Classic Victoria sandwich

Classic Victoria sandwich

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(375 ratings)

Ready in 30 minutes, plus cooling


Cuts into 10 slices

You can't go wrong with this perfect party cake - full of spongey goodness. Makes a super-simple wedding cake, too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Cake base freezes well for 3 months

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal558
  • fat28g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs76g
  • sugars57g
  • fibre0.6g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.9g
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    For the cake

    • 200g caster sugar
    • 200g softened butter
    • 4 egg, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • 200g self-raising flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 2 tbsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    For the filling

    • 100g butter, softened



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 140g icing sugar, sifted
    • drop vanilla extract (optional)
    • half a 340g jar good-quality strawberry jam (we used Tiptree Little Scarlet)
    • icing sugar, to decorate


    1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl, beat all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft batter.

    2. Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

    3. To make the filling, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in icing sugar. Beat in vanilla extract if you’re using it. Spread the butter cream over the bottom of one of the sponges, top it with jam and sandwich the second sponge on top. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Comments (556)

    madmrsmonkey's picture

    Don't be disheartened if the cake doesn't look great when it come out of the oven. I honestly thought it was a disaster but once the filling was in it was pretty good! The edges were a bit crispy and it did smell a lot like egg so I thought it would be horrid - but no! It's not the best Victoria sponge ever but it is tasty.

    madmrsmonkey's picture

    Awful. No rise. Smells and tastes overwhelmingly of egg. Don't understand why people are giving 5/5 for this receive when they've actually changed some ingredients. I made this based on the star rating... Wish I'd read the comments first.

    louba11's picture

    It's a lovely recipe,tastes great just use a slightly smaller tin. Nice

    champsx5x5's picture

    Lovely cake, cooked for 25 minutes at 180 in my fan oven and everyone says it's amazing

    Mz Pinky's picture

    DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RECIPE!!!!!!! Waist of time and money! The recipe is all wrong. The cake was raw from inside....!!!!

    AllyT54's picture

    This is my fail safe recipe for victoria sponge. Done countless times with hugely positive results. I use stork and large eggs and done exactly as method states. Maybe needs a bit longer cooking but not much. I cant understand the bad reviews?!

    Lucy200's picture

    From reading the comments I was spectacle to try this recipe, but I gave it ago and I love it!! Instead of 4 eggs I used 3 and slighley wipped the egg yolks. I also cooked it at 200C instead of 190C as well as adding a little more baking powder. I found this recipe was perfect and my favourite sponge out of all the ones I have tried.

    SaraRC's picture

    I wish I've read the comments before start baking this. Its the first time I bake a victoria sandwich but not my first time baking. The recipe went all wrong... After 30 minutes cooking is all raw in the inside and only cooked in the outside... what a waste of ingredients and time...

    Ooooermrs's picture

    Just made this, after reading comments I used stork and weighed my eggs to 200g, apart from that I followed recipe exactly and Sponges came out cooked to perfection, very light. I also used my kenwood processor as due to pain in fingers and hands, unable to do so by hand.

    cherub-rock25's picture

    I wish I had read the reviews before making this! I like to think that I am a proficient baker but the ratios here seem all wrong - my cake was still wobbly in the middle after 30 mins baking. I assume this is because I was using large eggs. I definitely should have used 3 instead! This should really be stated in the recipe somewhere (especially as BBC GoodFood state that when eggs are called for in one of their recipes, they are referring to large eggs).

    Now I have a domed cake that no amount of icing will save!

    acjacobs's picture

    It's weird how different the comments can be with some of these recipes. I only started baking a while ago - mostly dinners, with the odd pudding. This was one of the first actual cakes I tried. I always follow recipes exactly as I wouldn't have a clue how to tweak anything. This can out brilliantly. I just tried another recipe on here that was a chocolate sponge and it was awful. I'm wondering whether it would work if I followed this recipe and just added cocoa powder to make a basic chocolate sponge.

    ZombieChessClub's picture

    I'm not sure how anyone is getting good results from this recipe. I made it tonight and it was very wet- required longer to cook... Ended up too dense with very little rise. (I even separated and whipped the eggs).

    In the end it has a nice biscuit-y outside but too dense on the inside. Tasted strongly of eggs. The only real positive is that it isn't too sweet.

    DebbieDrew's picture

    You could weigh the eggs next time. Same weight of egg as rest of ingredients.

    allielovetocook's picture

    I've been craving Victoria Sandwich Cake since seeing one where I work, so tried this recipe. Haven't made one for several years so it was a bit experimental - I used "Stork with butter" to see if it gave a "light" cake - it definitely seems to have. I used a scant tsp of vanilla paste in the mix - delicious. I also used four large eggs but only scant tablespoons of milk - gave a soft mix but not too runny. The cakes took about 30-35 mins (my oven is uneven) to cook, but they look amazing! Can't wait to fill, and try this!

    Maxbaker's picture

    I've baked this cake many times with mixed success. Please adjust the ingredients and timing as there is too much wetness in the mix causing it to either fail to rise or worse, remain uncooked in the centre. Even after cooking after 40 minutes the centre was wet leaving me to make good with loose fruit!
    If you're trying for the first time you may want to use only 3 eggs or more flour.
    I would also use only half a teaspoon of baking powder.
    Not a bad cake if you get it right and very rarely looks like the picture. There are many other better recipes out there!

    nig1961's picture

    Made this for the first time today, I don't make cakes, but this was easy to follow and turned out perfect, I only had three eggs, so reduced the flour and sugar quantities, I also used my homemade wild raspberry jam instead on strawberry.

    AliBel's picture

    Made this today. Quantities all wrong. Ended up with dense, sunken cake which tasted of scrambled egg.

    Deeanor's picture

    I have tried using the 'all in one' method a couple of times and the cake does not turn out very well and doesn't rise much. However, when I use the 'beat the sugar and butter first, then add the beaten eggs and fold in the flour' method, I always get a perfect cake.

    Psalm 34v8's picture

    Made this cake a few weeks ago and it was absolutely delicious! One of the best cakes I've made! It was quick and easy to make and the sponge was soft and light. Very thankful for this recipe :)

    katejbx's picture

    I have made this cake twice and both times it has tasted beautiful but Im getting a really poor rise! Nowhere near the rise in the pic! Anyone having the same problem or could make any suggestions?


    Questions (31)

    acjacobs's picture

    If I added cocoa powder to this, could I use the same recipe for a basic chocolate sponge?

    Monmars's picture

    Made this cake yesterday, absolutely beautiful however today the butter cream filling became very oily and I had to scrape it out.
    How can I stop this from happening? Should I just eat it all in one day?

    goodfoodteam's picture

    Thank you for your question. Victoria Sandwiches are always best eaten within a day or two so it should have been fine the next day. It sounds like the icing became a bit too warm. We suggest storing it in a tin in a cool place. Hope this helps!

    Cocopanda's picture

    Do you use the egg whites by themselves?

    tarewee's picture

    Can Good Food please link the variations to this basic sponge cake?

    This is my never fail recipe when I have to make a sponge cake and friends want the recipe. My magazine cutting from May 2005 has the variations attached: sticky toffee banoffee, pistachio praline & vanilla, blueberry & clotted cream, orange & rosemary drizzle (particularly delicious), coffee and walnut, coconut and lime, nutty apply streusel, fudgy dark chocolate.

    All those recipes are still here on the Good Food website but separately, not as variations on the basic sponge cake. I suggest that Good Food show the variations here on the basic recipe.

    arRUV's picture

    I,ve been making victoria sandwiches for years with never any bad result. I stopped for many years and now they are a disaster I follow the receipy step by step but I get a big hollow at the bottom of the cake and it certainly not light and fluffy . I put baking powder and even used butter to be sure it,s the right amount of fat. Can anyone help please!!

    goodfoodteam's picture

    Thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear you've not had success with this recipe. From what you've said it sounds like your oven might be at fault. Double check your oven temperature with a thermometer - if your oven is too hot this can have an impact or if your oven is not working properly this can be a tell-tale sign as the heat is not spreading evenly around it.

    taralswift's picture

    I live at altitude and struggle with adjusting the measurements correctly to ensure the fluffiness and rising ability. Any ideas?

    rach291's picture

    Has anyone tried making this using gluten free flour? First attempt (with no changes) didn't rise much although the texture was good. Second attempt (used plain flour instead of self-raising, didn't change the baking powder quantity) hardly rose at all and the texture was horrible. Third attempt (extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder) rose a bit more than the first but still nothing compared to what it should be. Any suggestions? Using a fan oven at 170 degrees and baking for about 23 minutes. The cake had a lot of bubbles while it was baking and these didn't fully go away when it had set.

    goodfoodteam's picture

    We often use xanthan gum at Good Food when making gluten-free cakes as it improves the texture and rise. It replaces the stretchy property that the gluten adds to the flour. You can buy it from health food stores and the special diet section in larger supermarkets. The bubbles in your mix sounds like you may have added too much baking agent, or that the gluten free flour just couldn’t trap the bubbles from the raising agent as it cooked. For an alternative gluten-free cake, take a look at Luscious lemon & raspberry sandwich on this website as it rises beautifully and taste delicious.

    suederrick's picture

    When baking cakes using an artificial sweetener, rather than sugar, (you mention Xylitol can be used instead of caster sugar in the recipe for Classic Victoria Sandwich), would you expect the cake to rise in the same way it would if you had used actual sugar? Only, I have tried making a sponge using Canderel 'Ideal for baking', following a recipe on their website, and after baking, the 'sponge' hasn't risen at all - it is the same size as it was when I put the raw mix into the baking tin, and rather 'heavy' - not at all 'sponge'-like, and not particularly nice to eat, as it's a bit stodgy. I am pre-diabetic, and my Mum is diabetic, so we are looking for a nice sponge cake recipe that we can both make and enjoy eating - and not be embarassed to serve if we ever have anyone pop round for a cup of tea and a slice of cake........ Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks x

    goodfoodteam's picture

    Sorry hear about your cake! Yes we especially like the results from using xylitol, so we recommend that you give it a try. You can buy it in health-food stores and some supermarkets. Xylitol, despite its synthetic sounding name, is derived from the woody fibres of plants; it looks like sugar but contains 40% fewer calories. It has around the same sweetness as sugar, so you can use it as a straight substitute in any of your favourite recipes, except where yeast is used as xylitol can't feed yeast in the same way that sugar can. You can't caramelise with xylitol either. The reason some other sweeteners don't work as well is because they are often sweeter than sugar so you use less. This alters the balance of a recipe and how the other ingredients interact with it. Good luck and hope this helps with your baking in the future.

    ali64's picture

    I followed the recipe step by step, the only adjustment with the cake recipe was exchanging the sugar for Xylitol....the same amount of 200gms, I was thrilled with the result. The cake was lovely and light and looked very impressive. I sandwiched the cake together with Xylitol apricot jam and whipped 'lite' cream. A small sprinkle of icing sugar and WOW.......really delicious and a super treat for all. Good luck.

    bashfulbaker's picture

    I have an order for a 5 layer dairy free vanilla sponge,
    I've had great success with this recipe in the past- but wonder can I substitute the butter for a dairy free spread? I'm a little concerned about the overall texture!
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

    goodfoodteam's picture

    Must admit we haven't tried it with a dairy free spread, but looking online at other recipes, a dairy free spread that is suitable for baking does seem to get the thumbs up from many vegans or people who can't eat dairy products. Obviously it won't have the same buttery flavour, but you could add a dash of vanilla to the mixture to compensate. If you have time, it might be worth doing a trial run with a 2 egg mixture just to put your mind at rest.

    Saimahhassanxo's picture

    Is it salted or unsalted butter that you use

    goodfoodteam's picture

    It is all down to personal taste, but many bakers like salted as it seems to give a more buttery flavour to the finished result.

    rayjudah's picture

    I want to use this recipe to make 6 small to medium layers. Should I double the mixture?


    goodfoodteam's picture

    It is hard to estimate without knowing the tin sizes, but yes double the quantity sounds right to us for 6 smaller cakes.

    jondmoss's picture

    My first ever attempt to bake, think I followed the recipe perfectly however the sponge came out brown and spongy as instructed on the top but not cooked in the middle. What is my most likely mistake? Oven temperature or time? Or what?


    Tips (11)

    Clivealive63's picture

    Whenever making a sponge like this, before I do anything , I weigh my eggs.
    3 large eggs came to 210g .... or 4 small eggs were similar
    Therefore I need 210g of flour, sugar and butter ...... batter is light and not wet.
    Weigh your eggs first ..... :-)

    corgimuffs's picture

    Everything about this recipe is great, except the cooking time-we baked this for about 45 minutes as apposed to the 20 minutes suggested.

    mrssippy's picture

    this cake was so easy to make but I adapted it slightly and replaced 50gms of the flour with cornflour as I do with all my sponges makes them light as a feather DELISH !!!

    Torit's picture

    I added an extra egg white and a few drops of vanilla extract to the cake batter and it was light and fluffy and tasted delicious.

    freyfreyB's picture

    i recommend sieving the flour first,
    as i found that it created lumps in my mixture and didn't come out :(

    chlotridge's picture

    This recipe is so reliable, I always manage to make a perfect sponge with this. I have done it a few times with plain flour instead of self-raising when I haven't had any self-raising in the cupboard. I add just a smidgen more baking powder and the result is the same! Love this.

    GeorgeHepher's picture

    I always bake this cake in one tin and then cut it in half afterwards as I think it rises better and means you don't need to level the top of the bottom layer off, saving precious cake!

    freyfreyB's picture

    good tip thanks

    CiaranDUK's picture

    If you only have one tin, why not cut the top of the cake off (when cooled!) and make a giant butterfly cake instead?

    katewashington's picture

    I used Cadbury's dark and milk chocolate, 99g bar of each melted and mixed with 300ml sour cream enough to cover the whole cake. It was absolutely delicious. I think I got the recipe from this site.

    tillyfloss80's picture

    Simply halve the sponge recipe if you can't fit 2 tins in your oven together. Make up the other half and bake whilst the first sponge is cooling.
    As suggested by handsonpaws.