful not to over-mix; you don’t want to knock too much air out of your batter.
  4. Divide the batter equally between the prepared tins, spreading it out smoothly. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when poked into the centre. For the first 20 minutes of baking, do not open the oven door, or your cake will sink. Take out and leave on a cooling rack until cold.
  5. Tip the jam into a bowl and mix up with a spoon to loosen. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks.
  6. Spread the jam on to the bottom (least attractive) sponge, then spread the cream over and put on the top (most attractive) sponge. Dust with icing sugar and serve.


  • This recipe has a level (beginner) difficulty.


  • As long as you get the ingredient weights right – and get the hang of checking to see if the sponge is cooked – you can nail this cake every time. Throughout my life it has been a constant fixture, whether at teatime with family and friends, or as a base for countless birthday cakes. It may be humble, but it’s classic and always welcome at my table.
Great British Bake Off
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