Victoria sandwich

Photography: Michael Hart

Invented to cheer up a queen and still the star of the tea party, this featherlight cake is an all-around crowd-pleaser.

Sponge or sandwich?
There’s some debate over the correct name for this British teatime classic, with some experts pointing out that a true sponge contains no fat. What’s sure is that the Victoria sandwich, doyenne of the village fête, was named in honour of Queen Victoria.  In mourning after the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, The Queen retreated to her Isle of Wight home, where she was encouraged to give tea parties, and the Victoria sandwich was born. It was a new invention, baking powder, that gave the cake its heavenly rise.

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cooking time 25 minutes
  • Portion size 8 servings



Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease 2 x 18 cm (7-inch) round cake tins with oil, then line the base of each with baking parchment.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour and baking powder, and stir in 3 tbsp water to bring the mixture to a dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture between the 2 tins and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes, until well risen and golden.

Leave the cakes to cool slightly in their tins, then remove the base liners and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sandwich the cakes together with the jam and sift the icing sugar over the top.


Cook’s note: If you’re feeling decadent, spread 6 tbsp whipped cream over the jam before sandwiching the cakes together.




Nutritional facts Per serving: about

  • Calories 385
  • Total fat 21 g
  • Saturated fat 12.4 g
  • Sodium 600 mg
  • Sugars 27.1 g
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Victoria Sandwich