Monday, 7 October 2013

Mini Victoria sponge cakes

Mini Victoria sponge filled with vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam, topped with a fresh raspberry
A friend recently asked me for a standard, reliable Victoria sponge recipe and, checking through the blog, I realised that I haven’t written up the recipe that I generally use. My sponge cake is a bit of an amalgam of various recipes – picking up ideas from different people and traditions! 

Rather than just writing up the recipe, I thought I had better give it a run out and this seemed like an excellent opportunity to use this year’s favourite baking tin: the Lakeland mini sandwich tin. However, I didn’t really think too much about quantities and so made the standard quantity for a two layer Victoria sponge – half of this would have been plenty for the tin! Therefore, I ended up popping the spare mixture into cupcake cases to make Victoria sponge cupcakes.

This recipe makes a beautifully light and fluffy sponge cake – it can be made as a quick all-in-one cake in the food processor but I haven’t tried this! My food processor is too small and I’m a bit of a traditionalist! A few tips to ensure that your sponge is light and fluffy:

  • Make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature
  • Beat the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes (with a stand / electric mixer, longer if by hand!)
  • Beat for at least 2 minutes after adding each egg, preferably more!
  • Fold the flour in carefully – do not beat at this stage, as this activates the gluten in the flour and will make your cake tough.
  • Add enough milk to create a smooth, soft mixture that drops off a spoon in smooth lumps – not so much that it runs off.

What you choose to fill it with is completely up to you! Traditionalists will argue whether a Victoria sponge is filled with jam / jam and cream and will tell you that it should not have a topping but merely dusted with icing/castor sugar. Personally, I love raspberry jam and whipped double cream as a filling, but this does require keeping the cake in the fridge if you are not serving immediately. On this occasion, I decided to fill with jam and vanilla buttercream. If you don’t make your own jam (I don’t!), I would strongly recommend mashing up raspberries and adding these to shop-bought jam – this adds a real zing and liveliness to the filling.

The cupcakes were very different to my standard vanilla cupcakes: these were very light and fluffy – almost melting to nothing in your mouth! The ones I generally make are a little denser and richer – I guess it is very much down to personal preference! I filled these with raspberry jam and topped with vanilla buttercream.

Victoria sponge cake
(for two 21cm sandwich tins, halve ingredients to fill the mini sandwich tin or to make 12 cupcakes)

    Victoria sponge cupcake filled with raspberry jam and topped with a swirl of vanilla buttercream and polka dot sprinkles
  1. 4 large eggs – weighed
  2. Equal weight of butter
  3. Equal weight of golden castor sugar
  4. Equal weight minus 30g of self-raising flour
  5. 30g cornflour
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1-2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  8. 3-4 tblsp milk (at room temperature) 

To fill and top
Vanilla buttercream:

  1. 115g butter, at room temperature
  2. 500g icing sugar, sifted
  3. 60ml milk (at room temperature)
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. 4 tablespoons raspberry jam
  2. 1 punnet raspberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 165C.
  2. Grease your chosen baking tins. Wilton’s cake release spray is fantastic!
  3. Cream the butter and the sugar – beating for at least 5 minutes with a stand / electric mixer, until the mix is pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and beat for at least 2 minutes after each addition. Add a spoonful of flour with each egg to prevent curdling.
  6. Gently fold in the rest of the flour, cornflour and baking powder.
  7. Add in milk, a little at a time, until you reach a soft, dropping consistency.
  8. Spoon evenly into your chosen tin.
  9. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes. The cake should be lightly golden, slightly pulling away from the edge of the tin and springy when gently touched.
  10. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
  11. Leave to cool for 15 minutes and then remove from tins.
  12. Cool on a wire rack.
To fill and top:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, 30ml milk, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat.
  3. Add the remaining milk as needed to reach a smooth, creamy texture.
  4. Mash half of the raspberries with a fork and stir into the jam.
  5. Spread or pipe some of the buttercream onto one half of the sandwich cake.
  6. Spoon jam on top of the buttercream.
  7. Gently place the second cake on top of the first.
  8. Top with piped buttercream and the remaining raspberries.
11 Victoria sponge cupcakes filled with raspberry jam and topped with a swirl of vanilla buttercream and polka dot sprinkles

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