The best starting recipe for beginner bakers, Victoria sandwich is a classic cake that is sure to impress guests.
Best known as the steely-eyed judge on The Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood has shared his own recipe for Victoria sponge, which he describes as the perfect first cake for novices.
“If you’re new to baking, this should be your very first cake. If you get it right, everything else will be easy,” says Paul Hollywood.
“You can make a Victoria sandwich using the all-in-one method, where you mix everything together in a bowl at the same time, but I encourage you to cream the fats and sugar together before adding the eggs, flour and raising agent, as you’ll learn a lot about baking this way.
“Baking is a science. That’s why, in this recipe, we weigh the eggs first and then adjust the quantities of the other ingredients to get the perfect balance.
“Traditionally, it’s filled with just jam, but if you’re feeling indulgent, feel free to add whipped cream or buttercream.”
Paul Hollywood’s Victoria sandwich
It’s a classic for a reason.
Preparation Time 25 mins
Cooking Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
4 large eggs (in their shells)
About 270g caster sugar
About 270g self-raising flour
About 135g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease the tins
About 135g soft margarine
125g raspberry jam (good-quality)
A little caster sugar, to sprinkle
Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper. Weigh the eggs first (in their shells), then weigh the same quantity of sugar and flour. For the butter and the margarine, you need half the weight of the eggs.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, margarine and sugar together using an electric whisk until pale in colour and light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.
Beat the eggs together in a jug, then gradually add to the mixture, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. Sift the flour over the surface of the mixture and gently fold in, using a large metal spoon.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. To ensure the cakes are exactly the same size you can weigh the cake mixture into each tin. Gently smooth the surface with the back of the spoon to level it.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes until risen, golden brown and the cakes spring back in the centre when lightly touched with a fingertip. They should be slightly shrunken away from the edges of the tin. Leave the cakes in the tins for five minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
When cold, sandwich the cakes together with the raspberry jam and sprinkle the top with a little caster sugar.
Bake: My Best Ever Recipes For The Classics by Paul Hollywood is published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Photography by Haarala Hamilton. Available now.