Victoria Sponge Cake – Submitted by Nancy Weir, WICC Admin

Anna Maria Stanhope, a lady in waiting for Queen Victoria, was often very hungry in the afternoon, hours before the palace’s 9 pm dinner time. She often asked for a small meal of bread and butter, and little cakes and cookies to be brought to her bedroom. It caught on with Anna Maria’s friends, and then with the Queen herself, and ‘high tea’ was born. (

Victoria Sponge Cake is often served at high tea. It has a layer of jam in the middle. Sometimes there is whipped cream or a filling in the middle too. It is sprinkled with icing sugar and served in little squares. I have adapted this recipe for Canadian measures and ingredients.

1 cup softened butter

1¼ cups white sugar

4 eggs, separated

4 tablespoons water

1 cup stirred all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons baking powder


2 tablespoons softened butter

⅔ cup icing sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons milk

½ cup raspberry or strawberry jam

Icing sugar, to sprinkle on top


Heat oven to 350°F. Grease two 20 cm (8 inch) square pans and line with waxed or parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter, then mix in sugar, egg yolks, and water. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until batter is smooth.

In yet another bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans and smooth the tops.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.

Turn onto a rack and let cool completely.

For the filling, beat 2 tablespoons softened butter until smooth, then mix in the icing sugar, vanilla, and milk. Spread the filling on the top of one of the cakes. Top with jam and place the other cake on top. Dust with a little icing sugar. Cut into small squares to serve.

2 comments on “Victoria Sponge Cake – Submitted by Nancy Weir, WICC Admin

  1. Shannon Weitendorf on

    Thank you for a World Day of Prayer service full of hope and encouragement! The stories were very moving and the messages very current and timely in their concerns! The music in all it’s variety and the liturgical dance were inspiring! Thank you especially for your compassionate focus on ALL the marginalized, vulnerable and suffering! It feels good to be part of so many good causes! Keep up the wonderful work you are doing!


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