I studied abroad in London for four months during my junior year of college and it is still one of the greatest things I have ever done. Not only did I have an amazing time traveling and being introduced to the world, but I also found myself falling in love with the city. This cake, named for Queen Victoria, reminds me of sitting in The Orangery at Kensington Palace having high tea with my mom when she came to visit me. Every Sunday when I watch Downton Abbey I literally feel like Pavlov’s dog since I find myself craving tea and Victoria Cake; then I curse myself for not having made a cup of tea before the show started because I can’t rip myself away from it.
These cakes are so cute and so sweet that I thought they might be a perfect snack for Valentine’s Day as a little tribute to the city I love.
- 2 sticks of butter; room temperature
- 2 cups baker’s sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. This recipe can either make a large 2-tiered cake or, if you follow my lead, approximately 18 mini cakes in a whoopie-pie tin. Grease cake tins or whoopie-pie tin.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add in eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. I like adding a little lemon for a really fresh flavor, but this isn’t exactly “traditional”, so you can leave it out if you ‘d like. I then switched to the paddle attachment on my mixer to mix in the flour. You can switch to a large metal spoon if you are not using a stand mixer. The mix is going to get pretty thick but you’re aiming for an “easy drop” (meaning it will fall easily from the spoon to the pan) consistency which is somewhere between the average cake mix and biscuit batter. Add in the milk by spoonful until you get to this consistency. You may use less or more that 1/4 cup.
Fill your greased tin and bake for 15-20 minutes for a whoopie-pie or 20-25 minutes for a cake.
For the filling you will need fresh whipped cream and strawberry preserves. I really love Bonne Maman, especially for this recipe. The taste sends me straight back to London. AND I love their jars; they’re so cute I fill them up with my jewelry. The fresh whipped cream is very, very important. I cannot stress this enough. Whipped cream from a can is going to melt into a puddle and just be gross. An easy and stable whipped cream recipe is simple; just 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of instant vanilla pudding. Whip until stiff. This makes a really firm whipped cream that will not melt even if you have to leave it out until tea time!
Once cakes are fully cooled, assemble like PB&Js. Sprinkle the tops with plain sugar, fun colored sugar, or glitter sugar like I did. Enjoy!