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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.[/donotprint]

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.

All images and text ©

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  1. Julia says:

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

    1. Jamie says:

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

  2. Eli says:

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

    1. Jamie says:

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

  3. Jo says:

    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! 

    1. Jamie says:

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

  4. Zoe says:

    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. 

    1. Jamie says:

      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!

  5. Angela says:

    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

    1. Jamie says:

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


  6. hareem attique says:

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

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks for visiting.


  7. Sarah says:

    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.

  8. frances says:

    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! :)

  9. Ayame says:

    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.

  10. Frances says:

    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!

    1. Ayame says:

      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.