Victoria sponge with mixed berries

Victoria sponge with mixed berries

More Home Comforts
Peter Cassidy

As a pastry chef I was used to making Victoria sponges on a daily basis – however, it wasn’t until I entered a competition run by the WI while filming a series for the BBC about ten years ago that I realised how difficult it really was. It turned out I’d used the wrong jam, it had the wrong texture and the wrong sugar on top, and I’d filled it with cream – all of which got me disqualified. Rather than a rosette for first, second or third, I got a full A4 list of all my mistakes. Having said that, I like cream in it, I like the wrong jam and I like the wrong sugar on top, and so, although you can’t call this a classic Victoria sponge, it tastes pretty good.


Quantity Ingredient
350g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
350g caster sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
200g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
375g strawberries, hulled and quartered
300g raspberries
300g blackberries
150g redcurrants, picked
500ml double cream, very lightly whipped
1-2 teaspoons icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter and flour two 20cm springform sandwich tins.
  2. Mix the butter and 200g of the caster sugar together with an electric whisk until softened and lightened in colour, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating between additions. Add the vanilla bean paste, then fold in the flour and carefully pour the mixture into the prepared tins. Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and risen. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean; if not, return it to the oven for a further 5 minutes and repeat.
  3. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack lined with a tea towel and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, place the remaining 150g of caster sugar in a pan with 150ml of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until the texture is like glucose, then add all but a handful of berries to the syrup. Mix gently and leave to cool.
  5. When the cake and berries are both cold, place one cake on a serving plate and spoon over a little of the compote. Carefully spoon the whipped cream over the top, then spoon a layer of the compote all over the cream. Gently set the second cake on top and dust with the icing sugar. Garnish with the remaining berries and serve any leftover compote alongside.
Home Comforts
British food
classic recipes
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