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Nigella's Victoria Sponge

Nigella victoria spong

Nigella victoria sponge sandwich

It's my little one's Christening in a few weeks and I've been battling with the decision of whether to make the cake for the Christening or not. Part of me cannot be bothered with the added pressure that a cake for a celebration brings and the other side of me feels it will be an absolute sin to have a shop-bought sponge cake sitting on my table, to those who know I bake! What will the people say, when my apple-crumble fans or my cheesecake fans ask if I baked the cake and I say, 'no, Marks & Spencer did'. That's not going to help my street cred' now, is it. But on the other hand, I've got so much other stuff going on, do I really have the time? Not really.

You see, baking the cake is NOT the problem, it's the decoration! It's all that icing and fondant stuff! I've not done that stuff before! I see loads of people posting their cake decorating tutorials online, making it seem so simple, but I know I will find it a faff and just an extra step preventing you from eating the darn thing.

So you know what, I'm going to see how it goes. Take it a step at a time and if my practice runs go well, I will go ahead and make the Christening cake! Take baby steps! It's not like I'm a stranger to Victoria sponge – here's one I baked earlier.

Nigella's Victoria Sponge

For the cake
225g unsalted butter, very soft
225g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
25g cornflour
½ tsp baking powder
3-4 Tbsp milk

For the filling
2-4 Tbsp raspberry jam
125ml double cream, whipped into soft peaks
For the topping
1-2 Tbsp icing sugar

2 x 21cm/ 8-inch sandwich tins, greased


Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease and line the bottom of 2 x 21 cm sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale yellow and fluffy. The softer your butter is, the more easier this will become.

Add the vanilla then your eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. (I used an electric hand-mixer at this stage, this one).

Gently fold in the flour and cornflour until combined being careful not to over-mix. Add some milk as needed.

Spoon the batter into the tins and bake for about 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before removing from their tins.

Once cool, spread the underside of one cake with jam and the top of the other layer with cream. Gently sandwich the two layers together and sprinkle over a tablespoon or so of icing sugar on the top.

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