Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Strawberry Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake

Nicoletta June 16, 2019

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Strawberry Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake, or Victoria sandwich cake, is a  traditional British cake. This version combines a light sponge cake made with white spelt flour, a sweet and tart strawberry rhubarb compote and delectable mascarpone cream. For an afternoon tea fit for a queen, a joyful birthday, or an outstanding dessert.

Song of the Day: I’ll Be There  (Acoustic) – Jess Glynne 

It’s Father’s Day, today!

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, and most especially to my amazing husband!

 
Food love……………..

Strawberry Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake  is the perfect way to say I love you and show appreciation. I think any father would love this light buttery creamy fresh made-with-love dessert.

There is nothing like something that is made for you with so much passion and love. As Loreto taught me, the energy put in is consequently what flavor comes out, lol.

Father’s Day

First, I know Loreto misses his father. This is the second Father’s day without him. We miss his wacky cakes and lemon cookies, his “rooster call”, calmness, and neverending patience. Nonetheless, my husband is the man he’s become thanks to his father, his teachings, his example. 

A little Praise goes a long way…………….

Loreto is a wonderful father of two kids, all grown-up now, my stepson and stepdaughter. He did an incredible job as a father and we are proud of what the kids have become. Loreto is also a funny and loving grandpa, of an adorable little girl who seems to have inherited grandpa’s love for good food and good laughs.

Pondering thoughts………….

In all, he would have been the most incredible father of our two children, had they decided to stay with us. I’ve always felt responsible for losing something so precious. It’s like I was holding a fragile inestimable thing in my hand, let it fall and it shattered at my feet. Regardless,  he was there for me, I can always count on him. And he is there for many people. My husband is not only a great father but a wonderful human being.

A Strawberry Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake for him

As a consequence of being so awesome, Loreto deserves only the best, and I think I did a pretty good job with this cake for him. A classic Victoria sponge cake, enriched with a strawberry rhubarb compote and mascarpone cream. 

Victoria Sponge

The cake is light and airy, it has a dense yet crumbly texture that just melts in your mouth like caramel and leaves a rich buttery flavor. So balanced, it is just mildly sweet, which in our books is perfect. Loreto and I don’t like super sweet, thick, iced cakes. Loreto says it makes his mouth and teeth chatter, consequently causing him a very funny face.

Tips for a great sponge cake
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. The butter should be soft but still holding together.
  • Use a scale to weigh out all the ingredients and have them ready before you begin making the cake.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour and then sift. Sifting adds air and thus lightness to a cake mixture.
  • Use the freshest eggs possible. For us, it’s only free range organic eggs. 
  • Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Always preheat the oven and bake the cakes on the middle shelf.

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder……..

I am biased, however, you have to agree this cake is absolutely beautiful. The stark contrast of the mascarpone cream and the strawberry rhubarb compote is alluring while the subtle airiness and golden hue of the Victoria sponge cake consequently make us think of how it melts in your mouth in a  buttery rich taste bud dance! This cake will raise some eyebrows for sure!

Traditional Victoria Sponge Cake

The Victoria sponge is flavorful enough that it can be enjoyed plain. Traditionally, it would have been sandwiched only with jam, with a dusting of icing sugar on top. However, the use of whipped cream is a recent addition and it counterpoints beautifully the sweet preserves. Fresh fruit as a filling and/or topping is also a recent and inspired addition; hence strawberries and cream make for a divine combination, and the Strawberry Rhubarb combo makes this even better, in my humble opinion.  

An impressive cake

If you want to impress your loved ones and bring a dessert to the table that will stir all the oohhs and aahhs, this Strawberry Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake is your cake. Strawberries and rhubarb are seasonal now and what grows together is great when eaten together. The mildly sweet and tart compote compliments the rich sponge cake wonderfully, and the light mascarpone cream just ties everything together with this elegant richness highlighting all that is happening in this cake. As a result, happy baker equals happy fathers, lol.

Special Days call for special cakes………..

It’s Fathers Day and we wish the best for all of you fathers, may this day bring you many blessings, however, it would be even better to be surprised with a Strawberry Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake!

Enjoy!

Song of the Day: I’ll Be There  (Acoustic) – Jess Glynne 

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Strawberry Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International

Description

Strawberry Rhubarb Victoria Sponge Cake, or Victoria sandwich cake, is a  traditional British cake. This version combines a light sponge cake made with white spelt flour, a sweet and tart strawberry rhubarb compote and delectable mascarpone cream. For an afternoon tea fit for a queen, a joyful birthday, or an outstanding dessert.


Ingredients

For the Victoria Sponge Cake (from the cookbook Gatherings by Flora Shedden):

  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g white spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:

  • 300 g (2 cups) strawberries, halved
  • 100 g (about 1 cup) rhubarb, chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:

  • 1/4 cup mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) whipping cream

Instructions

For the Strawberry Rhubarb compote:

  1. In a heavy pot over medium heat add the halved strawberries, the chopped rhubarb, the sugar, orange juice, and cornstarch. Stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken but you can still see nice chunks of fruit. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Victoria Sponge Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350° F). Grease a tall 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pan with removable bottom. Line the bottom with a round of parchment and butter the top. (You can also use two round 8-inch pans and divide the batter between the two pans).
  2. In a bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together.
  3. Place into the bowl of a stand mixer,  the butter, vanilla,  sugar and beat until very light and fluffy.
  4. Add one of the eggs and two tablespoons of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat to combine. Repeat with the remaining eggs, accompanying each egg with two tablespoons of flour and beating thoroughly after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, if you need to. Next, beat in the vanilla.
  5. Add the rest of the flour and gently fold it with a spatula until mixture is smooth.
  6. Pour the batter in the prepared baking pan (or in the two baking pans), and gently smooth the surface.
  7. Place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer or cake tester inserted in the center, comes out clean. Usually, cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the pans.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a butter knife around the inside edge, unmold and let cool completely on a rack.

For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:

  1. In the bowl of the stand mixer (or with a handheld mixer), beat the mascarpone, vanilla, and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour in the whipping cream in a steady stream and beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Assembly:

  1. Place the cake on a cake stand or plate, carefully cut it in half with a serrated knife. Spread the mascarpone cream on the bottom half of the cake, then add the strawberry rhubarb compote, leaving some for the top decoration, if you like. Cover with the top of the cake.
  2. Trim off any hump on the top part to make it flat. Spread the rest of the mascarpone cream and a dollop of compote in the center.
  3. This cake is ready to serve.

Enjoy!


Notes

If you have two round 8-inch pans, you can divide the batter between the two pans and bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes, checking them after 20 minutes. To assemble the Victoria sponge cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate, fill it according to the recipe, then top with the second cake, top-side up. (I did not have two pans, but a tall 8-inch with removable bottom. It worked well, I just had to cut the cake in half and trim the top.)

Although best eaten the day it’s made, you can store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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6 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Jessica June 18, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Oh wow, this cake is divine! Cannot beat the rhubarb and mascarpone combination.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 19, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Thank you, Jessica! It was divine, the combination of cream and fruit, and the texture of the cake. Hard to forget!

  • Avatar
    Reply Colleen June 18, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Nicoletta, this cake is gorgeous, and what a sweet tribute to your hubby for father’s day! You are blessed.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 19, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Thank you so much, Colleen! He really deserves that 🙂 . The cake is truly one of the best we’ve eaten so far!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sabrina June 19, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    This cake is so luscious! I love the fresh tang of rhubarb and the mascarpone filling. Spelt flour is a nutritious choice and a lovely simple cake to make. Thanks!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta June 20, 2019 at 7:31 am

      Thank you, Sabrina. Strawberry rhubarb must be the most delicious combination ever 🙂 . I love using spelt flour!

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