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Strawberry and cream Victoria sponge

Updated: Mon, 25 April, 2022

The sponge is lightest and airiest; the strawberries are sweet and sun-kissed and the thick whipped cream billows in between the two. Who could refuse this classic English dessert?

Victoria sponge with strawberries and cream

Fun fact about strawberries

Strawberries are crafty little beasts: they trick us into thinking they’re sweeter than they actually are.

It’s all in the smell: food scientists (there’s my missed dream career path) have found that the sugar levels in strawberries are generally thought to be higher because of specific volatile compounds wafting from a luscious berry.

Those scent compounds deceive us into thinking that a strawberry is sweeter than, say, a blueberry while the latter contains actually more sugars.

Sweet is as sweet looks

The same goes for other red fruit. Tomato varieties that contain more of those particular volatiles are perceived as sweeter; irrespective of the attested sugar levels.

I’ll add to that the visual factor, as decisive contributor to taste perception as the smell: subconsciously, we interpret red foods as sweet.

And there we have it – a strawberry is just a pretty face after all.


Not just for Wimbledon

Strawberries and cream, the English classic, is the showcase of Wimbledon which is at the end of June.

But sometimes, weather permitting, late season strawberries are better as the summer continues. Riper, juicier, and better for the macerating exercise I propose in the recipe below.

Sprinkle them with sugar and leave in a bowl on the kitchen worktop. In barely half an hour delightful juices will release – a ready-made syrup to drizzle the sponge base.

strawberry and cream victoria sponge

Victoria sponge in a lighter version

My take on Victoria sponge is what it really should be: a sponge cake with airy crumb and very little butter in the ingredients. That’s infinitely nicer than the staple of tearooms: a stodgy pound cake usually baked as two separate layers.

The point here is for the gorgeous juices to seep and soak into the cake layers. There is no way that will happen when the layers are encased in solid crust.

The sponge recipe is based on genoise, the lightest, nicest continental cake. The trick of dropping the tin with just-baked cake is ingenious and possibly counterintuitive but it works a treat. It helps maintain aeration within the cake crumb and stops it from collapsing.

When cold, it is really a doddle to slice the cake in half horizontally, even without a cake wire contraption. Use a sharp bread knife or wrap a length of thread around the middle of the cake and twist it. You’ll be surprised how well it works!

And thus, you have two layers with exposed crumb, thirsty for the lovely strawberry syrup! Make sure you drizzle the top half particularly generously, as the bottom will absorb more juice from the strawberry pieces sitting on it.

Strawberry cream Victoria sponge

Cream for strawberries

The sponge is sweet, so are the berries (though not as much as they look to be, hehe) and they have been steeped with some sugar, so the cream best be plain, flavoured with vanilla.

If your tooth veers towards sickly, add a tablespoon of sugar to the whipping cream but in my view it’s redundant. The cream should be whipped soft, so it enfolds the strawberries like a cloud.

And that’s the makings of an exquisite summer treat: airy sponge, almost-melted zesty strawberries, a pillow of cream… And the clever strawberries will make you believe this dessert is sweeter than it really is.

Strawberry and cream shortcake

More strawberry recipes

A strawberry drink is perfect for summer, especially when it’s a fizzy, prosecco-based cocktail.

Fresh strawberries are a dream dessert ingredient. Here in my twisted Eton mess, with sweet filo pastry shards instead of meringue – Athens mess.

The easiest strawberry crumble cake with buttermilk batter is the firm summer favourite in my house.

More summer berry cake recipes

A slightly different sponge recipe, lightly roasted blueberries to intensify the flavour, and here’s a worthy competition to the strawberry Victoria sandwich: blueberry and cream sponge cake.

Easy cherry sponge cake with fresh cherries lightly roasted; the base is gently prebaked and the end result a gorgeous double decker cherry cake.

Finally, time for raspberries: fresh berries scattered on top of light and airy cake sponge batter. Dust with icing sugar for a perfect summer dessert.

Macerated strawberries

Strawberry and cream Victoria sponge

Servings: 12Time: 2 hours


  • For the sponge:
  • 155g (about 114 cups) plain flour
  • 114 tsp baking powder
  • 12 tsp fine salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 230g (114 cups) caster sugar
  • 80ml (13 cup) whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 30g (2 tbsp.) butter, melted
  • For the filling:
  • 500g (1 pound) strawberries
  • 25g (2 tbsp.) icing sugar plus more for dusting the cake
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • 300ml (1 cup and 2 tbsp.) double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Butter a 20cm (9in.) cake tin and line the bottom with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

2. Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

3. In a large bowl, or the bowl of standing mixer beat the eggs and the egg white until foamy. Add the sugar, little by little, and keep beating until the mixture is pale, thick and doubled in volume; about 10 minutes.

4. Sift the flour mix into the eggs and fold it in very gently, taking care not to deflate the eggs. Add the milk, butter and vanilla extract and fold in gently.

5. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden in colour and firm to the touch.

Baking sponge

6. Take out and drop the tin from 20cm height onto a couple of folded tea towels, two or three times. This is the best part, and it works so well it’s amazing – contrary to appearance, it stops the sponge from collapsing and sinking. Turn the tin upside down onto a wooden board and leave for 5 minutes. Turn it the right side up, remove from the tin and cool completely on a cake rack.

7. While the cake is cooling, prepare the strawberries: top them and slice thinly; leave a few whole for decoration. Stir the icing sugar and the lemon zest into the bowl with strawberries and leave them to macerate – they will release the more juice, the longer you leave them standing.

8. When the cake is cold slice it in half horizontally with a bread knife or a wire cake cutter – do not bake two separate bases because the strawberry juices need to seep into the open crumb of the sponge.

9. Whip the cream with vanilla extract until soft peaks form.

Filling sponge with cream and strawberries

10. Drizzle the released strawberry juice over both cut halves of the cake, the top one especially generously – the other one will get naturally soaked because of the strawberries sitting on it.

11. Spoon the strawberries onto the bottom layer, pile the cream over them and cover with the top layer, pressing gently so the cream oozes somewhat around the sides. Dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with remaining strawberries.

Originally published: Fri, 11 August, 2017

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Sandra - I think you can.
2 years ago
Sandra Attard Brooks
Can i use lactose free milk?
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Siobhan - I'm not Familiar with the method you mention? This has flour in the batter, it just has very little fat which makes it light and airy. For a gluten free option I'd swap the flour with ground almonds.
3 years ago
Siobhan Michael
Would love a video to clarify certain details, sounds like a flourless chocolate torte method. Wouldn’t mind trying this without flour for some celiac family.
3 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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