Victoria Sandwich – A Wholemeal Take on the Nation’s Favourite Cake

Victoria Sandwich Cake

Layer cakes | 5th September 2017 | By

Everyone loves a Victoria Sandwich, it’s the nation’s favourite cake. But I have a confession to make. In all my years of baking I’d never made one before – until my farewell party that is.

Victoria Sponge

I’ve always called a Victoria sponge cake a Victoria sandwich, but whatever you care to call it, it’s a stalwart of a good British afternoon tea. Opinions differ as to whether this cake was originally made for Queen Victoria or as a tea time cake for the nursery, but there’s no doubt that the good Queen had a very sweet tooth and was very fond of cake. Originally the cake would have been filled with jam only. Purists reckon it has to be raspberry or strawberry. These days it can hold cream as well or even buttercream. It’s also meant to be dusted with caster sugar, but in the general rush and chaos of moving, I used icing sugar instead. How do you prefer yours?

Wholemeal Victoria Sandwich Cake

Farewell Party

Before leaving Liskeard, my wonderful mother decided the occasion should be marked. She hosted an afternoon garden party and all I had to do was invite a few friends and pray for sunshine. The day dawned fair and unusually for August this year, it remained sunny all day – phew! My aunt came down to help with the food and we all enjoyed a massive spread. My only contribution was this Victoria sponge. It’s my mother’s favourite cake and I really ought to have made one for her years ago.

Farewell Party

Wholemeal Victoria Sandwich

I made my Victoria sandwich the traditional way by weighing the eggs first and then adding the same weight of flour, sugar and butter. Less traditionally, I added a little kefir to help with the rise as I was using wholemeal flour. I sieved the flour and threw the bran that was left in the sieve into the compost bin. It’s the bran that hinders the rise. However, I used a fairly wide gauge sieve so most of the bran got through. I was tempted to stuff my sponge with strawberries and cream, but keeping with tradition, I sandwiched it with strawberry jam and nothing else. It was light and thoroughly delicious – or that’s what everyone told me anyway.

Wholemeal Victoria Sponge Cake

Victoria Sandwich – The Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Victoria Sandwich Cake
Victoria Sandwich
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

A wholemeal version of the nation's favourite sponge cake.

Course: Afternoon Tea
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12
Author: Choclette @ Tin and Thyme
  • 275 g unsalted butter - softened
  • 275 g vanilla sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 275 g wholemeal flour largest bran sieved out
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp kefir.
  • 1 small jar of strawberry jam - homemade if possible
  • icing sugar or caster sugar for dusting
  1. First weigh 4 eggs in their shells, then weigh equal amounts of butter, sugar and flour.

  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one by one. If the mixture starts to curdle, add a spoonful of flour.
  4. Sieve the flour and baking powder and throw any bran remaining in the sieve into the compost bin.
  5. Gently stir the flour into the sponge mixture, followed by the kefir until everything is just combined.
  6. Divide the mixture between two 22cm round silicone moulds or lined baking tins and bake at 180℃ for 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  7. Leave in the moulds to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Sandwich the cakes with strawberry jam, then dust with icing sugar or caster sugar and serve.


 Baking Crumbs BadgeI’m sharing my Victoria Sandwich with Baking Crumbs over at Only Crumbs Remain. 




Wholemeal Victoria Sandwich. PIN IT.

Victoria Sandwich Pin


  1. Leave a Reply

    Galina V
    5th September 2017

    A beautiful Victoria sponge! I don’t think I have baked it in a very long time. Your cake looks fabulous!

  2. Leave a Reply

    5th September 2017

    Yummy! My mum always made a Victoria sponge with wholemeal flour although she did often put cream in it too!

    • Leave a Reply

      6th September 2017

      Well yes, you and me both Angie. Luckily wholemeal flours and whole foods seem to be on the rise and are becoming more popular 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    5th September 2017

    Lovely sponge. I’m definitely not purist and I’m happy to see (and eat) any variations in the old VS. I must admit, though, if I’m feeling really nostalgic, then a filling of strawberry jam and buttercream with caster sugar on top provides the Proust moment.

  4. Leave a Reply

    johanna @ green gourmet giraffe
    6th September 2017

    how lovely of your mother to host a party for you. I was very surprised to hear you had not made a chocolate victoria sponge in your chocolate blogging days but I guess that would horrify the purists. Strangely enough I have made a few because E loves them although they aren’t really my favourite but I do appreciate them occasionally. I didn’t know about caster sugar as I am never afraid of breaking tradition.

  5. Leave a Reply

    8th September 2017

    What an incredibly beautiful sponge cake! I need to try this recipe out as soon as possible! Looks so delicious and tasty! Thanks for the share, love checking out your blog for recipe ideas.

    • Leave a Reply

      9th September 2017

      Thanks Laura, that’s very kind. Do let me know what you think of it.

    • Leave a Reply

      9th September 2017

      Thanks Agness. You don’t need to use kefir, it just helps a bit with the rise. Buttermilk or a bit of watered down yoghurt would work well too. Otherwise use milk.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Kavey Favelle
    10th September 2017

    I’m definitely not with the purists who say jam only — I love mine with cream as well as jam, and I like the sponge to have some moistness to it too!

    • Leave a Reply

      10th September 2017

      I think I’m with you Kavey. This one was very nice, but I generally prefer a cake that has a bit more to it.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Sisley White
    10th September 2017

    I love the idea of wholemeal flour being used. I bet the final taste was a little more nutty and rather delicious!

    • Leave a Reply

      15th September 2017

      Thanks Sisley. You got it exactly. I don’t really understand why more people don’t use wholemeal.

  8. Leave a Reply

    11th September 2017

    Beautiful! I’m surprised you haven’t ever made one before! I pretty much love Victoria sponges in all varieties, but a fresh one filled with only jam and topped with a dusting of icing sugar is rather lovely.

    • Leave a Reply

      15th September 2017

      Hi Jo. It’s good to hear from you. I’m a bit surprised I’ve never made one before either.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet
    12th September 2017

    *gulp* This might be the first Victorian sponge you made but I don’t think I’ve even ever eaten it! That said, wholemeal is the way to go to help alleviate the guilt. Best of luck with your new adventure!

    • Leave a Reply

      15th September 2017

      Thanks Michelle. I’m reeling in shock here that you’ve never had a piece of Victoria sponge. How is that even possible?

  10. Leave a Reply

    15th September 2017

    I’ve never thought of a wholemeal victoria sponge before, and it looks great! Personally I like mine with raspberry jam, or if I’m feeling a bit extravagant – fresh strawberries and whipped cream! haha x

    • Leave a Reply

      20th September 2017

      Fresh strawberries and whipped cream will always get my vote Cat 😀

  11. Leave a Reply

    Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
    17th September 2017

    I’m a huge fan of classic Victoria Sandwich cakes (and yeah, I call them sandwich too rather than sponge). They’re such a classic, and for very good reason. I must admit that I’ve always made ours with white flour, so am fascinated to taste how they are with wholemeal & kefir. Thankyou too for joining in with #BakingCrumbs Chocolate 🙂
    Angeaal x

    • Leave a Reply

      20th September 2017

      I don’t think there’s enough kefir involved to make much difference to the flavour, but it does help with the rise. Wholemeal flour gives a certain nutty quality which I really like.

    • Leave a Reply

      4th October 2017

      Thanks Kate. I’m not sure about perfection, but it was jolly delicious and seemed to be much appreciated.

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