Victoria Sponge Celebration Cake

 

April is set to be a busy month full of birthdays, and the special dates that I have marked out in my diary, will of course warrant baking a birthday cake or two! As I pretty much love any excuse to bake, yesterday I decided to whip out my whisk and mixing bowl, and, set to work on a sweet new invention, ahead of the upcoming celebrations in my calendar. Whilst looking for inspiration, I spotted this celebratory 'Victoria sponge cake' recipe, in Davina's '5 Weeks To Sugar-Free.' What a party on plate! Just look at that pretty bundle of fresh fruit, tempting any sly hand to steal a bite!

If you fancy a slice of my take on Davina's delicious cake, here are the ingredients you will need...

225 g unsalted butter

225 g wholemeal spelt flour or sweet and nutty spelt flour

2 tsp of baking powder

3 large eggs

225 g maple syrup (I actually used 200 g of sugar, as I didn't have maple syrup in - cheating a bit I know, especially as this is supposed to be sugar-free - but it did work!)

1 heaped tsp vanilla essence

Topping

300 ml double cream

~ 5 large fresh strawberries

~ 40 fresh blueberries

A dusting of icing sugar

* I have adapted Davina's recipe, but taken inspiration from most of the ingredients she uses, and her cooking methods too.*


Switch on the oven to 180 degrees, and then grab two mixing bowls. In the first one, place the butter and whip it up with an electric whisk or wooden spoon, until it is creamy in colour, light and fluffy.

In the second mixing bowl, measure in the spelt flour and baking powder and mix together. 

Switch back to the first mixing bowl; add an egg to the butter and combine...

Then fold in the flour, a tablespoonful at a time. Now, add the last of the eggs and also bring over the sugar and vanilla essence to the bowl. Ensure all of the ingredients are combined thoroughly. Don't panic if your sponge batter resembles porridge, just like mine below! It should drop off of the spoon ever so slightly, if it doesn't, add a couple of small teaspoons of milk. As long as it is not wet and sloppy, it will be fine. 

Grease your cake tin with lots of butter, or line with baking parchment, if you prefer. If you want to follow Davina's cooking method, you'll need two cake tins, so divide the mixture between the two tins evenly. Or, if you fancy baking one sponge like me, place all of the batter into the tin and smooth over the surface, this prevents a dome shape cake once cooked!

Pop in your preheated oven for ~20 minutes, but I suggest checking it after 15, just to make sure it's turning a wonderful golden brown, and not catching under the heat.

In the meantime, whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks, then set aside...

Once your cake has cooked (it should be springy to touch and if you insert a sharp knife in the centre, it should come out clean), leave to cool completely before turning it out onto a cooling tray.

Assemble your toppings! This is the fun bit and the choice is yours; I used freshly bought strawberries and blueberries, which worked a treat. However, any summer fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants or blackcurrants would look just as fabulous!

Slather the top of the cake in a thick layer of whipped cream then decorate with the fruit. Or, if you opted for the Victoria sponge sandwich, spoon the cream on top of one of the cakes and spread out to the edges, add the fruit, then press the second cake layer on top gently. Lastly, dust the entire cake in a snowful of icing sugar...

I have one small confession to make about my Victoria sponge celebration cake... Just before the cake reached the oven, I placed the wet mixture into a tart tin rather than a cake tin. As a result, the sponge, once cooked and ready to place on a cooling tray, could not be turned out, not for love nor money! It wouldn't budge from the tart tin, (even though I had greased the tin within an inch of it's life) it just wasn't having any of it! So, I ended up scooping the cake out onto a plate which didn't look quite so pretty (hence the lack of photos showcasing a slice of cake). However, it did taste just as I had hoped; a light, fluffy sponge topped with frothy whipped cream and a fruitilicious crown. 

I will definitely be making this recipe again for the birthdays I have coming up, I'll just make sure I use a proper cake tin next time round!

Do you have any family or friends birthdays you're getting ready to celebrate? Or, is your special day just around the corner?! If so, I'd love to know if my cake makes it to your party table! I think it would attract a jolly crowd of cake lovers :)