Victoria Sponge Cupcakes

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

Yield: 1 dozen


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.

45 Responses to “Victoria Sponge Cupcakes”

  1. Katrina — March 7, 2011 at 8:30 am

    These cupcakes are beautiful!


  2. Christine N. — March 7, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I love spongecake! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    Don’t kill me, but I am not a fan of preserved fruit (ie. jam), so what do you think about putting custard inside instead? :)


    • Olivia — February 17, 2012 at 3:30 am

      I don’t think you should put custard in it. if you don’t like jam, why not try whipped cream and strawberries? Or blueberries which I used. I’m only 11, but I love baking too and I hope you’ll take me seriously.

  3. Lauren @chigallauren — March 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

    These looks absolutely delicious! Bookmark!


  4. Lori @ RecipeGirl — March 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

    What a fun recipe! Love those sorts of secret, authentic recipes that you get from other people.


  5. notyet100 — March 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    will try the cupcakes,.


  6. Vimitha — March 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Perfectly baked and looks colorful… Great recipe…


  7. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — March 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I just had a reader wonder if a cake I had made was like a Victoria Sponge Cake which I’ve never heard of; I’m sending this post to her, so thanks a bunch for that. I’ve seen jelly doughnuts this morning and now these…am craving a jelly filled baked product bad!


  8. Brittany — March 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! The British recipe I have does NOT convert well into American measurements! I am trying this recipe in 3 – 2 – 1….


  9. Amber — March 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Having about 6 of these left on my counter at this very moment, I can tell you just how perfect these cakes are. I don’t know what it is that makes them so perfect, but they really are. Just the right texture, just the right sweetness. Perfection.


  10. Brittany — March 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm


    (Sorry for ALL CAPS, I am over the moon with excitement because this recipe turned out so wonderfully).


    • NewOrleansHoney — April 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you so much for adding the extra comment after you made the cupcakes. I have a 5 year old gbaby that loves to make cupcakes with me. She mentioned making cupcakes just yesterday. On way home will get all ingreds. Can’t wait.

  11. Happy When Not Hungry — March 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Wow these cupcakes look beautiful! Love the flavors too. Yum!


  12. Charlotte — March 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I made the microwave lemon curd today, do you think it work in these cupcakes? I think I’ll try and see.


  13. Cookbook Queen — March 8, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Simple cake-check
    Raspberry filling-check
    Dusting of powdered sugar-check check

    Yep…this is pretty much my cupcake soul mate!!


  14. Afternoon Tea Fan — March 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    You had me as soon as I saw the picture of the rasberry jam filling oozing out of the sponge cake – I can almost taste it.


  15. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — March 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    These cupcakes are just lovely… And, so elegant!


  16. Paula K. — March 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    This is wonderful filled with lemon curd and topped with sweetened whipped cream!


  17. anusha — May 15, 2011 at 6:47 am

    hey ,
    I m an amateur baker n i love the recipie by just reading it.. can u tell me how many cups of butter should i use? because thy dont measure butter in sticks here…. thanks and a very impressive cluster of recipies u ve here….


  18. Danielle — June 3, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Made these in mini muffin pan….let’s just say it’s best to make then in regular size pan or like me, you will be popping these wonderful, light little bites non stop in your mouth and not have enough left to take to work. :) Just a lovely recipe, a nice light and tasty treat.


  19. shondra — July 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    i made this a while ago. and i loved the recipe. it turned out a little dry, but it was probably because i over cooked it. overall they were delicious. but when you but the jelly inside the little cakes make sure to put a lot of batter over them because i did not on mine and they fell apart!!!


  20. Shai — August 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    The cupcakes are baking in the oven right now!! The batter itself tasted delish, the only thing that has me bothered is that when you mentioned two heaping tbsps of batter, mine seemed to over flow by the second : ) Im using the standardize 12 cup muffin tin… Oh well, still cant wait to see how they taste. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!


  21. Frances — September 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I just made these cupcakes! The insides tasted great! Some things for other readers to keep in mind:

    The batter was very viscous and did not slide easily into the cupcake mold, I’m wondering if this is correct in the process? When the cupcakes came out of the oven, the tops had created small mountains and the outer edges of the cupcake batter were also very hard and not light and fluffy as shown in the photos. So I did some research and this could be because the temperature is too high, I think I will try 350 degrees instead of 400 degrees next time :). Happy baking!


    • Ayame — March 1, 2013 at 1:40 am

      The batter is thick, but when you place it into the oven the batter will fit into the muffin pan (because of the heat), so don’t worry too much about that. Also, I don’t think you should decrease the temperature that much. I cooked mine at 390 degrees and they came out fine. Since your’s were hard, you might of used old self-rising flour.

  22. Ayame — March 1, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Just made these~ It was late (10:30PM), I was rushing, so I forgot to add the vanilla and warm water (I remembered when everything was scooped into the muffin pan), but they still tasted good (I’ll remember to add those next time). They’re so simple & delicious, I bet they’re great to have along with dinner. Thanks for sharing.


  23. frances — October 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I baked this this morning. its delicious however the cupcakes came out with a dome. I see that yours came out quite flat at the top…is it because my oven temperature is too high? May I know what is the purpose of the warm water?

    Thanks a zillion! :)


  24. Sarah — January 20, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    I made these tonight and they are delicious! However, once baked, the jam fell to the bottom and stuck to the bottom of the muffin tin. Any idea why this happened? I would love to make these again in the future, but I want the jam to stay in the middle.


  25. hareem attique — October 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I made it for my grandfather’s birthday ! I am positive after reading reviews that cake will be loved by him .Thankyou


    • Jamie — October 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks for visiting.


  26. Angela — March 7, 2015 at 4:36 am

    I don’t suppose you could post the English measurements up….? These look delicious, however I have no idea what a ‘stick’ of butter is and do not possess a tablespoon. I do have American ‘cups’ though. Or if anybody has a rough idea how much a ‘stick’ of butter is in grammes or oz I would much appreciarte.
    Many thanks


    • Jamie — March 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      A stick of butter is 4 ounces. I hope this helps.


  27. Zoe — April 18, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Hi- I made these and the jam sunk to the bottom, like Sarah’s. Any idea how to stop this? My grandma and I decided we’re going to get cupcake liners to try to prevent them from sticking but I think they’d look much prettier without. 


    • Jamie — April 19, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Hi, Zoe! What kind of jam did you use? Is there a chance it could have been too runny? Maybe add a little more batter at the bottom of the cupcake before baking. Let me know how it goes!

  28. Jo — April 25, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I love this recipe! However, I had a bit of difficulty with the jam as well. I found that with 1 teaspoon of jam covered by 1 tablespoon of batter I ended up with a dome . I also cut down the amount of sugar to 3/4 of a cup because I found the jam and icing sugar was enough sweetness for the cake.  I loved the idea of a jam filled cupcake though, so after I baked then and dusted with icing sugar I cut out the centers with a small cookie cutter and spooned jam into it.  They tasted amazing! Thank you! 


    • Jamie — April 26, 2016 at 11:47 am

      I’m glad you liked them, Jo! Thank you for the tips!

  29. Eli — May 27, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Well done. Made 2 dozen yesterday and everyone loved. Covered them with vanilla buttercream.


    • Jamie — May 28, 2016 at 7:57 am

      That sounds wonderful, Eli! I’m so glad everyone liked them!

  30. Julia — June 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    If I don’t like jams and jellies, is there something else you can suggest? for the filling?


    • Jamie — June 7, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Hi, Julia! Maybe lemon curd? I have a Microwave Lemon Curd that would probably work. Let me know how it goes!

  31. Danielle — June 19, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Hi there! Do you have the cake version of this recipe that I could use for a friend’s wedding? Thanks!


  32. Tara — September 3, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Hello! Thanks so much for this recipe! I was looking for a recipe for cupcakes that are light and fluffy, and also pairs well with strawberries because I never liked cupcakes that are dense and too sweet. I tried baking these and they turned out REALLY well! Super tasty on their own, and seriously fluffy haha. The only issue is that my cupcakes overflowed and domed a lot but I think it may have to do with my oven and not so much the recipe. But definitely filling the cupcake liners much less next time! haha


    • Jamie — September 4, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      So happy to hear the recipe worked out for you, Tara! Enjoy!

  33. Danielle — December 27, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Hi – I want to make these tomorrow, but when you say “beat sugar and butter” do you mean by hand or with an electric beater? I’m guessing by hand? What did everyone else do? 


    • Jamie — December 27, 2016 at 8:02 am

      Hi, Danielle! I would recommend using an electric mixer, but I think by hand would be fine as well. I hope you enjoy them!

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