Sponge-cake 101

I love to cook! (Did I say that already? If I did, sorry….and sorry in advance because I’m bound to say it again!)

Baking is something I enjoy and have fond memories of as a child, as well as this side of being a mum. I am not an expert and am in no way artistic enough to do fancy fondant decor. Part of the reason I love baking is because it’s so easy and cheap to make snacks (y’know the whole family budget thing.) So let’s go…

Ingredients: (makes 12 cupcakes…see notes below)

  • 4oz/100g butter or margarine
  • 4oz/100g caster sugar
  • 4oz/100g Self Raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • splash of milk


  • 2-3 drops vanilla extract (or flavour as you wish)
  • 2oz/50g cocoa/drinking chocolate powder



  • Beat butter and sugar together with a spoon (or electric whisk) until thoroughly mixed
  • add egg and beat into the mixture (with flavouring if using)
  • sift in the flour and combine (add milk if the mix is dry)
  • for chocolate sponge add cocoa (and milk if not already done so)
  • Spoon into cake cases
  • Bake in middle of oven on 180C/ Gas Mark 4 for around 12-15 minutes
  • check they are done by pressing centre with a finger to see if they spring back and are not wet…place on cooling rack and decorate as you desire.


Buttercream topping/filling:

  • 2oz Butter or Margarine
  • 2oz Icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1-2oz (according to taste) optional  cocoa/drinking chocolate

Beat together all ingredients and taste; this is important because sweetness and chocolateyness (yes that is a real word in my head) will depend on the saltiness of butter and the type of chocolate powder used.



So many options with this one; you could leave out the chocolate and add 4oz dried fruit for example…. mmmmmm mini fruit cakes….

IMPORTANT: The basic ingredients are equal parts flour, sugar and butter so the quantity can easily be doubled or trebled for more cakes.

If you’re really on a tight budget, you can replace 1oz of butter with 1tbsp of cooking oil.


To make a Victoria sponge:

  • Firstly I recommend buying the tins with removable bases so you can just grease the tin and not muck about with grease-proof paper.
  • I used triple the recipe (12oz of each, and 6oz chocolate if using) for my 7 inch tins and split the batter equally between them.
  • An extra egg, or 1/2tsp of baking powder, and a pinch of salt will make it rise more (good for guests coming).
  • these will take longer to cook, around half an hour (check  from 25 mins) and test as you would cupcakes.
  • sandwich together with jam, whipped cream or buttercream as you see fit.

Buttercream Quality Control:

  • If using cheap margarine for the buttercream adding a tablespoon of milk will make it taste more dairyfied, (another word from the depths of my brain, sorry) but you may need a sprinkle more icing sugar to get the consistency right.
  • Good quality cocoa or drinking chocolate powder please…. I don’t often but brand-named stuff but I will buy Cadbury’s original drinking chocolate for this because cheap or instant (hot water only) drinks often have granulated sweetener in them which gives your buttercream the consistency of wet sand. trust me, I’ve experienced it and will NEVER repeat the incident.


Phew! If you read all that, well done! Please comment any recipe adaptations, tips or pictures for us to share…. after you’ve had a cuppa and a cupcake that is 🙂



8 thoughts on “Sponge-cake 101

  1. WordPress really does need a new button entitled: LIKE SO MUCH I WANT TO COME AND LIVE WITH YOU.
    It would work perfectly for this situation I now find myself in.

    That cake … ohhhhhhhh [drool] ohhhh!!! [more drooling]
    For no other reason (so far) … I’m clicking to follow you.
    [needing a bib now]
    ~ Cobs. x


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