Sunday, 22 November 2009

One Victoria sponge recipe...two ways...for two birthdays!

Today is my birthday (I know, I know – I don’t look a day older!) and in the coming week it is the CCBFM’s (Caked Crusader’s Boyfriend’s Mother – are you keeping up with this?) birthday. We both like sponge but whereas I like it with bells and whistles the CCBFM is a purist.

So here, for your delectation, are two birthday cakes both made using the same Victoria sponge recipe set out below. I’ve embellished mine with a coconut and raspberry swiss meringue buttercream and coconut covered marshmallows but the CCBFM’s is sandwiched only with jam. You pays your money and takes your pick.

Here is the CCBFM’s cake (purist):

Here is mine (bells and whistles):

One thing I would like to point out – this is the first time I’ve made a two-flavour buttercream i.e. raspberry and coconut. It worked REALLY well!

This is a nice generous sponge recipe – no thin layers here, just lovely deep golden sponge.

Happy birthday CCBFM, and happy birthday me!

For the cake:
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
220g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
80ml milk
300g self raising flour

To sandwich the sponge:
110g raspberry jam (I used seedless; this amount is a guideline – use what you think looks right)

Swiss meringue buttercream (optional):

4 egg whites

250g caster sugar

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 tablespoon raspberry jam (seedless)
Optional: dash of red colouring


- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

- Line the bases of two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins with baking paper.

- Start by making the cakes: Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage as this is when you get lots of lovely air into your sponge.

- Beat in the eggs gradually, add some of the flour if it looks like it might curdle.

- Beat in the milk.

- Stir in the flour until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

- Spoon into the prepared tins and level the surface.

- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Another good sign is if the sponge is just pulling away from the edge of the tin.

- Leave to cool in the tins for about 20 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

- You can make the sponges a day in advance and store in an airtight tin.

If you’re using it, now make the swiss meringue buttercream: Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir pretty much constantly to prevent the egg from cooking.

- After 5-10 minutes, when the sugar has dissolved (when you cannot see any crystals on the back of the spoon), remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water and whisk until the meringue has puffed up and the mix is cool.

- Add the butter and coconut extract to the meringue and whisk until the butter has been completely incorporated into the meringue. At first it will look a disaster – it will collapse and look curdled but don’t worry! Stop when the mixture is smooth, light and fluffy.

- Beat in the jam and colouring, if using.

- Take one of the sponges and cover with the jam. If you are using the buttercream also spread some of this over the jam before placing the other sponge on top.

- If you are making the simple version dust the top with icing sugar and you’re done! Otherwise cover the cake with the rest of the buttercream and decorate as you wish.

- Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.

- Eat.


C said...

Happy Birthday to you both!!! Love the bells and whistles decoration and hope you've had a lovely day!

I heart cupcakes said...

Happy Birthday to you both! I adore the Hello Kitty cake -seriously cute! Have a slice for me ;)

Jacqueline said...

Wow, that is the most amazing cake ever CC! Wow! I know I am going to dream about that cake and could never hope to reproduce it quite like that in a month of Sundays!

Happy Birthday sweetie :)

trashalou said...

Happy Birthday to you Oh delightful and talented Caked Crusader. You share this occasion with my own Princess Curly-Wurly and we made your yoghurt cake AND your go-to-chocolate sponge for party tea and breakfast birthday cakes respectively :-)

GeNiaL said...

That is absolutely stunningly adorable!!

Ling's Passion said...

Happy Birthday to you both. I love the Hello Kitty cake.

The Sugar Fairy said...

Happy Happy Birthday CC dear
Happy days will come to you all year
If I had one wish then it would be
A happy happy birthday to you from me.

I love making my own birthday cake, you can have it exactly how you want it. Your cakes is awesome especially since it's made of a simple Victoria sponge.

Sam said...

Happy birthday! I love the cakes especially your bells and whistles cake!

Lucie said...

oh this is just adorable! Well done, hope you had a lovely time. Lucie x

Emily said...

Is that Hello Kitty?! That cake is glorious! I love it.

I want to take a big bite. Omph.

Katie said...

Awww the cake is so cute and what a lovely happy colour. Love the idea of the raspberry and coconut buttercream! Sounds delicious

Cakelaw said...

Happy birthday to you and your bf's mother! I adore your cake - pink and white and perfect! Raspberry coconut sounds like a delicious combination.

the princess said...

happy birthday! i want your cake!!

pigpigscorner said...

aww so cute!

Janice said...

Wow, brilliant cakes both. The purist version really lets you see how fab your cake making skills are. Hello Kitty made me laugh, esp the marshmallows!! Happy Belated Birthday.

Gloria said...

Happy belated birthday! This look amazing and delicious! gloria

glamah16 said...

Happy Belated Birthday. I will take the one with Bells and Whistles!