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Victoria Sponge Recipe Please! (and cake help generally)

(32 Posts)
Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 14:44:34

Hi There - I have only got one cake recipe that I have used endlessly but I think I can do better. I like baking but I am the kind of person that needs explicit instructions, down to the last gram. Any hoo I make basic cupcakes and a Victoria sponge birthday cake approx. 3 x a year for the dc birthdays. I use a recipe I found years ago in an Annabel Karmel book (probably because that is all I had for ds1 first birthday) which is:

100g caster sugar (I use golden)
100g margarine (I use flora)
100g self raising flour
2 eggs
teaspoon of vanilla essence

I often double everything up to do 24 instead of 12 cakes - i.e double everything to 200g and 4 eggs.

This seems to work out ok for the cupcakes which taste and look pretty good.

However, I use this same mix for larger cake tins to make Victoria Sponge birthday cakes and I don't think the proportions are really right. So for a medium cake I'd be up to 5/6 eggs and 8 eggs for the large tin (which I now need for size of family) - which seems ridiculous so I sometimes only put 6 in. This worked ok in old oven at old house (non fan-assisted) though took hours to cook through. At new house it burns on the outside before is stops being sloppy on the inside and I have to cover it in foil.

I am pretty sure this is because the proportions are wrong for a larger cake mix. But I don't know what they should be. Can anyone help?

Also, can I substitute butter for the marg? (which I'd prefer). I also end up mixing by hand as this seems to make both cupcakes and big cakes come out better - but it's very time-consuimg and I'd rather use my mixer - should that work?

Plus I need some more recipe for different types of cake!! smile

4merlyknownasSHD Wed 09-Apr-14 15:30:29

Fom the patron saint of baking here

Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 15:31:50

PS I have a magimix mixer which I don't know how to use . Should I be using the Knife Blade or the Dough Blade for mixing cake mixture?

4merlyknownasSHD Wed 09-Apr-14 15:33:51

I don't know with a magimix, although you could do it by hand. You can get "Delia's Cakes" from Amazon for £5.

Groovester Wed 09-Apr-14 15:38:23

I swear by Mary Berry's Victoria Sponge. Always works and is super easy.

hellymelly Wed 09-Apr-14 15:43:28

225g (soft) unsalted butter, 225g sugar, 200g sr flour, 20g cornflour , 4 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3-4 tblsp milk (in 2 21cm cake tins) That is the recipe I use for a Victoria sponge and it is really good. Usual method. gas mark 4, 20 to 25 mins. Good butter makes much nicer cakes than marg I think.

Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 15:59:42

Thanks SHD - that doesn't seem like enough mixture though? If I wanted to double it would I put 4 eggs in?

Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 16:01:10

Right - I am going to try Nigella, Delia and Mary this weekend and see how it works out. I have also ordered an oven thermometer as the oven is 10y old - more tips welcome!

Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 16:02:40

And Helly's!

I am really surprised that everyone uses 2 smaller tims - I use one large on and cut it in half - maybe that is where I am going wrong?

Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 16:03:45

can you substitute butter for marg at will?

LyndaCartersBigPants Wed 09-Apr-14 16:22:50

Yes two small tins means it cooks quicker and so you don't get that soggy middle or slightly dense bit where it isn't cooked as well.

I still weigh in oz old gimmer so I do 6oz of everything and 3 eggs for 2 cake tins or about 12-18 little ones.

Little ones I cook for 12 mins at 180 c and the bigger ones at 160 c for about 25 mins. When I've made shaped cakes and done a dome or something in a bowl, it takes much longer and is always a bit dense.

I prefer using 'marg' for cakes even though I can't bear it normally. I find it gives a light result. Always butter for the icing though.

Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 17:00:46


4merlyknownasSHD Wed 09-Apr-14 17:02:12

Doing more small tins will allow you to cook them right through. Don't try and go too large though, because you will have a problem cooking the middle before the outside gets crispy. We experimented here at work in the test kitchen with 12" square Madeira cakes (much more forgiving than a light Victoria Sponge) and had great difficulty. The only way to get the heat quickly in to the middle of a very large cake is with a cake cone.

AllBellyandBoobs Wed 09-Apr-14 17:04:41

I use Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's method which is to weigh 4 eggs (still intact) and then use the same amount of flour, butter and sugar

LottieJenkins Wed 09-Apr-14 17:10:01

Another vote for Mary Berry!
I do 3 eggs, 6 oz flour sugar and butter!

TeacupDrama Wed 09-Apr-14 17:16:15

if making as one large cake and slicing into layers you would do better with maderia cake recipe

victoria sponges are meant to be cooked in 2 sandwich pans 3 eggs 7" tins 4 eggs 8" tins ( that is enough for both tins not 3 eggs in each)

as eggs vary in size I also weigh eggs and do exactly the same weight of butter flour and sugar if making chocolate substitute 1oz flour for 1oz cocoa ( not drinking chocolate)

HazeltheMcWitch Wed 09-Apr-14 17:26:12

The one in your OP is the old 4/4/4 ounces + 2 eggs, where 100g is the equivalent to 4oz. You can increase it to 6/6/6+3 (6oz=150g) and so on, but IMHO it's better for bun, cup cake-sized things. The weighing the eggs and going from there is a step on from this recipe.

The Nigella recipe is the one that helly listed, and is my preferred also for a single Vic sandwich cake - which I'd always cook in 2 tins. Always lovely and moist, always a lovely rise.

i think you get 'more' cake out of doing it in 2 tins, as you get a better rise.

Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 17:28:00

ooh tell me more about a chocolate cake! when you say not drinking chocolate do you mean use cocoa powder? Don't you have to add some actual chocolate for a chocolate cake? (this was going to be my next request - for chocolate cake recipes)

Thanks all for your help - I feel a bit less despondent about baking now and enthused to try it.

I made some fair cakes the other day and added cadburys drinking chocolate to the mix and they were quite nice - kids and other half are begging me to make more. Would cocoa powder be better?

Forago Wed 09-Apr-14 17:30:13

Hazel that is EXACTLY what I found - works great for cupcakes, not as well for one large sponge. Although, to be fair, in old oven they came out pretty well - just took hours to get cooked in the middle and I'd have to put tin foil over half way through to stop the top burning. NOW I understand why. Thank you.

addictedtosugar Wed 09-Apr-14 19:30:36

Yep, chocolate cake - remove about an oz of flour from whatever recipie you decide on, and replace with cocoa powder.

I will happily cook a 3 or 4 egg cake in a single tin. Oven to about 160 (fan).

I use butter for everything, except sponge cake. For that I use marg. Butter is fine, but takes a bit more beating. I've got a hand help electric mixer for cakes (and biscuits). Something like this

But then I have a very happy memory of Mum not managing to cook the middle of the cake, so we both dug in with spoons, and had raw, warm cake mixture. Yummy.


ImAThrillseekerHoney Wed 09-Apr-14 19:39:57

I swear by HFW's "weigh the eggs" method. Only Vic sponge I've ever got to work - and yes, the answer is to just scale up the ingredients but bake in two halves.

angelsfeet Wed 09-Apr-14 21:20:10

All in one in food processor. Bung in 8oz flour, sugar, marg and 4 medium eggs and 1 tablespoon hot water. Pulse till mixed. Dont over mix. Divide between 2 8 inch tins and bake for 20\25 mins. 160 fan oven.

TeacupDrama Wed 09-Apr-14 22:00:21

a gooey chocolate cake would have chocolate in but melted chocolate would alter consistency of a victoria type sponge too much it would be a very nice cake just not a victoria one

TeacupDrama Wed 09-Apr-14 22:01:12

yes I did mean real cocoa powder not drinking chocolate as that is not just chocolate but dairy powder etc does not give the richer taste cocoa does

hellymelly Wed 09-Apr-14 22:56:28

Yes, the recipe I use most is the Nigella one. From Domestic Goddess. I do sometimes do my Mum's, (the same as Hugh's, weighing the eggs), but I think the small amount of cornflour makes a difference, which is why I go with the Nigella. And I agree, it HAS to be in two tins. One big one cut is not the same at all. Not as light, or fluffy, and no smooth top to put the jam on, so it soaks in slightly. (Have a strong aversion to soaked sponge...uggh). Oh and I use bantam eggs, so they have a higher yolk to white ratio. That's just because I keep bantams, not some bizarre food snobbery, but I do think it improves the cake somehow. (Bantam eggs you use 3 for two)

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