Eating in // Victoria Sponge Cake with Royal Icing

Someone called me up the other day requesting this specific cake for their british wife. I had nevermade it before and I was just so intrigued by it. In the US, we don't really use royal icing to ice cakes. We use it to make gingerbread houses. I don't see why we shouldn't. I love the royal icing on these buttery layers. It hardens slightly but keeps the cake moist. Once you see how many sticks of butter in this one recipe, you'll realize that this cake doesn't mess around. The raspberry jam was per her special request and it turned out lovely. This cake is absolutely perfect for afternoon tea. A variation worth noting is the whip up some whipped cream and slap it on in between the layers.

The recipe is based on the this BBC one, modified slightly.

The Goods:
  • 1.5 (3 sticks) cups organic butter (or your favorite good butter) 
  • 1.5 cups caster sugar 
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1.5 cup self rising flour 
  • 2-4 tablespoons of milk to loosen the batter
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy and pale. About 5 minutes of beating. 
2. One by one, add the eggs and mix well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla. 
3. Using a big metal spoon* add the flour in stages alternating with milk. The batter will be wet and loose. 
4. Spoon the batter into two greased and floured 9" cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then flip the cake out onto to the rack to finish cooling. 
5. Once your layers have completely cold, place one layer on your cake plate and slather the raspberry jam on top of it. Add the whip cream if you're using it. Place the other layer on top and then ice it with the royal icing. I just smoothed it on with a small offset spatula. 

For the icing: 
  • 3 pasteurized egg whites 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 
1. In the bowl of a mixer fixed with the whip attachment,  lightly whisk the egg whites and vanilla extract together. Turn the mixer onto low speed and gradually add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. 
2. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until it is on high speed and whip the icing for about 5 minutes. It will be thick, glossy, and only slightly fluffy. Use immediately as it hardens quickly. 

* I had never tried this technique before and I really liked it. 

Recipe: Megan Forbes
Photos:  Christina Hussey

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