This might just be the most British cake that we served at High Tea. The cake became a popular tea-time treat during the reign of Queen Victoria, it is said that it was her favorite cake! Traditionally, this delicious, buttery, sponge cake is served with raspberry jam and whipped cream sandwiched in between two cakes. Whenever I have had it, it has been served with strawberry jam and whipped cream, which is a delicious combination. I hear some people also use buttercream instead of whipped cream, but I prefer the lightness of the unsweetened whipped cream to counter the butter content in the sponge cake.
Since rhubarb was in season, I decided to make our cake with Rhubarb Jam, especially since I had already planned to make it for the Sultana Scones I was making for High Tea. I wanted to use some fresh strawberries in addition to the jam, I figured the strawberries would add some freshness and a lovely decorative element. The three strawberries on top are the first fruit out of our garden!
The cakes themselves can be made a few days in advance, but you should assemble the cake not long before serving.
Victoria Sandwich Sponge with Rhubarb Jam and Strawberries
scant 2 cups cake flour
3 1/4 tsp baking powder
16 tbsp softened butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
1/2 cup Rhubarb Jam
8 oz heavy cream
8 oz fresh strawberries, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add eggs, one at a time. Whisk in.
- Add baking powder and 1 cup of flour. Whisk in. Add remaining flour. Whisk in.
- Grease two 8 inch springform pans. Cover bottoms in aluminum foil or place on a cookie sheet with raised edges.
- Divide the dough between the two pans.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.
- Remove from oven and leave in tins for about 15 minutes. Then remove from tins and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, place one cake on a serving platter.
- Spread half of the jam on top.
- Pipe whipped cream all over the cake surface, careful to make the edges look nice.
- Arrange strawberries on top.
- Place second cake on top and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Total cooking time: 1 hour, serves 8-12
*cover image by Gonzo Beck