The Victoria Cake, also known at Victoria Sponge Cake is a classic British cake I like to serve at afternoon tea. It’s made with eggs, flour, sugar, and sometimes baking powder. The filling is based on a combination of jam and cream or buttercream.
Afternoon Tea has it’s origins in late 19th-century Britain. The concept of afternoon tea was created by Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford, who was lady-in-waiting and a lifelong friend to Queen Victoria. The Queen enjoyed a slice of sponge cake with her traditional English afternoon tea. Therefore, it became known as Victoria Sponge Cake.
AT HOME TEA
Consequently, at home tea gained popularity throughout England. The hostess would receive visitors and serve tea, sandwiches and cakes. This gave women an opportunity to establish close ties by seeing each other frequently at different houses throughout the week.
There are many different types of sponge cakes. You will find styles of sponge cakes in Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Japan and the list goes on. Sponge cakes soak up flavors from fruits, fillings and custards. A sponge cake will often have layers of buttercream, pastry cream or other types of fillings and frostings to enhance the flavor.
SPONGE CAKE STYLES
- Traditional Victoria Sponge Cake and Victoria Sponge Cake with Lemon Curd
- Angel Food Cake, Angel Food Cake with Pineapple Whipped Cream
- Genoise Sponge
- Biscuit de Savoie
- Chiffon Cake
- Swiss Roll
- Japanese Kastella
- Hungarian Piskóta
- Passover Sponge, for the Passover feast.
- Spanish Almond Sponge
- Pan di Spagna
- Castella Cake
- Portuguese Sponge Cake, or Pão de Ló
Here are a few of my favorite Afternoon Tea recipes to host an at home tea.