Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

England's Victoria Sponge Cake

Servings: 8
This lovely cake was made especially for Queen Victoria, Queen of England from 1837 to 1901 when she died at age 100. She often enjoyed this cake at afternoon tea.

For the Cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest from 1/2 lemon, coarsely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz./226g) unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs
2 tablespoons warm milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1 cup strawberry jam
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Confectioners' sugar
Sliced strawberries (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly butter and flour 2 (8 x 1-1/2-inch) round cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together twice. Set aside.

2. For the Cake:
In a food processor or blender, process or blend (on highest speed) lemon zest and granulated sugar until finely ground, about 1 minute. Pour into large mixing bowl. Add softened butter. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add to butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition and adding 1 tablespoon flour mixture during the last 3 additions.

4. Gradually beat in remaining flour mixture, beating until smooth and shiny. Pour into prepared cake pans. Smooth tops.

5. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes until top is golden-brown and springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool in pans set on racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on racks.

6. Assembling the Cake:
Invert one cooled cake layer on serving plate. Spread with jam, then half of the whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border around edge of cake.

7. Top with second cake layer, right side up. Sift confectioners' sugar over top of cake or top cake with remaining half of whipped cream.

8. Cover and refrigerate cake until serving time. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Date: April 29, 2004