This weekend, the United Kingdom is celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. That’s 70 years on the throne, the longest reign of any monarch in British history! The runner up is Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years in the 19th century. People throughout the British Isles are celebrating this weekend with street parties, parades, lighted beacons, a horse derby, a church service, gun salutes, a flyover Buckingham Palace, and LOADS of pageantry! I may be American, but I have a special place in my heart for English and British history/culture, so I had to do a little something to commemorate this momentous milestone from across the pond!
The British government held a contest to develop an official dessert of the Platinum Jubilee. The winner was a relatively complicated trifle: lemon Swiss roll, traditional custard, St. Clement’s jelly, a mandarin orange coulis, and amaretti biscuits. While cooks and bakers all over the world are racing into their respective kitchens to create this trifle in droves, I decided to keep things simple instead.
A jubilee celebrates longevity and endurance, time-honored traditions and long-held celebrations. To me, the dish that best represents that is England’s classic Victoria Sandwich. Made up of simple yellow sponge cake, strawberry jam, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, this unfrosted cake was a favorite of Queen Victoria, hence the name. It’s simple, but it’s classic for a reason!
TIP: Being an American, where more is better, I added a layer of sliced fresh strawberries. I’m not sorry. Add the berries.
NOTE: It’s important to use self-rising flour in this recipe. If you don’t have any, you can make it! Just add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to every 125g of all-purpose flour.
Victoria Sandwich Cake
(Original recipe: Recipe Vibes)
210g granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
220g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 C heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
5 TBSP strawberry jam
1 C fresh strawberries, sliced
Powdered sugar to dust the top
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease (2) round 8-inch cake pans with butter and line with parchment paper. Set pans aside.
In a medium bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Mix and set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
Pour the whisked eggs into the creamed butter and sugar, and beat with the mixer for few minutes until incorporated.
Add the flour and gently fold with a wooden spoon until just combined. The batter will be thick; be careful not to overmix it. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth the surface with a spatula.
Bake the cakes for 25 minutes or till cake tester comes out clean. Do not open the oven while the cake is baking, or the batter could deflate.
While the cakes are baking, use a stand or hand mixer to whisk the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla into soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
Once the cakes are finished baking, cool them in the pans for 5 minutes before turning them onto cooling racks. Once they are fully cooled, place one of the cakes on a stand and spread the top with jam. Place an even layer of sliced strawberries on top of the jam. Top the berries with an even layer of whipped cream. Place the second cake on top. Dust the whole thing with powdered sugar.