Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake with Lemon Verbena

Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake scattered with fresh raspberries and rose petals.

This raspberry cream sponge cake is a taste of summer and a highlight of any garden party. It’s a classic victoria sponge, but baked with scented leaves to impart an air of added sophistication and delight. Two sponges are sandwiched together with crushed raspberries and rose flavoured cream. It’s very hard to resist.

What’s Lemon Verbena?

Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla) has the most glorious lemon sherbet scented leaves. Of all the lemon scented plants, it’s our absolute favourite. It’s a deciduous shrub originating from Chile and Argentina, but it’s not really frost hardy. This means it’s best grown in a pot, so it can be moved to a protected environment during the winter. We’ve tried to grow it a couple of times, but back in Cornwall, we had nowhere to nurture it in the colder months. Both survived for a couple of years, but in the end gave up. Now we have a conservatory, so we’re trying again. Third time lucky.

Lemon Verbena

This raspberry cream sponge cake is lightly flavoured with lemon verbena. I’ve used an old method, devised when the wide variety of ingredients weren’t as available as they are now. The idea is to bake your cake with scented leaves on the bottom of the tin, underneath the batter. This then infuses the cake with their aroma.

Lemon verbena leaves laid on the base of two silicone cake moulds.

We regularly make a refreshing tisane from the leaves, but lemon verbena has other culinary uses. It makes a wonderful flavour addition to stewed fruit, ice cream and various savoury items. Lemon and rose scented geraniums also work well for this method of cake baking. You can, however, grate in a little lemon zest to the cake batter if you don’t have access to scented leaves.

How to Make a Classic Sponge

A classic sponge is made by weighing the eggs and then using that measurement for the butter, sugar and flour. Hooray, you can make your sponges as big or as little as you like, depending on how many eggs you use. I went for a mini sponge this time, as there are just the two of us. We’re both greedy and would probably eat a lot more in one sitting if I’d made a bigger one. And in any case, I only had one egg.

Naked Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake

If ever you need a failsafe sponge recipe that you can carry in your head, this is the one. The only things you need to think about are the size of your cake tins and baking times.

Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake

This raspberry cream sponge cake, came together, as my recipes often do, from a kitchen clear out. I’d bought some raspberries for a morning smoothie, but had failed to finish them off. I also had an egg that had been hanging around for a bit too long. As regular readers probably know by now, I can’t abide waste. I needed to use that egg and polish the raspberries off.

Two heart shaped lemon verbena sponges

This classic Victoria sponge cake is very easy to make. You just need to cream the butter and sugar together, beat in the egg, then mix in the flour. I used cardamom sugar for this recipe as it gives a subtle citrus note which goes particularly well in fruity bakes. I guess I probably didn’t need it this time as I was using lemon verbena leaves, but hey! The cake mixture also needs something to loosen it slightly. I used kefir as it helps the wholemeal spelt flour to rise. But you can equally well use buttermilk or sour milk.

Heart shaped raspberry cream sponge cake surrounded by fresh raspberries and rose petals.

Once the sponges are baked, it’s a simple process of crushing the raspberries and whipping some double cream. I love the flavour combination of raspberries and rose, so I’ve added a drizzle of rose syrup to both the crushed raspberries and whipped cream.

Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake scattered with fresh raspberries and rose petals and a pot of lemon verbena in the background.

Dust the top of your raspberry cream sponge cake with icing sugar. Then, if you like, scatter with additional raspberries and rose petals to make a luxurious summer centre piece.

No Rose Syrup?

Rose syrup is ever so easy to make. All you need is access to unsprayed scented roses. I make it every year and would be lost in summer without it. If you can source a rose or two, follow my recipe for rose syrup and delight all your friends and family. If you can’t get hold of any suitable roses, however, just leave it out. The rose is only a subtle flavour addition to the raspberry cream sponge cake and it will be differently delicious with or without it. Just substitute a little icing sugar for the rose syrup.

Other Fresh Raspberry Cake Recipes You Might Like

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Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake. PIN IT.

Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake scattered with raspberries and edible rose petals on a blue plate.

Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake – The Recipe

Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake scattered with fresh raspberries and rose petals.
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5 from 12 votes

Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake

A classic victoria sponge, but baked with scented leaves to impart an air of added sophistication and delight. Sandwiched together with crushed raspberries and rose flavoured cream.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake, lemon verbena, raspberries, rose, sponge cake, Victoria sandwich
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 536kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg (weighing around 50g)
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g golden caster sugar (I used cardamom sugar)
  • 50 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp kefir, buttermilk or sour milk
  • lemon verbena leaves or other scented edible leaves 
  • 75 g fresh raspberries, plus additional for decoration if desired
  • 75 ml double cream
  • 2 tsp rose syrup (can substitute for icing sugar)
  • icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • First of all, weigh your egg (s). Then use the exact same weight for your butter, sugar and flour. If you use more than one egg, you’ll need to double, triple or quadruple the quantities of baking powder, kefir, rose syrup, raspberries and cream accordingly.
  • Butter and line your baking tins, or use silicone moulds. The size will depend on how many eggs you’re using. For a one egg cake, two round 10 cm moulds or tins work well.
  • Place the verbena leaves on the bottom of the tins.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg. If it curdles, just work in a bit of the flour and it should come together.
  • Sieve in the flour and baking powder, throwing any bran left in the sieve into the compost bin. You don’t have to do this, but its quite nice to not have any large bit in a light cake I find.
  • Stir until just combined, then stir in the kefir, buttermilk or sour milk. Divide the mixture between the two tins and spoon the top of the verbena leaves.
  • Bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 15 minutes for this one egg cake or until risen, golden and firm to the touch. For a two egg cake, bake for 20-25 minutes, a three egg cake, 30-35 minutes and a 4 egg cake 40-45 minutes. Leave in the tins to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. At this point you can peel off the scented leaves.
  • Crush the raspberries in a bowl with the back of a fork. Stir in 1 tsp of the rose syrup.
  • Whip the cream with the other tsp of rose syrup until soft peaks form.
  • If the sponges are too domed, level one of them off with a knife so it sits flat on a plate. Spoon on the crushed raspberries, followed by the cream. Place the remaining sponge on top and dust with icing sugar.

Notes

Scale the cake up as needed, by simply doubling, tripling or quadrupling the ingredients.
You can substitute the rose syrup for icing sugar and you can grate in a little lemon zest instead of using lemon verbena leaves.
Scatter with edible rose petals and additional raspberries for extra decoration.
Other scented leaves you can use include: rose, lemon or mint scented geraniums and lemon balm.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 54.3g | Protein: 8.2g | Fat: 34.6g | Saturated Fat: 21.4g | Cholesterol: 1.6mg | Sodium: 46mg | Sugar: 28.9g | Calcium: 60mg

Sharing

I’m sharing this raspberry cream sponge cake with Apply to Face Blog for Baking Crumbs. It also goes to Mummy Mishaps for #BakeOfTheWeek, JibberJabberUK for #LoveCake and Easy Peasy Foodie for #CookBlogShare.

36 Comments

  1. Galina V

    26th June 2019 at 4:34 pm

    What a beautiful elegant cake! Very sophisticated flavours.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:48 pm

      Haha, you know me Galina, I’m all about the sophistication 😉

      Reply
  2. Hannah

    27th June 2019 at 4:56 am

    This looks absolutely delicious and so adorable! I’ve never tried lemon verbena but I’ll definitely keep on the lookout for a plant now!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:47 pm

      It’s a lovely plant to have Hannah, so do try and get hold of one if you can.

      Reply
  3. angiesrecipes

    27th June 2019 at 5:39 am

    What a beautiful cake! I love the idea of using lemon verbena leaves in the sponge cake…unique and delicious.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:46 pm

      That lemon verbena is just brilliant and it imparts such a lovely sherbet notes into the sponge.

      Reply
  4. nessjibberjabberuk

    27th June 2019 at 10:20 am

    What a summer delight! Perfect for a pretty afternoon tea for two.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks Ness, it’s absolutely perfect for that. Especially now summer has actually arrived.

      Reply
  5. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    27th June 2019 at 12:11 pm

    How pretty is this cake?! I absolutely love the mini version, Victoria sponge is brilliant when it comes to scaling it up and down! Great tip for baking with scented leaves too, I would have not thought of that! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous cake with #BakingCrumbs 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Jo. It’s amazing what a few rose petals can do. But yes, you’re right, a Victoria sponge is good in so many ways.

      Reply
  6. Alice

    27th June 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Choclette,

    My name is Alice from the blog team at Thompson & Morgan.

    I’ve tried to email you about featuring your blog on the Thompson & Morgan blog, but the email keeps bouncing back.

    Mind dropping me a quick message so we can continue the chat there.

    All the best,

    Alice

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks for getting in touch Alice. I’m ever so sorry about my e-mail. I’m not sure why it’s being problematic. I’ve just e-mailed you now, so hopefully that will have got through.

      Reply
  7. johanna @ green gourmet giraffe

    28th June 2019 at 11:33 am

    Glad your lemon verbena is flourishing – it looks very pretty at the bottom of the cake and would look great as a garnish! I like the sound of the crushed berries instead of jam

    Reply
    • Choclette

      29th June 2019 at 2:55 pm

      Well, we’re hoping it will flourish. We only got it fairly recently, which is why the leaves are a little on the small side. Crushed berries are the way to go for a summer cake I reckon.

      Reply
  8. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    28th June 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Such a pretty cake, this would be perfect for Valentine’s Day or any romantic occasion!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      29th June 2019 at 2:56 pm

      Yes, my little heart shaped cakes are definitely just for two. But the beauty of this kind of cake is that it can easily be scaled up.

      Reply
  9. Jenny Walters

    29th June 2019 at 2:59 pm

    What a delicate and beautiful recipe. I love that you have cleverly crafted all these wonderful ingredients to come together in this cake. Each mouthful must be a taste sensation. Adore your sponge tins too! Thank you so much for sharing with #BakingCrumbs

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st July 2019 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks Jenny. You always say the nicest things. Love the simplicity of just adding leaves from the garden to flavour bakes.

      Reply
  10. Cat | Curly's Cooking

    30th June 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Such a pretty looking cake! I don’t think I’ve tried lemon verbena before but it sounds lovely!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st July 2019 at 12:03 pm

      Lemon verbena is delicious. At least it is if you’re used to drinking fresh herb teas 😀

      Reply
  11. Donna

    1st July 2019 at 10:30 am

    Sounds lovely. Such a nice summery flavour combination.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st July 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Yes, it’s just perfect for summer. But now I feel like I need to host a summer party so I can make a large one.

      Reply
  12. Sisley White

    1st July 2019 at 1:38 pm

    This looks incredible! Raspberry sponge sounds too good to be true. Save me a slice.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      2nd July 2019 at 12:05 pm

      The trouble with something as delicious and summery as this, is that it doesn’t last very long 😉

      Reply
  13. Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

    1st July 2019 at 7:58 pm

    I love your blog, Choclette – you are always cooking with fabulous unusual ingredients – I have heard of lemon verbena, but never knowingly eaten or cooked with it – now I’d really like to try it! Beautiful cake too 😀 Eb x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      2nd July 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks Eb.It’s the unusual, underlooked and unexpected that I find particularly intriguing when it comes to food. It’s worth having a lemon verbena plant for the scent alone. It’s wonderful.

      Reply
  14. Esha

    2nd July 2019 at 2:43 am

    What a gorgeous cake. Loving the idea of lemon verbena leaves in the cake. Such a perfect summer cake with lovely delicate flavors.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      2nd July 2019 at 12:10 pm

      Yes, using scented leaves is a bit of an underused method, but well worth it for comparatively little effort.

      Reply
  15. Ceri Jones

    5th July 2019 at 11:46 am

    I should really grow some lemon verbena, then I would have access to it. Such an amazing smell and I love how you have baked it into the cake, lovely

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th July 2019 at 5:51 am

      It has such a wonderfully uplifting scent. Definitely worth growing if you’re able to.

      Reply
  16. Anna | Serving Dumplings

    8th July 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Such an elegant looking cake with beautiful flavors!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      9th July 2019 at 7:15 am

      Thank you Anna. It’s such an easy straightforward sort of cake to make and with just one or two embellishments, it transforms into something else.

      Reply
  17. Jill Colonna

    15th July 2019 at 3:46 pm

    This is absolutely stunning, Choclette. You know I love rose in desserts and this, together with lemon verbena, just takes it to a fragrant high! Yes, I discovered that our verbena (French verveine) plants weren’t that hardy after the frost hit and lost most of my first bush but luckily I’ve learned now from the mistake. In France we mainly use it as a nightime herbal infusion but I love to make ice cream with it!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th July 2019 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you Jill. I think we’re both on a mission to spread the love or rose. We drink lemon verbena as an infusion too, though mostly as a refreshing daytime drink, rather than a nighttime one. I bet that ice cream is good.

      Reply
  18. Camilla Hawkins

    16th July 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I have never had lemon verbena but really want to try it and your delicious sponge cake now! Would be great for Valentine’s Day too:-)

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th July 2019 at 5:35 pm

      Yes, my heart shaped moulds are brilliant for Valentine’s day and a cake just for two. The scent of lemon verbena is really quite astonishing.

      Reply

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