Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Victoria Sponge Birthday Cake

My Nigella cake stand got it's first outing recently and for a special occasion too! Boy was 6 years old. I've no idea how he got to that age so quickly, hasn't helped my broodiness one bit! I'm always a little bit fazed by celebration cakes as I have a deadline to meet (so no time for Bad Things to Happen) and it has to look at least halfway nice. Boy wanted me to make him a cake which I was secretly pleased about as he is very into Power Rangers and I thought he would prefer one of the themed cakes from the supermarket. I did look at them in a moment of desperation but the use by date was over 3 weeks away. There is something not quite right about a cake that keeps that long in my opinion. Sinister, I tell thee. He calls any sponge with jam and butter-cream 'birthday cake' so i thought that would be a good place to start. The recipe was from Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell. From her instructions it says to bake it all in one in a 9cm deep baking tin which I don't have and to be honest, I don't think you need. All the mixture would have fitted in my 5cm deep tin I'm sure but I did it in two halves anyway as I wanted a nice flat top for the icing.

Victoria Sponge Cake

225g unsalted butter, diced (or spread suitable for baking, I prefer this)
225g golden caster sugar

225g self raisin
g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder (I'm presuming it
means level ones)
4 eggs (book says medium but I always buy large and it do
esn't seem to make a difference)
100ml milk
  • Preheat oven to 170c fan/190c/Gas 5. Grease and base line one 20cm x 5cm deep tin, preferably with a removable base or two 20cm sandwich tins.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light
  • Add the eggs and milk and mix until incorporated
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and mix until smooth
  • Transfer to tin(s) and smooth the top
  • Bake for 50 mins for whole cake and 30 mins for sandwich layers, until a skewer in the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and leave to cool.
Filling and icing
raspberry seedless jam
55g unsalted butter, cubed
110g icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp boiling water
1 pack ready-to-roll white icing, eno
ugh to cover 1 x 20cm cake
  • Trim the domes from the cake layers so they fit together as neatly as possible. I used the cut sides innermost to leave the flat base at the top.
  • Spread the cut side of one layer with the jam
  • To make the butter-cream whisk the butter, icing sugar and boiling water together until fluffy. Spread this on the cut side of the other layer and sandwich together.
  • Using about 3/4 of the white icing, roll out into a circle slightly bigger than the top of the cake. Spread the icing with warmed jam and smooth onto the top of the cake then trim round the edge with a sharp knife.
Then you can decorate with icing pens, writing icing or whatever else. I used the rest of the icing and made it red with some food colouring paste (liquid would make it too runny) and cut out a number 6 freehand. I do have some number cutters but they weren't quite big enough and to be honest I was rushing at this point as Z was due back from school and I wanted it ready for when he came back. It's not hugely artistic but was a lot better once the candles were on.

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