Should there be a lifetime achiever award for a cake recipe, I reckon the ‘basic sponge recipe’ that you use to create a classic Victoria sponge should win hands down. Such a lovely simple bake to make, and it’s versatility is endless.
I love the simplicity of a Victoria sponge, and I’ve yet to meet anybody that isn’t partial to a nice slice of this scrummy cake, filled with jam and buttercream. And, maybe you are like me and tend to enjoy cake most when you eat it for breakfast?!!
I’ve used various gluten free flours over the last few years to make Victoria sponges. So far, I’ve had the best results with Juvela gluten free mix and Sainsbury’s gf self raising flour.
225g (8oz) Lurpak spreadable butter (not low fat) or softened block butter
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) gluten free self raising flour or mix (add a heaped teaspoon of gf baking powder if using mix)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon *vanilla extract
Pre heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4/Fan 160C
Line 2 x 8 inch sandwich tins – ‘perfect fit’ liners are great as no cutting required, they just pop in and no need to grease either. Alternatively, this mixture will make about 24 fairy cakes that can be decorated, or left plain and popped into the freezer and used as and when you require them. Very handy to have in for a quick hot pudding – really good, with Jam, syrup or lemon curd and nice thick *custard.
Pop all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together (electric hand whisk is perfect for this) until the mixture becomes nice and smooth and light in colour.
Transfer the mixture equally between the tins and smooth out with a knife or the back of a spoon.
Place the tins into the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes. (Fairy cakes only need to be baked for about 12-14 at a slightly higher oven temp 190C/375F/Gas 5/170C Fan.)
Check the cake is done, by gentle pressing the top. If it’s springy to touch it’s done. If still a bit wobbly give it a little longer.
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, before turning them out onto a cooling rack.
Once cold, fill with whatever takes your fancy. Today, I’ve gone for buttercream (recipe below), raspberry jam, and then breaking the tradition of caster sugar a generous dusting of icing sugar!
I’m terrible, and tend to guess this recipe (as with many) and don’t add milk as sometimes suggested. But of course I wanted to give you a bit of a guide should you need it.
This quantity will give you a generous filling for this cake. But if you fancy spreading it on top too, you will need more.
75g (3oz) unsalted butter (leave out of the fridge for a bit to soften a little)
175g (6oz) sifted icing sugar
*Vanilla extract – couple of drops
In a large bowl, soften the butter, add vanilla extract and then gradually stir in the icing sugar, bit by bit. Beat well until nice and smooth and spread the buttercream onto the underside of one of the sponges and if using jam, curd etc, spread that onto the other one and sandwich the cake together.
I often make this sponge and simply put jam in the middle and then decorate the top with glaze icing (icing sugar with a little bit of boiled water, blended together to make a nice glossy paste) and a generous scattering of *sprinkles….of course do check they are gluten free, as many aren’t. I tend to pick mine up from Sainsbury’s.
Another perfect way of using this basic sponge recipe, is to make tiny buns in petit four cases. Simply pop half a teaspoon of mixture in each paper case and bake for about 6 minutes – same oven temp you need for fairy cakes!
When my niece, Izzy and nephew, Rory were small, my sister-in-law Kate, would make the cutest selection of these little sponge buns. Turning them into teeny fairy cakes and decorated treats for their Birthday parties. I just quickly whipped up the batch below to show you how lovely they can look. If you halve the recipe above, it will make about 40 tiny little cakes!!
Tiny *chocolate *crispy rice and *cornflake cakes look so nice dotted amongst these cute buns too.
If like me you like the ease of an all in one method cake, you may like to check our my banana loaf recipe…..its a lovely one!
*Check this product out to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out!