I'm loving getting back into baking again! Especially since baking loads of treats over the colder months, I took a little baking break and now I can't wait to start baking loads more for Spring. Last week I had some spare time to bake and when I looked in the fridge and saw we had a bunch of strawberries that needed to be used up, I thought why not bake a classic Victoria Sponge!
Although probably seen as one of the easiest and most well known cakes to bake, you can still change up the recipe and use different ways of decorating the cake. Even Paul Hollywood mentioned on GBBO that even the 'fail safe' cakes have to perfect! So I wanted to try out something a little bit more fancy for once and whilst having a search about on Pinterest for some Victoria Sponge ideas my idea was to pipe the buttercream around the top of the cake and place sliced strawberries on top of the buttercream.
However things didn't go according to plan. I may have made the buttercream too thick and didn't think to mix in some more milk before I scooped it all into the piping bag. And you can all probably imagine what happened next. The buttercream got stuck in the piping bag...
Trying to get buttercream back out of a piping bag is really not fun at all, it got seriously messy.
So instead I just used a dusting of icing sugar and placed the sliced strawberries on top of the cake! This is my favourite Victoria Sponge recipe from The Great British Bake Off Big Book Of Baking but I have changed it up slightly because I didn't have any mascarpone for the cream cheese frosting so instead I just went for the simple buttercream icing to sandwich the cake together with the jam.
And so without further ado here's a recipe for a Spring time classic Victoria Sponge!
For the sponge
180g unsalted butter,
at room temperature
180g caster sugar
3 medium free-rage eggs,
at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
180g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon warm water
For the filling
3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter,
7 ounces icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
Punnet of fresh strawberries (optional)
1. Line 2 cake tins with greaseproof paper (note, I used one large cake tin). Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Beat the butter in a mixing bowl with a hand whisk or free-standing electric mixer until the butter is very creamy. Making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each mix. Gradually beat in the sugar a few spoons at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate together.
2. Beat the eggs and the vanilla extract in a bowl with a fork until mixed. Gradually add a small amount of egg mixture to the butter cream beating well after each addition. Add one spoon of flour with each addition of egg mixture to prevent the mixture form curdling or looking lumpy.
3. Sift in the flour and gently fold with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the tablespoon of warm water and continue to fold until the flour is fully combined.
4. Divide the mixture between the 2 cake tins and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the sponges are light golden brown and beginning to shrink away from the side of the tin. If using one large cake tin, my cake was ready between 40-45 minutes but it also depends on your oven too.
5. Run a round bladed knife around the inside of each cake tin to loosen the sponges, then leave for a minute or so to firm up before turning out on to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely before decorating.
6. For the filling, beat together the butter and icing sugar with the milk until smooth and creamy. If the buttercream is too thick then simply add another splash of milk. You can either pipe the buttercream onto the jam layer or simply spread with a large pallet knife. Sandwich the two sponges together and dust with a coating of icing sugar on top of the cake. Place sliced strawberries on top or simply leave the cake as it is with a dusting of icing sugar.
What's your favourite Spring recipe?