When you think about the quintessential English afternoon tea there’s usually scones, cucumber sandwiches and a recent trendy addition of pretty frosted cupcakes and posh flavoured macarons. Often neglected is the classic Victorian Sponge Cake. I mean come on, how much more English can it get when it’s named after the Queen? Apparently, Queen Victoria fancied having a dollop of whipped cream and a smear of raspberry jam with her sponge cake. And there it was – the birth of the Victorian Sponge Cake.
The Victorian Sponge Cake is basically whipped cream and jam sandwiched between two layers of butter sponge cake and topped with a simple dusting of sugar. Now instead of making the full size cakes, I thought I’d miniaturise my version and I think I won’t be going back to full size after this! I loved the mini versions. They’re not quite bite-sized and the cream squishes out the sides when you bite into them, but I loved it.
I remember as a kid in Singapore, there was this particular bakery near my school that sold packets of butter cake edges. Yup, you read that right. The bakery cut the edges of butter sponge cakes for other cake creations, and sold those edges for a dollar. They were awesome.
So with the mini Victorian Sponge Cakes, you get like a whole load more of the cake edges than the usual single side from a slice of the regular cake. Win-win!
I used the same recipe from a regular cake, halved it and cooked the cakes in muffin tins. When they cooled, I split the cakes and filled them with whipped cream and strawberry jam. Cuteness overload. They looked great and tasted yum. A great idea for the next afternoon tea party!
MINI VICTORIAN SPONGE CAKES
Recipe adapted from James Martin’s Victoria Sponge Cake
- oil, for greasing
- flour, for dusting
- 100 g butter
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- 100 g self-raising flour, sifted
- Icing sugar for dusting
For the filling:
- strawberry jam
- 100 ml double cream, whipped
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.
2. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin.
3. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Slowly beat in the eggs one by one.
5. Fold in the sifted flour.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tins. Bake for 15 minutes or until well-risen, golden brown and springy when pressed.
7. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
8. Half the cakes with a knife.
9. Spread jam on one side, followed by a layer of whipped cream. I piped the cream so it’s prettier and neater.
10. Dust with fine caster sugar or icing sugar.