RECIPE | Dorah Sitole's Victoria sponge cake

This classic cake with a filling of whipped cream and strawberry jam is fit for a queen - and was named after one too

13 January 2021 - 20:22 By Dorah Sitole
Victoria sponge cake.
Victoria sponge cake.
Image: Roelene Prinsloo

"The Victoria sponge cake, named after Queen Victoria, was one of the Queen's favourites. My Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester in London included a slice of this lovely cake, fluffy scones with cream, and other decadent confections. It's an experience never to be missed," wrote the late Dorah Sitole in her cookbook, 40 Years of Iconic Food.

Makes: 1 large cake


250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

200g (1 cup) caster sugar

5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

4 extra large eggs

240g (2 cups) self-raising flour

Zest of 1 lemon

190ml (¾ cup) milk


60ml (4 tbsp) strawberry jam

125ml (½ cup) fresh cream

30ml (2 tbsp) caster sugar


150g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

50g each blueberries and raspberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease and line 2 x 20cm sandwich cake tins.
  3. To make the cake, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric beater or wooden spoon, until very light and fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition.
  5. Fold in the flour and lemon zest.
  6. Add the milk and mix together until well combined.
  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins, smooth the surface of the cakes and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Insert a skewer in the middle of the cake; if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
  8. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tins. Run a knife around the inside edge of each tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a rack to cool completely.
  9. For the filling, spread jam over the bottom layer of the cake.
  10. Whip the cream and caster sugar together to form soft peaks and spread over the jam, leaving some cream for the top.
  11. Place the other cake layer on top, cover with whipped cream, top with mixed berries and dust with icing sugar.

• '40 Years of Iconic Food' by Dora Sitole is published by NB Publishers, R380.