Basic Sponge Sandwich

Basic Sponge Sandwich

 

A simple light sponge recipe that is the basis of many kinds of sponge cakes, the famous one being the Victoria Sponge Sandwich. This basic sandwich sponge can be filled with a conserve or creamy filling and the top iced, usually with a soft icing, or simply covered with caster or icing sugar/powdered sugar.

 

Basic Sponge Sandwich
Prepares: 6–8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20–25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 115g (4 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 115g (4 oz) butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • You will also need 2 x 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins, greased and base-lined.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  3. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer makes this cake very quick to prepare.

  4. First, sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl to introduce as much air as possible.

  5. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix for 1 minute until the mixture is creamy.

  6. Divide evenly between the two pans and level the tops.

  7. Bake towards the top of the oven on the same shelf for 20–25 minutes until firm to the touch. The sponge should spring back when gently tapped with a fingertip.

  8. Leave in the tins for 1–2 minutes then carefully remove, peel off the linings and cool on a wire cooling rack.

  9. For a deeper sponge
  10. This is known as a two-egg cake, for a deeper sponge use 3 eggs and increase the rest of the ingredients accordingly, and bake for 30–35 minutes.

  11. This mixture will also make
  12. This quantity of mixture will also be sufficient for 18 cup cakes, a 18cm (7 inch) square cake, a 20cm (8 inch) round cake or a 23cm (9 inch) ring cake.

  13. For flavourings
  14. Chocolate
  15. Add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder blended with 1 tablespoon of boiling water.

  16. Coffee
  17. Add 2 teaspoons of coffee extract or 2 teaspoons of instant coffee blended with 1 teaspoon of boiling water.

  18. Citrus
  19. Add 1 teaspoon of grated orange, lemon or lime rind.

  20. Tips
  21. Always line the base of the tin even if it is non-stick. When greasing, brush butter on evenly. The cake will still stick if it is greased unevenly.

  22. Have everything weighed or measured before beginning to mix.

  23. No self raising flour? Add 1 level teaspoon baking powder to every 115g (4 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour. Sift the flour twice to incorporate as much air as possible and mix the two ingredients together thoroughly.

  24. Butter should be at room temperature for baking. If you’ve forgotten to take it out of the fridge, it can be microwaved on defrost for 20–30 seconds, until the butter is soft but still holds its shape.

  25. Leave at least 1 inch space all round tins so that the heat can circulate freely.

  26. Give the sponges the baking time suggested in the recipe but use this as a guide. Ovens vary – some are hotter and so cakes will take less time to cook and vice versa. It is better to start checking a few minutes before the allotted time. and if the cake is cooked in less time take it out of the oven. Conversely, if it is not ready at the allotted time allow a couple more minutes and check again. Also, when a cake is ready you can smell it. So your sight and smell are good allies.
  27. To tell when they are ready, gently touch in the centre with the fingertips and, if the mixture feels springy and no imprints remain, the cakes are baked. They should also shrink away from around the sides of the tin.

  28. For more tips, here's a link to my page on Baking Cakes.

Updated: October 3, 2018

Victoria Day Sponge Sandwich

Victoria Day Sponge Sandwich with Sprinkles

Next weekend is the Victoria Day weekend here in Canada and, as we are having the family over, I shall make a special dessert to celebrate it.

 

Celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday on May 24 goes back to 1845 in Canada, so I thought I would base a cake on the classic Victoria Sponge Sandwich. Apparently, Queen Victoria enjoyed a slice of cake with her afternoon tea and this cake was named after her.  All I have added is the maple leaf to symbolize the Canadian connection.

 

Victoria Day Sponge Sandwich
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For cake
  • 170g (6 oz) self-raising flour/self rising flour (1 cup + 3 tbsp)
  • 170g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
  • 170g (6 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.)

  • For the filling and decoration
  • 115g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 225g (8 oz) icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted (2 cups)
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp raspberry jam
  • icing sugar/powdered sugar for sifting
  • red sprinkles
  • maple leaf template (I printed a shape found on the internet and made sure the size would fit on the top of the cake)

  • Equipment
  • 2 x 18cm/7 inch sandwich tins, base lined and greased


  1. Method
  2. For cake
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas mark 3)

  4. Using a free-standing mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until they are creamy and pale yellow in colour.

  5. Next beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour. (Adding the flour prevents any curdling)

  6. Finally, carefully fold in the rest of the flour until just combined. You want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture.

  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and level the tops. Bake towards the top of the oven on the same shelf for 30–35 minutes until firm to the touch. (When pressing a finger gently on top of the cake in the middle it should spring back and not leave a depression)

  8. Leave in the tins for 2 minutes then carefully remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

  9. Using an all-in-one method in a free-standing mixer
  10. The ingredients can be mixed at the same time using a free standing mixer. To make sure you get a good rise, add 1½ teaspoons baking powder.

  11. Sift the flour and baking powder together into the mixing bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1 minute.

  12. For the filling
  13. Beat the butter, then gradually beat in the icing sugar/powdered sugar until light and creamy. (A free-standing mixer does this in no time)

  14. Warm the lemon juice and add to the butter icing.

  15. Once the sponge is cool, invert one of the sponges and place on a plate. Reserve two tablespoons of the icing, spread the remaining buttercream over the sponge, and then cover evenly with the jam. Top with the remaining sponge.

  16. For the decoration
  17. Press a piece of kitchen paper over the top of the cake to absorb any excess moisture.

  18. From the template, cut out the maple leaf, leaving the paper around it intact as you will be needing both pieces. Place the maple leaf section in the middle on top of the cake and, keeping this in place, thickly dust the icing sugar/powdered sugar around the edge. Carefully lift off the maple leaf template.

  19. Now, using the other template, cover the icing sugar/powdered sugar. While holding this in place, spread the remaining buttercream over the middle of the cake. Then sprinkle a thick layer of the red sprinkles over the buttercream and gently press down so they stay in place. Very carefully lift off the template.

Updated: July 3, 2017

Coffee Topped Sponge

Coffee Topped Victoria Sponge

 

This version of the classic sponge is filled and topped with coffee butter icing. In the U.K. this is known as coffee cake but in North America, coffee cake can be any cake meant to accompany a cup of coffee, which is why I called this one a coffee topped sponge.

 

Coffee Topped Sponge
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 22 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For cake
  • 170g (6 oz) self-raising flour/self rising flour (1 cup + 3 tbsp)
  • 170g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
  • 170g (6 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.)

  • For the coffee buttercream
  • 115g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 225g (8 oz) icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp coffee essence/extract

  • Equipment
  • 2 x 18cm/7 inch sandwich tins, base-lined and greased


  1. Method
  2. For cake
  3. Preheat the oven to 160C° (325°F) (gas mark 3)

  4. Using a free standing mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until they are creamy and pale yellow in colour.

  5. Next beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour. (Adding the flour prevents any curdling)

  6. Finally, carefully fold in the rest of the flour until just combined. You want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture.

  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and level the tops. Bake towards the top of the oven on the same shelf for 30–35 minutes until firm to the touch. (When pressing a finger gently on top of the cake in the middle it shouldn’t leave a depression)

  8. Leave in the tins for 2 minutes, then carefully remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

  9. Using an all-in-one method in a free standing mixer
  10. The ingredients can be mixed at the same time using a free standing mixer. To make sure you get a good rise add 1½ teaspoons baking powder.

  11. Sift the flour and baking powder together into the mixing bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1 minute.

  12. For coffee buttercream
  13. Beat the butter, then gradually beat in the icing/powdered sugar until light and creamy. (A free standing mixer does this in no time.)

  14. Beat in the coffee essence/extract until it is well mixed in.

  15. To assemble
  16. Once the sponges are cold, carefully invert one onto a plate and evenly spread half the buttercream over. Then place the other sponge on the top and evenly spread the remaining buttercream over the top of this.

  17. To make a pattern, make straight lines through the buttercream using a fork. Just pull steadily through the surface of the buttercream. Then diagonally pull the fork through at intervals.

  18. For more tips on cake baking, click on my ‘Tips’ section.

Updated: March 10, 2017

Classic Victoria Sponge Sandwich

Classic Victoria Sponge Sandwich

 

The Victoria sponge was named after Queen Victoria who was partial to a slice of cake with her afternoon tea. Below you will find the basic recipe and some variations, including the classic version which is filled with raspberry jam and vanilla cream, and dusted with icing sugar.

 

Classic Victoria Sponge Sandwich
Prepares: Approximately 10 slices
 
  • Preparation time: 22 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For cake
  • 170g (6 oz) self-raising flour/self rising flour (1 cup + 3 tbsp)
  • 170g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened (¾ cup/1½ sticks)
  • 170g (6 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.)

  • For filling and decorating
  • 85g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened (⅜ cup/¾ stick)
  • 170g (6 oz) icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar, sifted (1½ cups)
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar, for sifting

  • Equipment
  • 2 x 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins, base-lined and greased


  1. Method
  2. For cake
  3. Preheat the oven to 160C° (325°F) (gas mark 3)

  4. Using a free standing mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until they are creamy and pale yellow in colour.

  5. Next beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour. (Adding the flour prevents any curdling)

  6. Finally, carefully fold in the rest of the flour until just combined. You want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture.

  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and level the tops. Bake towards the top of the oven on the same shelf for 30–35 minutes until firm to the touch. (When pressing a finger gently on top of the cake in the middle it shouldn’t leave a depression)

  8. Leave in the tins for 2 minutes then carefully remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

  9. Using an all-in-one method in a free standing mixer
  10. The ingredients can be mixed at the same time using a free standing mixer. To make sure you get a good rise, add 1½ teaspoons baking powder.

  11. Sift the flour and baking powder together into the mixing bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1 minute.

  12. For the filling and decoration
  13. Beat the butter, then gradually beat in the icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar until light and creamy. (A free standing mixer does this in no time.)

  14. Beat in the vanilla and hot water until smooth.

  15. Once the sponge is cool, invert one of the sponges and place on a plate. Spread the buttercream evenly over the sponge and then cover evenly with the jam. Top with the remaining sponge.

  16. Then press a piece of kitchen paper over the top of the cake to absorb any excess moisture and, using a small sieve, thickly dust with icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar.

  17. For more tips on cake baking, click on my ‘Tips’ section.

Updated: March 10, 2017

Simple Victoria Sponge Sandwich

Simple Victoria Sponge Sandwich

 

Simple Victoria Sponge Sandwich
Prepares: Approximately 10 slices
 
  • Preparation time: 12 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For cake
  • 170g (6 oz) self-raising flour /self rising flour (1 cup + 3 tbsp)
  • 170g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened (¾ cup/1½ sticks)
  • 170g (6 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.)

  • For filling and decorating
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • caster sugar/fine white sugar for dredging

  • Equipment
  • 2 x 18cm/7 inch sandwich tins, base-lined and greased


  1. Method
  2. For cake
  3. Preheat the oven to 160C° (325°F) (gas mark 3)

  4. Using a free standing mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until they are creamy and pale yellow in colour.

  5. Next beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with a tablespoon of flour. (Adding the flour prevents any curdling)

  6. Finally, carefully fold in the rest of the flour until just combined. You want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture.

  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and level the tops. Bake towards the top of the oven on the same shelf for 30–35 minutes until firm to the touch. (When pressing a finger gently on top of the cake in the middle it shouldn’t leave a depression)

  8. Leave in the tins for 2 minutes then carefully remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

  9. Using an all-in-one method in a free standing mixer
  10. The ingredients can be mixed at the same time using a free standing mixer. To make sure you get a good rise, add 1½ teaspoons baking powder.

  11. Sift the flour and baking powder together into the mixing bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients and beat for 1 minute.

  12. For filling and decorating
  13. Invert one of the sponges and evenly spread with the jam. Top with the other sponge and gently press down.

  14. Then press a piece of kitchen paper over the top of the cake to absorb any excess moisture and dredge with the caster sugar/white sugar.

  15. For more tips on cake baking, click on my ‘Tips’ section.

Updated: March 10, 2017