Victoria sponge cake is a classic recipe and one that many children learn to make. This recipe is simple and if prepared the right way, it will be light and airy. The eggs, sugar, butter and flour should be in equal quantities. The exact amount depends on the size of your eggs.
Start by taking the butter out of the fridge and letting it warm to room temperature for an hour or so. Weigh your eggs (including the shell). Measure the same weight again each of flour, sugar and butter. Crack your eggs into a small bowl and mix with a fork. Also, put your oven on at gas mark 4 (180°C) to preheat. The preheating the oven is important.
Now place your butter and sugar into a large bowl and mix vigorously. If you have an electric whisk, you can use this. It is at this stage that you are adding the air to the mix that will later make your cake light and soft so mix well. Now add the eggs a little at a time. Then follow with the flour. Be careful not to over whisk now as you could knock the air out again now that the mix is more liquid.
This quantity will make two 6 inch cakes that you will later sandwich together. If you have a large enough oven, you can cook both at the same time, however, I usually cook them one after the other. Spoon half your mix into a greased cake tin and smooth out. Place into the oven at 180°C or gas mark 4 for 15 to 20 minutes.
To test that the cake is ready, insert a wooden toothpick into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Allow the cake to cool slightly before removing from the time. Place onto a wire rack to cool fully. Clean your tin and repeat with the other half of the mixture to get your second cake layer.
There are many options for dressing the cake. I like to sandwich the two cakes together. I choose one of the sponges. Whichever is the flattest, and I cut the top crust off to make it level. Now spoon some jam onto the sponge. Also, jam the bottom of the other sponge ready to go on top. If in season, I'll chop some fresh strawberries or other fruit onto the lower sponge and add some whipped cream, though you don't have to. Then place the top sponge onto the lower. Dust the top with a little icing sugar or glazing or even more cream and strawberries if you like.
You can make small fairy cakes in small cake tins if you like using the same cake mix. Remember to reduce the cooking time slightly as the small cakes will be ready faster. If you don't have self-raising flour, use plain flour and add a level teaspoon of baking powder or baking soda.