Classic Victoria Sandwich

When I get hold of some flavorful strawberries at the height of the season, I like to keep things simple to showcase their flavor. I lean towards classic such as strawberry shortcake or this, the popular British dessert, the Victoria Sandwich. It’s composed of two vanilla cake layers sandwiched between a filling of strawberry jam and whipped cream and topped with fresh strawberries. Because the ingredients are few, it’s important to use good ones.

If you have  homemade strawberry jam on hand, by all means use that, but a high-quality store-bought jam is equally fine. (I love the St. Dalfour brand, which is made from a traditional French recipe, with no artificial ingredients.) Ideally this cake should be assembled shortly before serving. Because it’s butter based, the cake hardens up a bit after refrigeration. You can make all the components in advance, though, and put it together at the last minute – it’s a quick process.

A note on cutting this cake: When you cut through the top layer of this cake, you run the risk of squishing the cream layer out the sides. To prevent this, I use an old food stylists’ trick: use a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to carefully cut through the top cake layer. Then you can safely switch to a slicing knife to cut through the bottom layer, leaving the cream filling prettily intact.

One 9-inch cake, serving 8 to 10


Sponge Cake

  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 14 tablespoons (197 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 ½ tablespoons warm water


  • ½ cup (168 grams) strawberry jam
  • 1 ¼ cups (290 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 3 ½ tablespoons (25 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling
  • 1 cup (113 grams) fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in quarters


Make the Cake Layers:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line their bottoms with parchment rounds.
  2. Sift the flours, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk gently to combine. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. While continuing to beat, gradually add the sugar, then beat at high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Add the vanilla and the warm water and mix until blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it equally (I weigh the batter in each pan to make sure it’s evenly distributed). Smooth the tops of the batter to make sure they’re level. Bake the cakes for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans set on wire racks for 10 minutes.
  4. Invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely.

Fill the Cake:

  1. Place one of the cake layers, flat side up, on a cardboard cake round. Spread the strawberry jam over the cake in an even layer.
  2. Place the cream and the vanilla paste in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at high speed until soft peaks just begin to form. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, then increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Scrape the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip (Ateco #8). Pipe the whipped cream in large dollops over the top of the jam. Top with the other cake round, flat side up. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the top of the cake. Pile the strawberries in the center of the cake. Serve immediately.

Recommended equipment:

Powdered Sugar Shaker with Lid

Regency Wraps 9-inch Greaseproof Parchment Paper Liners for Round Cake Pans


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Tish Boyle
Tish Boylehttps://pastryathome.com
Tish Boyle is the Managing Editor of Pastry Arts Magazine, a food writer and cookbook author with expertise in baking, desserts and chocolate. A graduate of Smith College and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Tish has written several dessert and baking books including Chocolate Passion, Diner Desserts, The Good Cookie, The Cake Book and Flavorful. Co-writing credits include Payard Desserts and the Grand Finales series of books.

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