Classic Victoria sandwich

Classic Victoria sandwich

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(359 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

    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 (534)

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?

samfoodie's picture

Always make this for birthdays in our household. I melt the butter as I never have room temperature butter, then just mix everything together. I've never made the buttercream, just spread a layer of strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and freshly whipped cream. Light, moist and tastes delicious!! 5 stars

caryntay's picture

The cakes were so simple to make and came out beautiful. However, baking time had to be increased by 10 minutes. I also used whipped thickened cream instead of the buttercream, and added a ton of fresh strawberries. Came out amazing, got compliments all around.

MrsB2be's picture

This is a brilliant recipe, I come back to it time and again. Someone actually asked me where I'd bought the cake from, it was that good! Light, fluffy and flavoursome.

melissaaellen's picture

This recipe is the worst I've ever used. Inaccurate timings, temperature and egg/flour ratio, avoid making this.

kirstydp's picture

delicious! :)

ali64's picture

Super recipe...I used xylitol instead of the caster sugar(same quantity) and this worked really well. Do not worry if the mix looks dense and disappointing when divided into the cake tins, it rose beautifully and looked very impressive when cooked...after exactly 20 mins at 160 in my fan oven. I spread xylitol apricot jam and reduced fat double cream(whisked until thick)in the middle and sandwiched it together. Absolutely delicious...enjoy.

catstring's picture

Great, simple recipe! Loved the buttercream/jam filling (I added a little milk to loosen the buttercream).

XxXbearrobXxX's picture

I have used this recipe to make this cake many times and it is brilliant. The cake tastes excellent. I highly recommend this recipe for someone who is looking for an easy cake to bake. I am fifteen years old and have failed on a few cooking attempts but didn't on this one!

Torit's picture

I made this for our daughter first birthday. It was yummy and she loved it. Easy to make and lasted 3 days in an air tight container out of the fridge.
I added an extra egg white to the cake batter and a few drops of vanilla extract as well and it was light and fluffy. I did have to cook it for 24 minutes though. I will be making this again soon.

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 :)

beckyandthegirls's picture

I use this recipe with dairy free spread and it comes out great

IanSouthey's picture

Made this for my mother in law, used fresh whipped cream & quarted strawberries for the filling & strawberry halves on top.

bluelavolta's picture

Great recipe. I had to bake the sponge for 27 mins and I also recommend adding fresh, halved strawberries as a layer between the jam and buttercream - delicious.

fizzh89's picture

Did this for my dad's birthday cake yesterday - it was beautiful, light and fluffy. I was really pleased with the result. We flavoured the butter icing with cocoa powder, and did chocolate water icing on the top with some chocolate sprinkles (the children helped to do that bit), it was loved by everyone!

Selinarp's picture

So quick and easy to make and tastes yummy. Sponge was really light and fluffy.

amy1245's picture

Divided this by 4 last night to make a mini one as a trial as I have been asked to make my sister's 18th birthday cake (big pressure) so wanted to be sure whatever I was making was going to be good! It was lovely, slightly too much filling, so I just didn't use it all, but better than not being enough!
Really great, it will be covered with icing and decorated for the birthday cake :)

ivana2005's picture

Excellent, simple recipe, my granny called this a "gleichgewicht" which is German for "equal weights" the same weight of sugar, butter, flour and eggs..
However, I prefer cutting each baked cake horizontally so that I fill it with 3 layers of filling. I just love multi-layered cakes.

luptonian's picture

Made this today into a coffee cake, by substituting the milk for a couple of tablespoons of strong coffee, and making a coffee buttercream (using 200g icing sugar, 125g soft butter, and 2tbsp of strong coffee), and its turned into my best cake yet. I also didn't just 'beat all the ingredients together', but thoroughly creamed the butter and sugar first, adding eggs in one at a time, then the coffee, and lastly the flour. Strongly recommend the mix though, its lovely and fluffy and light!

Chitts's picture

I have made hundreds of sponges over the years and this is a really simple one with brilliant results. Cook for 5-8 mins longer though.


Questions (27)

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?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi jondmoss, thank you for getting in touch and sorry to hear you did not have success with this recipe. It sounds like it needed a little more time in the oven. Ovens do vary quite a bit so if it started to brown a bit sooner than you expected pop a piece of foil over it until the middle is cooked. Pressing the centre of the cake lightly with your finger it should spring back if it's ready but if you're not confident with this method of testing you could also try inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake, if it comes out with wet cake mix on it then it needs more time, but if it comes out clean your cake is ready. Hope this helps and you give cake baking another go. 

Graham cooper's picture

What size tin is used please

Jodysheff's picture

Where did I go wrong?! Followed recipe and instructions to the letter apart from baking for 20 mins as it needed longer. Came out nothing like the picture. Was quite flat and crusty round the edges. When I put the filling in the jam just came out at the sides. Not tried it yet as waiting for partner to come home and laugh.

Thephuckup's picture

Same place I did; spread too thin and no milk. Don't worry, man. Tasted good, right?


Tips (10)

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.

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