Author Notes: Pretty much anything that comes out of Nigel Slater's kitchen is destined for greatness, even his modest Victoria sponge cake, which intrigued me with its four ingredients. I didn't have self-rising flour or golden baker's sugar, so I made some substitutions, with wonderful results. Makes one 9" round cake, so double the recipe for a two-layer cake, or do what I did and cut two wedges, spread one wedge with jam and whipped cream, top with another wedge. Dust with powdered sugar. You'll feel like the Queen.
Eaten plain with a cup of tea, or gussied up with jam and cream or lemon curd (or all three!), or simply dressed with a shower of confectioner's sugar, this is one versatile cake and perfect for any occasion. This recipe is adapted from Mr. Slater's Victoria sponge with raspberries and custard sauce from his cookbook, Ripe.
One caveat: this is NOT a moist cake. It's meant to be dressed in a blanket of sweet, bursting, juicy berries, or a jammy fruit spread. And whipped cream. Always, whipped cream. —mrslarkin
cup all-purpose unbleached flour, plus 1 tablespoon
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoons baking powder
cup unsalted butter, softened
cup granulated sugar
Your favorite jam, or macerated berries, or lemon curd
Confectioner's sugar (optional)
- Set oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9' x 1 1/2" round cake pan and line with parchment.
- Whisk and aerate the flour, salt and baking powder together. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat into the butter/sugar mixture.
- Gently mix in the flour until just incorporated. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool.
- Dress your cake any way you want. (see headnote)