WI Victoria sandwich

This cake is made using the ‘creaming method’, a method for making ‘rich’ cakes (used when a cake contains more than half fat to flour). This makes the cake light and even-textured. Creamed cakes will keep for several days in an airtight tin. See the basic recipe below with variations and hints for taking your baking further.

Ingredients

  • 170g butter, softened or soft margarine (straight from the fridge)
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • Raspberry jam to fill – good quality or homemade, if possible

Method

Set the oven to 160◦C (fan oven) or 180◦C/ gas mark 4.

Grease and line the bottom of 2 x 20cm/8-inch sandwich tins.

Cream the butter/margarine and sugar using a wooden spoon or electric beaters very thoroughly until pale in colour. Creaming well will create air in the mixture which will help the cake to rise.

Beat the eggs then gradually add them to the mixture, beating well each time.

Sieve the flour and fold lightly into the mixture with a metal spoon.

Check that the consistency of the mixture is ‘soft dropping’ – i.e. will just drop off the spoon. If you have measured accurately no extra liquid should be needed, however, if it is too thick you can add a little milk or water.

Divide equally between the 2 tins and bake for 25mins in the middle of the oven. They are ready when they are golden, shrunk from the sides of the tin and spring back when touched.

Remove from the oven and place on a cooling tray for 5 mins.

Carefully remove the cakes from the tins and sit them on a clean tea towel on top of the cooling tray.

Peel the paper off carefully and fill with raspberry jam when cold to avoid jam bleeding into the cake.

Finish your cake with a light dusting of caster sugar on top.


Notes

  • Traditionally the cake is made by weighing the eggs in their shells and then using this weight for each of the fat, sugar and flour.
  • Remove the butter from the fridge to soften before using (NB: this is not necessary with soft margarine).
  • If the mixture curdles (i.e. the fat and egg separate when you add the beaten egg) add a small amount of the flour and beat in. Continuing to leave a curdled mixture without remedying it will result in a heavier, close-textured cake.
  • To reduce the cost of the cake and increase the volume you could use half butter and half soft margarine. Use the soft margarine straight from the fridge.
  • If using large eggs, bear in mind they may weigh 7 ½ ozs/210g. If so make sure you use this weight for the other ingredients.
  • You can make a smaller sandwich cake with 2 medium eggs. These weigh in total about 4 oz/55g. If these are used, put the mixture in 2 18cm/7-inch sandwich tins and the cakes will need less time in the oven (around 20 minutes).

Varieties

  • Use the rind and juice of citrus fruits to make a lemon cake or similar.
  • Add dried fruit to make Queen cakes. To do this, use 75g currants and divide the mixture into patty tins or bun cases.
  • Divide the mixture into 24 muffin cases to make cupcakes. These can then be iced when cold.
  • Experiment with your flavourings. The varieties are endless: coffee, chocolate, strawberry puree, Pina Colada cupcakes, caramel and fudge etc.
  • To make a quicker, simpler cake, use the ‘all in 1' method. Put the fat, sugar, flour and eggs in together. Add 1 tsp baking powder and beat until soft and well mixed. This creates a nice tasting cake but it will not keep as long as the traditional method (and probably will win fewer competitions!).

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