The Roarsome Vi-cat-oria Sponge, by Kim-Joy

"I’m not lion when I say that this classic Victoria Sponge is purrfection. Light sponge, sweet jam and silky whipped cream; it’s always a crowd-pleaser. The traditional method of equal weights of butter, sugar, eggs and flour always works, so the only tweak in my version is that I add a little bit of cornflour into the mix, which creates an extra tender cake. This cake is made even more fun with the playful cats hanging out in it (and the lion that wishes he was on top of the cake, but has been downgraded to in between the cake layers due to being outnumbered by ordinary house cats). Tips to ensure this cake is extra tender, light and delicious: Make sure you cream the butter and sugar for a long time (a good 5–10 minutes), beat well after adding each egg, mix as minimally as possible after adding the flour, don’t overbake and use soaked cake strips around the cake tins. This makes a big difference and is easy to do – just soak in water then wrap around the outside of the tin and bake."

This cake isn’t super difficult, and the Victoria Sponge is a simple classic. You just need to stack this taller, and remember that you’re working with whipped cream, which isn’t as stable as buttercream, so decisions about cat placement need to be made decisively.

Bake Me A Cat by Kim-Joy (Quadrille, £16.99), Photography by Ellis Parrinder

Read our Q&A with Kim-Joy and discover her top tips, learnt while perfecting thee recipes.

Or see her recipe for Purrfect Doughnuts, and Mochi Cats.

Ingredients for Victoria Sponge

  • 400g unsalted butter, softened, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • Big pinch of salt
  • 400g caster or granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 7 medium eggs
  • 360g self-raising flour (to make gluten-free, substitute with a gluten-free self-raising flour blend plus ½ tsp xanthan gum)
  • 40g cornflour (or replace with self-raising flour; the cornflour helps to make the sponge extra light)
  • 3 tsp baking powder (or gluten-free baking powder)
  • 3–4 tbsp whole milk

For the Filling and Decoration

  • 240g good-quality strawberry jam
  • 800ml double cream
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • Handful each of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

How to make Kim-Joy's Vi-cat-oria Sponge Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C [325°F/Gas mark 3]. Grease the base and sides of 3 x 23-cm [9-in] round cake tins with butter and line the bases with a circle of baking paper.
  2. Add the butter, salt and sugar to a large bowl and, using an electric whisk (or stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment), whisk until fluffy and pale in colour, scraping down the bowl a couple of times to ensure everything is whisked well. It’s important not to under whisk at this stage, as you need to incorporate as much air as possible. Whisk in the vanilla.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. The mixture may look slightly curdled after adding the last egg, but don’t worry, this is normal.
  4. Sift in the flour (plus xanthan gum, if gluten-free), cornflour and baking powder, then using a spatula, fold in gently. Be careful to mix only until just combined.
  5. Add enough milk until the batter drops easily off the spatula when it’s lifted up.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared tins. Ideally, wrap the outside of each tin in a damp tea [dish] towel (or use cake strips – see intro) as this will ensure your cake bakes and rises evenly and taller, rather than doming in the middle. If you don’t use cake strips, your cake domes will need trimming, so the overall cake will be a little flatter, but this is fine and will still be delicious!
  7. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the cakes visibly come away from the sides and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to stand in their tins for 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the edges and turn them out onto wire racks. Peel off the baking paper and leave to cool completely.
  9. While the cakes are cooling, make the fondant cats and a lion following the instructions on page 15 (or take the chill option and use plastic toy versions instead!).
  10. Make sure the cakes are cool before assembling. Place one layer on a serving plate, then spoon over half the jam, spreading it to the edges. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then spoon a small amount into a piping [pastry] bag. Cut a large tip (or use a large round piping tip), then pipe blobs of cream all around the circumference of the cake. Arrange cats/lion sticking out over the side of the cake. Pipe or spoon cream into the centre.
  11. Tip: Fill your piping bag with small amounts of cream at a time – the squeezing action can cause the cream at the top of the bag to end up overwhipped if the bag is too full.
  12. Place the second layer of cake on top and repeat, using all the remaining jam, and arranging more cats. Place the third layer of cake on top, then dust the whole cake with icing sugar. Spoon the remaining cream into the centre and top with a pile of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Place a cat or 2 on top of the mountain of fruit. Best eaten the day it’s made.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024


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