Apologies for the late post – we’ve been getting much of the flat replastered this week (not at our expense, we rent) and so after putting everything back to it’s rightful place in the living room and cleaning up a bit, most of our evening was gone last night.
It was a colleague’s birthday this week, and it fell to me to make the birthday cake. I wanted something light, summery and not too sweet – definitely something not smothered in icing. So I decided to make a traditional Victoria sponge, sandwiched with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
For this cake, I tried the method of weighing the eggs in their shells and then using the same weight of butter, sugar and flour, and it worked really well, so I’d do that again.
Victoria Sponge Cake (Serves 12 – £4.48)
- 4 medium eggs, weighed in their shell (mine weighed 195g) 93p
- The same weight caster sugar 30p
- The same weight self-raising flour 6p
- The same weight baking fat/butter 43p
- 1 tsp baking powder 4p
- 1-2 tsp icing sugar 2p
For the filling:
- 2/3 300ml carton whipping cream 70p
- 1 punnet strawberries £2
Preheat the oven to 180C, well-grease two sandwich tins and dust very well with flour.
Beat the baking fat and sugar together (I used an electric whisk but a wooden spoon will do) until creamy and combined. Beat the eggs, and add them gradually, mixing in well after each addition. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently.
Divide between the two prepared tins and smooth the top. Bake at 180C for 25-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleana nd the sponge is golden without being burnt. Remove from the tins and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, whisk the cream (you will find this a lot easier with an electric whisk) until it forms stiff peaks, being careful not to overwhip. Cut the green tops off the strawberries and cut into quarters*. When the cake is cooled, put the less-nice cake on a stand or plate, fill with a generous helping of whipped cream, then top with most of the strawberries. Put the other layer on top, dust with icing sugar, and pile the remaining strawberries in the middle for decoration. Enjoy with the leftover whipped cream or just on it’s own (be warned – this cake is messy to eat and cut!).
*you can also use raspberries or blueberries, or any combination of berries, or jam.
Yes, you can buy cakes cheaper (in fact you can get ones to serve 6 for £1, so less than half the price), BUT they aren’t filled with all these lovely fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream, and they don’t often use free range eggs. Most of the cost comes from the strawberries, so use jam for a more frugal option which would be comparable to supermarket costs).