Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake

This British-inspired Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake is my spin on the a classic.  It includes layers of cake filled with rich vanilla pudding, strawberries and topped with fresh whipped cream and is the perfect Sunday afternoon treat or Spring-time dessert!

Victoria Sponge sandwich cake with vanilla pudding & fresh strawberry filling topped with fresh whipped cream, lemon zest and more strawberry! | JavaCupcake.com

Easter is a holiday that I just can’t seem to decide how I want to celebrate.  I grew up Catholic, so that part of me knows the “real” meaning of the holiday.  Jesus gave his life for us and on Easter He rises to Heaven.  It’s some pretty amazing, deep stuff to think about… and should be celebrated!

But, since I’m not a practicing Catholic anymore, I find myself questioning the reasons to celebrate Easter.  I am not the type of parent that can rationalize spending tons of money on an Easter basket for my kids full candy and toys they’ll probably never play with.  And I just don’t think that visiting the Easter bunny at the mall for some cheesy staged photo is worth my time.  I just can’t wrap my brain around all the hype surrounding Easter when the focus isn’t on the true meaning.

So, what’s left?

Family.

Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake with vanilla pudding & fresh strawberry filling topped with fresh whipped cream, lemon zest and more strawberry! | JavaCupcake.com

If I’m not going to celebrate Easter for it’s true meaning and I’m not filling my kids with Easter candy… I will use this day to spend quality time with those l love, to cook and bake for them and to enjoy their joy when we share a meal together.

This year, my family includes my husband who is recently home from Afghanistan and my best friend Chasity and her family.  Chasity is moving soon so this may be our last holiday together.

Victoria Sponge sandwich cake with vanilla pudding & fresh strawberry filling topped with fresh whipped cream, lemon zest and more strawberry! | JavaCupcake.com

 

I knew that I needed to make something amazingly delicious for dessert this year.  Chasity requested strawberries & cream to be included in the dessert so I started researching recipes to use.  I have always wanted to try Mary Berry’s recipe for Victoria Sponge, so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity!

This Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake has two layers of Mary Berry’s cake recipe.  Since this is a British recipe for cake, I knew it wouldn’t be like the American cakes I was used to eating.  Mary’s cake is less sweet but perfect when paired with the pudding and strawberries of the filling.

A traditional sponge cake is just filled with jam and topped with powdered sugar.  But, I wanted to liven things up a bit, so I filled my cake with jam, berries and pudding then topped it all with whipped cream and more berries.  SUBLIME!

Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake with vanilla pudding & fresh strawberry filling topped with fresh whipped cream, lemon zest and more strawberry! | JavaCupcake.com

Matty loved it.  He was first at the table to get his slice!

When I served the cake, my family requested more of the filling to pile on top of their slice!  So make sure you reserve the extra fillings after you assemble the cake to serve with the finished cake to your guests!

I will definitely make this cake again… I think next time I may even try a blueberry filling.  Yum!

Happy Baking!

Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake
 
Cook time
 
Serves: 1 8in 2-layer cake
Ingredients
Victoria Sponge Cake
  • 225g (about 1 cup) unsalted butter, soft
  • 225g ( about 1 cup) granulated or caster sugar
  • 225g (about 2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 5 medium eggs or 4 large eggs or 8oz eggs
Vanilla Pudding Filling
  • 1 package Jell-O Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding (NOT instant)
  • 3 cups heavy cream or half & half or whole milk (NOT skim, low-fat, 1% or 2% milk)
Strawberry Filling
  • 3 cups strawberries, cleaned and quartered before measuring
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Juice of ½ large lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 5-6 strawberries, stems removed & sliced (reserve for assembly)
Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp granulated or caster sugar
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 5-6 whole strawberries with stems/leaves (for garnish)
  • Lemon zest (for garnish)
  • Powdered sugar( for garnish)
Instructions
Victoria Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 355F degrees.
  2. Grease & flour 8in cake pan and line with parchment paper.
  3. Measure/weigh your ingredients and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy - about 3-5 minutes.
  5. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt 3-4 times until completely incorporated.
  6. Add the flour to the butter/sugar and mix until just combined.
  7. Mix in the almond extract.
  8. One at a time, add the eggs and mix well after each addition.
  9. After all the eggs have been added, mix about 2 minutes on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything has been incorporated.
  10. Divide the batter evenly and spread into prepared pans.
  11. Bake about 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. NOTE: DO NOT open the oven to check on these cakes. Let them bake the entire 25 minutes before opening the oven to check done-ness. The cakes will collapse if a sudden rush of cool air hits them before they are fully baked.
  12. Cool in pans for 1 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before assembling.
Vanilla Pudding Filling
  1. In a medium pot, combine the contents of the vanilla pudding package and the heavy cream.
  2. Prepare as directed on the package.
  3. Pour into a glass bowl and place in the refrigerator until set - about 2 hours.
Strawberry Filling
  1. In a large pan over medium, mix together the prepared strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, spices and vanilla.
  2. Using a potato masher, mash the berries until only small pieces remain but most are broken down.
  3. Stir & cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove about ¼ cup of the juice from the pan and place in a small bowl. Add the corn starch to the liquid and mix until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the berries and mix until incorporated.
  5. Cook strawberries another 1-3 minutes or until it has thickened.
  6. Remove from the pan into a glass bowl and place in refrigerator until cool - about 2 hours.
Whipped Cream Topping
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour in the heavy cream.
  2. Turn mixer on medium-high and beat the cream for about 30 seconds.
  3. One tablespoon at a time, drizzle in the sugar. Mix in the extract.
  4. Continue to beat on medium-high until soft peaks form and the cream holds it shape.
Assembly
  1. Once the cake layers are cool, the cake can be assembled. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand.
  2. Spread a layer of strawberry filling across the top of the cake, leaving ½in of cake uncovered along the edge of the cake. You'll use about ⅓ cup of strawberry filling. Arrange sliced strawberries on top of the filling and gently press down.
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M star tip with the vanilla pudding. Pipe a layer of pudding over the strawberries. Use an offet spatula to gently spread the layer smooth.
  4. Place the second cake layer, top side down, onto the filling and GENTLY press.
  5. Dust the entire cake and cake stand with powdered sugar.
  6. Place a generous amount of whipped cream on the top of the cake in the center.
  7. Zest a lemon over the top of the whipped cream and cake.
  8. Arrange 5-6 whole strawberries on edges of the whipped cream to garnish.
  9. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.
  10. Serve cake slices with extra vanilla pudding, strawberry filling and whipped cream topping.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Mary Berry

 

How Not to Make Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cupcakes

This weekend, amongst the madness of just-paid Army wives and Thanksgiving shoppers at the Commissary, I spotted a box of Jell-O Pumpkin Spice Pudding!  *SQEEEEEEEEL*  I immediately tossed it into my basket and continued on my shopping.

Today… my husband is hungover.  A bottle of Johnny Walker and half a bottle of Glenlivet between him and his buddy Jody… well, they’re both not happy soldiers today.  Which means… I’m alone to bake whatever my little heart desires!

First, it was my second double batch of Holiday Chex Mix of the season… now it’s cupcakes… and after the cupcakes are done…  the roast, taters and carrots go in the oven!  Are you jealous yet? hehe  It’s a fabulous day to be in my kitchen!

So… the cupcakes.  I’ve said over and over how I’m not a “box mix” kinda baker.  But I find myself lately having a box “on hand” in my kitchen and well… whip up a batch of one-bowl cupcakes using it!  Eeeek.  Now that I have a box of pudding mix… I thought maybe the two might go together!  I thought a nice maple cream cheese frosting would go well with them too!  YUM!

WRONG.  Total disaster.  The batter started out okay…. had promise.  They baked, puffed up perfectly.  See… don’t they look pretty?

WRONG… they sunk.

I thought… well maybe, I can salvage them with frosting.  NOPE.  Wrong again.  I tasted the cupcakes and they were DISGUSTING!  They tasted like pudding… but nothing like cake!  No flavor and just GROSS! ACK!

Into the trash can they went.

I’ve learned my lesson.  NO MORE BOXED CAKE MIX!

And as for the pudding… I’ll stick to eating it out of the bowl and not in my cupcakes.

Here’s a picture of the ingredients I used…. so that you won’t make the same mistakes I did.

Ingredients:
1 box cake mix
1 box pumpkin spice pudding
2 cups cold milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla (not pictured)
spices

SO… what did I do wrong? Any suggestions? How do you make your pudding cupcakes?

 

Cake Batter & Pudding Cookies

 

Box mixes are a huge NO NO in my kitchen!  I do not use them to make any of my cakes or cupcakes… EVER.   I am a strictly a “from-scratch” kinda baker.

BUT… I kept seeing pictures for Cake Batter cookies on Pinterest and I kept thinking to myself that I needed to try them.  The box mix wasn’t the main ingredient so it must be in there just add some flavor and texture.

So, I bit the bullet and bought a box of yellow cake mix.

*sigh*

I know… I almost feel like a traitor as a baker.  That was until I saw how amazing the cookies turned out and I understood.

These cookies are light, fluffy and FULL of yummy flavor.  The dough was pretty stiff, so I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out… but seriously, they are super yummy!  They’d be perfect for anyone who just wants a simple cookie without any fuss!

Cake Batter & Pudding Cookies
Makes 3+ dozen cookies

3/4 cup (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package JELL-O French Vanilla instant pudding mix
3/4 cup yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 1.25oz jar of star sprinkles (or any shape you have on hand)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on high until smooth.
  5. Mix in the pudding mix and cake mix and beat on high until incorporated.  (About 30 seconds.)
  6. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-high until combined.  NOTE:  Dough will be thick!
  7. By hand stir in all but 2 tbsp of the sprinkles into the dough.
  8. Roll 1in. balls of dough and place onto cookie sheet at least 1-2 inches apart.
  9. Using the reserved sprinkles, press a few stars on top of each ball.  This will ensure that you can see that there are sprinkles baked into the cookies!
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating pan after 8 minutes.
  11. Let cool on pan for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Serve with milk and enjoy!