As you all know, cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts to bake and eat, so I am incredibly excited for this guest post from the lovely ladies at Three Many Cooks. Pam, Maggy, and Sharon decided to share with us their fabulous recipe for Victoria Sponge Cupcakes with raspberry jam filling. Take it away, Maggy…
I can bake a lot sweet things, but there’s nothing I am more proud of than my English Nanny’s Victoria Sponge. Her simple, depression-era cake is perfection. I remember asking her for the recipe, half expecting her to mumble something about it being a family secret. But without hesitation, she rattled off the ingredients from memory and told me it was just a simple sponge cake. She didn’t think it was anything special, but I scrambled for a pen and paper and quickly jotted down the ingredients. That very evening I called Mom and said, “You have to make this cake.” She did. My mother (who has tasted many a cake) concurred that it was, in fact, spectacular. And so simple! We quickly converted it to U.S. measurements, made a few tweaks and pronounced it the cake to end all cakes. With Nanny’s permission, Mom published the recipe in her most recent book.
Victoria Sponge isn’t a bells & whistles, show-stopping, everything-but-the-the-kitchen-sink kind of cake. The ingredients list is relatively short and it can be thrown together and baked in under an hour. Two cakes with a layer of jam inside, dusted with powdered sugar. It’s a light and fluffy, afternoon tea cake. Without heavy frosting and toppings, it’s a sweet you can indulge in the afternoon and still be hungry for dinner. Nanny makes it when she’s having the ladies over for tea and she usually keeps one on hand should someone should stop by unannounced. How lovely is that?
ThreeManyCooks loved the fluffiness of this cake so much that we converted it to a cupcake recipe that we fill or top with anything–depending on the occasion or season. The big cake is delicious, but who doesn’t love their own little cake?
Three Many Cooks consists of Pam, cookbook author and mother to Maggy, hippie meets fifties housewife and Sharon, a recovering food snob on a grad school budget. They’ve been cooking together in Pam’s kitchen since the girls could walk, but now Maggy and Sharon are food experts in their own right. Together, they write Three Many Cooks as a way to be together and to further explore their family passion: food (and wine). You can also find Three Many Cooks on Facebook and Twitter.
Victoria Sponge Cupcakes
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) softened butter,
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup raspberry jam (I like Smucker’s brand here because it is firm)
Confectioner's sugar for dusting
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Starting and ending with an egg, alternate adding eggs and flour, beating until each is thoroughly incorporated. Beat in water and vanilla until just incorporated.
3. Spoon two heaping tablespoons of batter into each cup followed by 1 teaspoon of jam (do not stir jam to loosen). Top with 1 heaping tablespoon of batter, spreading to ensure jam is fully covered.
4. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cupcakes stand a couple of minutes; turn onto a wire rack to cool. When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar. Serve with tea and enjoy with friends!
- While Victoria Sponge is typically made with raspberry jam, you can use any jam you like or have on hand. The best jams for putting into the cupcake, however, are harder jams, not the runny, more liquid ones.
- This recipe calls for self-rising flour, but if you don’t have any, simply whisk 11/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt into 1 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour.
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