Victoria Sandwich – A Wholemeal Take on the Nation’s Favourite Cake
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.
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 Opinions differ as to whether this cake was originally made for Queen Victoria or as a tea time cake for the nursery, but there’s no doubt that the good Queen had a very sweet tooth and was very fond of cake.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?
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.
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.
Victoria Sandwich – The Recipe
A wholemeal version of the nation's favourite sponge cake.
- 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
First weigh 4 eggs in their shells, then weigh equal amounts of butter, sugar and flour.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one by one. If the mixture starts to curdle, add a spoonful of flour.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder and throw any bran remaining in the sieve into the compost bin.
- Gently stir the flour into the sponge mixture, followed by the kefir until everything is just combined.
- 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.
- Leave in the moulds to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Sandwich the cakes with strawberry jam, then dust with icing sugar or caster sugar and serve.
I’m sharing my Victoria Sandwich with Baking Crumbs over at Only Crumbs Remain.