Christ is risen!
Victoria Sponge cake is one of my favorite cakes to make when hosting a large dinner and have little time to put together dessert that will be a showstopper for the crowd. All you have to do is make sure you have the ingredients on hand, and place the cake in the refrigerator to make it easier to slice in half; this is very easy to make but the sponge being delicate as it is can be fussy when slicing in half to smear the middle with jam.
History of Victoria Sponge Cake
I found this Victoria sponge cake recipe in “The Vegan Dairy Cookbook” by Catherine Atkinson. Ever since I baked and tasted this, it is one of my all time favorite desserts. As a serious enthusiast of “Downton Abbey”, I make veganized versions of what would have been served during the Edwardian/Victorian times, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I made this dessert that transports me to the time of the Abbey.
A note from “The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook” by Annie Gray:
“Split sandwich cakes often make an appearance in the kitchen and drawing room at the Downton Abbey. This is probably the best-known cake of that type of Britain, but the original version was not the large round cake visible at Downton and usually served under the name today, but a delicate pile of finger sandwiches made with sponge cake and spread with what the recipe in Isabella Beeton’s The Book of Household Management calls “nice preserves.” The Beeton book is, like the Victoria sandwich, iconic, and was the first to call the cake the Victoria sandwich, named, of course, after Queen Victoria. It’s very middle class, aimed at families such as one in which Matthew grew up, and a Victoria sandwich can be seen on the table when Isobel is having tea with Lord Merton during the budding romance of season 5. Although Beeton’s book isn’t one that would have been used much in the aristocractic context of Downton, the recipe, with its simple measurements and ingredients, is a classic. The modern Victoria sandwich includes whipped cream along with jam.”The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook, Annie Gray
Traditionaly this is made with butter, flour, sugar, eggs, salt, baking powder, and salt, so this version is perfect for those who are plant based, vegan, or have an intolerance/allergy to eggs and dairy.
Why do I call this loukumi cake? What makes this cake “loukumi-like” is the use of rose jam in place of fruit jam, minus the chewy texture of loukumi. This cake is safe for those who love loukumi but want to keep their teeth intact! If you ever had loukumi and enjoy it, you may like this version of it!
225 g/8 oz/1 cup vegan margarine
225 g/8 oz/1 cup caster sugar
300 g/10 oz/ 2 cups self-rising flour
2.5 mL/ 1/2 tsp baking soda
5 mL/1 tsp baking powder
120 mL/ 4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup rice, soy, or oat milk
250 mL/ 9 fl oz/1 cup plain or vanilla flavored vegan yogurt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar for dusting, optional
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ Gas 4. Grease and line 35 x 25cm/ 14 x 10in deep baking tin/pan with baking parchment.
Put the spread or margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for about 5 minutes, until very light and creamy. It is important to whisk in as much air as possible as this will give lightness to the cake.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder, then whisk into the creamed mixture. Add the milk, yogurt and vanilla, and stir to ensure everything is combined.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake is firm and springs back to your touch and a knife comes out clean then inserted into the middle. Leave to cool.
Cut the cake in half so that you have two rectangles and spread jam over one. Place the second rectangle on top and cut into 24 squares. Dust with icing sugar to serve. Store for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
For an Edwardian presentation, on a serving plate, stack the sandwiches in rows of three, with each row at a 90 degree angle to the previous one.
Energy: 164 kcal/ 687 kJ
Protein: 1.5 g
Carbohydrate: 22.4 g, of which sugars 13 g
Fat: 8.2 g, of which saturates 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Calcium: 49 mg
Fiber: 0.6 g
Sodium: 114 mg
**Nutrition content will vary on the type of rose jam/fruit jam, yogurt, and margarine you use.
“The Vegan Dairy”, Catherine Atkinson
“The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook”, Annie Gray