I often feel like I need an excuse to make a cake and a birthday is the perfect one. I made this cake for my best friend’s mum’s birthday on Friday. I know that she prefers cakes that are less sweet and have less icing, so this is why I chose the Victoria sponge cake. If the less sweet but still as delicious cake appeals to you then this cake is definitely your cup of tea. It is the perfect ‘tea and cake’ cake.
This particular bake has an oh-so-very British heritage as it was a favourite of Queen Victoria. And seeing that it was Heritage Day yesterday it was actually quite fitting that I made this cake (fun fact: I have a British heritage).
The recipe for this cake is my granny’s and has been passed down to me. So it is a very special cake and means a lot to me and my mum. It should definitely be made with love.
Here is the how you make it.
This time my thoughts during the bake will be in pink.
2 cups/500ml of white sugar (I use a just under two cups to make it a little bit less sweet)
1 cup/250ml milk
6 tablespoons of oil
2 cups/500ml of cake flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
Strawberry jam and icing sugar (for the filling)
Equipment that you will need
2x 23cm round cake tins
1 large mixing bowl
Large metal spoon
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Grease the tins and line the bottoms with grease proof paper. Then grease the paper once you have put it in the tins (do this carefully as it makes helps the cake to come out smoothly and cleanly)
- Pour the milk and oil into a measuring jug and heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes (Be careful to not let it boil over)
- Place the milk and oil mixture aside to cool while you carry on with the rest of the cake
- Beat the sugar and eggs together in a large mixing bowl on high for 5 minutes until pale and creamy (they should be the consistency of thick cream)
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the sugar & egg mixture and fold in with a large metal spoon (Make sure that you do this quickly – and cut through the mixture rather than mixing it as this retains all of the air created by the eggs)
- At this stage your milk and oil mixture should still be warm, but not too hot. Pour it gently into the flour mixture and fold it in (the same way as the previous instruction)
- Once your mixture is fully combined, pour it evenly into the two greased and lined tins (you can use the end of a teaspoon to see if the mixture is separated evenly between the pans. Stick it in the one and see where the batter reaches then stick it in the other one and you will be able to see if they are at the same height)
- Tap the tins onto the countertop once each to make the big air bubbles pop
- Place the tins next to each other in the middle of the oven
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden on top, a knife comes out clean and the cake is starting to come away from the sides of the tin
- Once baked, cool the cakes in their tins on a wire cooling rack for about 15 minutes
- Turn the cakes out onto the wire cooling racks and wait until they are completely cool (shake the cakes to make sure that they have loosened properly. If they haven’t, just run a knife around the edges of the pan)
- Once the cakes are completely cool, spread a generous amount of jam on the top of one of the cakes and then place the other one on top (making a sandwich). Use the best looking cake for the top one
- Just before serving, sift icing sugar over the top of the cake
This cake is served best with tea (Earl Grey in my opinion – but I know there are some weak ass tea drinkers out there who turn their noses up at a good EG)
My tips about the cake
- This cake uses oil rather than butter because this makes the cake more moist (The butter would have made it a crispier cake)
- Line the base of the pan even if you are feeling lazy – you will thank yourself later when your cake comes out of the pan perfectly
- Always remember to lick out the bowl! No batter should go to waste
- It is honestly so super easy to make this cake. It only takes about an hour so it is the perfect last-minute-bake that will impress anyone who gets a taste
- It’s okay if you want to keep it all to yourself. We all need a cake binge once in a while
- A tea party with pretty teacups, a delicate cake stand and posh guests will complement this cake tremendously (but having it as a post braai dessert on a hot day could work too)
I hope that you have a go at making this cake as soon as you can – you will not regret it.