If you’re looking for a cake that is light and fluffy, easy to whip together but still looks pretty enough for a special occassion, then this is definitely a cake for you to check out. A classic Victoria sponge split over 3 layers, put together with lashings of whipped cream and strawberry jam. It’s the perfect cake to put together when you want something tasty with minimal fuss that is sure to go down well with a crowd.
This cake came together pretty much because I had a big bottle of double cream that I needed to use up before it expired. I thought of about a million exotic and creative recipes to use it for but in the end I decided to go for the most obvious option: a simple Victoria sponge cake. My reason to go for the safe option? As I’ve mentioned a few times on here, my family can be a little picky when it comes to new flavours. And I didn’t want to risk them not liking the cake so I went for something that I knew was a sure winner and decided to focus on juzzing it up a little so it looked pretty.
Baking this cake is easy. In fact, it is so ridiculously easy that I, Abida, self confessed relecutant and lazy baker, decided to add a few additional steps in addition to the basic instructions called for in the original BBC Good Food recipe. That recipe uses the all in one method and pretty much says all you need to do is mix together all the ingredient into one bowl. No worrying about sifting or wet and dry ingredients. I decided to add a few extra steps, creaming together the butter and sugar first and make sure to sift the flour. It’s minor things that I’m used to now with baking anyways, but I do think it helps in guaranteeing your sponge cake is light and airy.
In comparison, making the topper of the cake was for more of a challenge. Well, for me anyways, as I’m all fingers and thumbs when it comes to crafts and because I was trying to make use of the limited creative tools I had to hand. As I’m not much of a cake decorator (I literally have no icing tips, nozzles, or bags) a cake topper was an easier option for me.
If you follow me on instagram, then you might already know that I have garnered a little interest in hand lettering. I have had an interest in the style and typography for a while but I have only ever admired other people’s work as I have always thought my own handwriting was far too messy for me to bother spending any time on it. I think it might be slightly perfectionist tendencies in me.
But a couple of months ago I thought to myself, you know what, so what if I’m not any good at it? So what if it looks ugly to other people? I like it and I want to try it out. And you know what? I’m really enjoying it. I don’t really mind that it doesn’t look like some artistic masterpiece. It’s fun and a good creative outlet and that’s enough for me. And you know what? I actually definitely do think I’ve improved from all the practising, so maybe there is hope for me yet.
So yes, this cake ended up containing two creative passions for me and I would definitely recommend hand lettering for anyone who is interested in the look of it!
The banner part of the cake topper is actually quite simple, I painted a wash of watercolour in a soft peach colour as the background, sketched the text in pencil and then went over it in pen. I went for a faux calligraphy style with the writing and all that really means is thickening up the black lines on any down strokes and keeping any up strokes light. There are lots of tutorials on places like pinterest that you can check out if you’re interested in trying it out.
The star toppers were made out of a gold glittery washi tape I had on hand. I stuck strips of the gold tape down on a piece of paper. Then I turned the paper over and on the back I drew out star shapes which I subsequently cut out.
It was quite fiddly as I was using a cheap washi tape from China that I bough from ebay for 99p (you get what you pay for guys) and the tape had no stickiness to it and kept peeling off. If you were a bit more organised than me, then I would recommend using a nice piece of gold card and just cutting the shapes straight out of it. In the end it was so fiddly, that I gave up and just cut out a star from some card I painted with watercolour paints (it’s the central star on the cake). But I think it works well. What do you think, interested in crafting your own DIY cake topper?
- 150g caster sugar
- 200g softened butter
- 4 eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp milk
- 500 ml whipped cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 150g strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line baking tins
- Cream together butter and sugar until soft and fluffy
- Add in eggs in at a time, and mix until smooth and well combined. Stir in the milk.
- Sift together the dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture, folding gently each time.
- Once the mixture is smooth, distribute equally between three pans (or bake in batches).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. The cake should be springy to the touch.
- Allow the layers to cool while you prepare the topping.
- In a bowl, add together cream and sugar and whisk until the cream is thick and stiff.
- To assemble cake. Place the first layer on a plate. Smear with about third of the cream and then spread a layer of jam, being careful not to go too far to the edges. Then sandwich with the next layer and again, spread another layer of cream and jam. Place the final layer, and spread with with the remaining cream.
- Decorate the cake with the DIY topper and serve.
- If you don't have enough tins, then you can bake in batches or just make 2 layers instead of 3.