Easy James Martin Victoria Sponge Recipe

Last updated on March 4, 2024

James Martin Victoria Sponge Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 25 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins

Welcome to a classic British treat, the James Martin Victoria Sponge Recipe—a complete step-by-step guide that will lead you to bake the most flawless and delightful Victoria Sponge Cake. This cake is not just any dessert; it’s a symbol of elegance, simplicity, and the rich tradition of British afternoon tea. Known for its light, airy sponge, and the delicious jam and cream sandwiched between, this cake promises to be a heart-stealer at any gathering.

This recipe is designed to serve 8-10 people and can be prepared and baked in about an hour, making it perfect for those seeking both elegance and convenience in their culinary endeavors.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through each step of making James Martin’s iconic Victoria Sponge, ensuring that you’re equipped with all the tips and tricks to make this cake a staple in your dessert repertoire.

What is Victoria Sponge Cake?

The Victoria Sponge Cake is a quintessential British cake, named after Queen Victoria, who was known to enjoy a slice with her afternoon tea. It’s a simple yet elegant cake that features two soft, vanilla-flavored sponge cakes sandwiched together with a layer of jam and, traditionally, whipped cream.

James Martin Victoria Sponge

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simplicity at Its Best: Despite its royal associations, this cake is surprisingly easy to make, requiring straightforward ingredients and techniques.
  • Versatility: Perfect for any occasion, from a casual afternoon tea to a celebratory event.
  • Customizable: While traditional fillings include raspberry jam and whipped cream, the cake offers a blank canvas for your favorite flavors.

Ingredients Needed to Make James Martin Victoria Sponge

To make James Martin Victoria Sponge, you need the following ingredients:

  • 225g (8 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g (8 oz) Caster Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 225g (8 oz) Self-Raising Flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100ml (3.5 oz) Milk, to loosen
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Filling:

  • 150ml (5 oz) Double Cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 100g (3.5 oz) Raspberry or Strawberry Jam
  • Icing Sugar, for dusting

Instructions to Make James Martin Victoria Sponge

Here is step by step guide to make James Martin Victoria Sponge:

Step 1: Preparing the Cake Batter

  • Preheat Your Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). This ensures a consistent baking environment for your sponge.
  • Grease and Line: Lightly butter two 20cm (8-inch) round cake tins before lining them with parchment paper. This step is crucial for easy removal of the cakes after baking.
  • Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with the caster sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This process introduces air into the batter, contributing to the sponge’s lightness.
  • Add Eggs: Crack the eggs into the bowl, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. If the mixture starts to curdle, add a tablespoon of flour to stabilize it.
  • Fold in Flour: Gently fold in the sifted self-raising flour and baking powder, being careful not to overmix and deflate the batter.
  • Loosen the Mixture: If the batter is too thick, add milk to reach a dropping consistency—that is, it should fall off a spoon easily.
  • Divide and Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool: Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 2: Assembling the Cake

  • Whip the Cream: While the cakes are cooling, whip the double cream to soft peaks. Be careful not to overwhip.
  • Spread Jam: Choose one cake layer to be the base and spread a generous layer of your chosen jam over the top.
  • Add Whipped Cream: Spoon the whipped cream over the jam, spreading it evenly.
  • Top with Second Sponge: Carefully place the second sponge on top and gently press down.
  • Dust with Icing Sugar: Finally, dust the top of the cake with icing sugar for a beautiful finish.

James Martin Victoria Sponge

What Do I Serve With James Martin Victoria Sponge?

Pairing the right accompaniments can elevate the Victoria Sponge experience, making it even more delightful.

  • Fresh Berries: A selection of fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries complements the cake’s sweetness and adds a refreshing touch.
  • Clotted Cream: For an indulgent twist, serve with clotted cream alongside the traditional whipped cream filling.
  • Tea or Coffee: A classic British afternoon tea or a robust coffee makes the perfect beverage pairing for this light sponge cake.
  • Ice Cream: A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side can be a delightful addition, especially during warmer months.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect James Martin Victoria Sponge

Achieving that perfect sponge cake is all about mastering the basics and paying attention to detail.

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure your butter and eggs are at room temperature to achieve a smooth batter.
  • Do Not Over-mix: Mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined to keep the sponge light and airy.
  • Even Baking: Divide the batter evenly between two pans to ensure uniform baking and even layers.
  • Cooling Time: Allow the cakes to cool completely before filling to prevent the cream from melting.

Variations of James Martin Victoria Sponge

The classic Victoria Sponge is a canvas for creativity.

Here are some delightful variations to try.

  • Lemon Twist: Add the zest of 1 lemon to the batter and fill with lemon curd and whipped cream for a citrusy variation.
  • Chocolate Sponge: Incorporate 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the flour for a chocolate version, paired with cherry jam and whipped cream.
  • Nutty Affair: Mix finely chopped nuts into the batter for a crunchy texture, and use Nutella as part of the filling for a nutty flavor.
  • Seasonal Fruits: Top the cream layer with seasonal fruits like peaches or apricots in the summer for a fresh take.

How do I Store James Martin Victoria Sponge Leftovers?

Proper storage is key to maintaining the cake’s moisture and flavor.

  • Airtight Container: Store the cake in an airtight container to keep it from drying out.
  • Refrigerate: If filled with cream, refrigerate the cake to keep the filling fresh.
  • Separate Layers: Consider storing the sponge layers and cream separately and assembling them before serving if possible.
  • Room Temperature: For a short storage period (up to a day), keep it at room temperature if unfilled or filled with jam only.

How do I Reheat James Martin Victoria Sponge Leftovers?

While Victoria Sponge is best enjoyed fresh, careful reheating can revive its texture.

  • Avoid Microwave: It’s not recommended to microwave the cake as it can make the sponge chewy.
  • Oven Method: Briefly warm in a preheated oven (160°C/320°F) for about 5-7 minutes. This method works best if the cake is unfrosted or filled with jam only.
  • Serve at Room Temperature: Alternatively, simply bring the cake to room temperature before serving, especially if it has been refrigerated, to enhance its flavor and texture.

Nutrition Value List:

  • Calories: Approximately 400-450 kcal (based on an 8-serving size)
  • Fat: About 25g (with 15g of saturated fat)
  • Carbohydrates: Roughly 45g
  • Sugar: Approximately 30g
  • Protein: Around 5g
  • Sodium: About 0.3g

FAQs

Can I Make James Martin Victoria Sponge Without a Stand Mixer?

Absolutely, you can make this cake without a stand mixer. Use a hand mixer or even a whisk and a good amount of elbow grease to cream the butter and sugar, then to incorporate the eggs and flour. The key is to ensure the mixture is smooth and well-combined without overmixing, which can be achieved with patience and persistence.

How Long Does James Martin Victoria Sponge Last?

When stored properly, James Martin Victoria Sponge can last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. If the cake is unfilled or filled with jam only (and not cream), it can last at room temperature for up to 2 days. Always ensure it’s kept in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and prevent it from drying out.

Can I Freeze James Martin Victoria Sponge?

Yes, the sponge layers of James Martin Victoria Sponge can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap each layer individually in cling film and then aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before filling and serving. However, it’s best to add the cream and jam-filling fresh.

What’s the Best Way to Ensure My Sponge Cake is Fluffy and Light?

The fluffiness and lightness of the sponge cake depend significantly on how well the eggs and sugar are beaten together. They should be whisked until the mixture is pale, fluffy, and has doubled in volume. This incorporates air into the batter, which is key to a light sponge. Additionally, sifting the flour before gently folding it into the mixture helps maintain the incorporated air, resulting in a fluffier cake.

Final Words

The James Martin Victoria Sponge is a timeless classic that embodies the essence of British baking. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the world of cakes, this recipe promises to guide you to a perfect Victoria Sponge every time. Happy baking!

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