Tarted up Victoria (sponge)

strawberry cakeWell, didn’t Queen Victoria have good taste. Ol’ Vicky couldn’t resist a bit of sponge with her PG tips (well maybe not PG… Earl Grey’s probably more fitting), firmly ensuring that this English treat be named after her. I’ve always been a fan of the Sponge. It’s not coated with icing, instead just a little jam and cream transform this ordinary cake into a pudding of delight. I rustled one up for a friend’s birthday but due to her severe aversion to cream I served the vanilla cream on the side. To tart up the cake simply slice strawberries and layer all over the top, scattering with chopped pistachio nuts. I think Queen V would be smiling down with approval.


  • 6oz/170g margarine/butter (I used Stork… just as good as butter)
  • 6oz/170g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6oz/170g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • Jar of good quality strawberry jam
  • Punnet of strawberries
  • Handful of shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • A pot of whipping cream


  1. Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Butter and line with greaseproof paper 2 20cm sandwich tins.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs. Gradually add the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
  4. Sieve the raising flour and baking powder and fold into the batter.
  5. Remove the vanilla from one of the pods and add to the batter.
  6. Carefully divide the mixture into your prepared tins.
  7. Bake for aprox. 20 minutes until the cake has risen and springs back to touch (try not to open the oven too often, otherwise it will sink)
  8. Cool on a wire rack. Once cool remove the greaseproof paper. Place one sponge on a serving plate and spread a generous amount of jam in the middle. Place the other sponge on top.
  9. Slice the strawberries and layer on top. Scatter the pistachios on top.
  10. Empty the cream into a bowl. Scrap the vanilla from the remaining vanilla pod into the cream.  Whisk until it is thick and holds it’s shape.
  11. Slice up and serve with a dollop of cream on the side.

Directions for use: Eat with gusto and feel regal (although break with Victoria’s tradition and smile)Victoria



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