Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake with Lemon Verbena
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Cupcakes with rose curd
- Cupcakes with white chocolate
- Fudge brownies
- Poppy seed & white chocolate muffins (lactofree)
- Rose & white chocolate cake
- Rose friands
- White chocolate blondies
- White chocolate friands
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this raspberry cream sponge cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on your preferred social media site and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
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Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake – The Recipe
Raspberry Cream Sponge Cake
- 1 large egg (weighing around 50g)
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 50 g golden caster sugar (I used cardamom sugar)
- 50 g wholemeal spelt flour
- ⅓ 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
- 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.
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.