EASY RECIPE: My Best Ever Gluten Free Victoria Sponge
My Gluten Free Victoria Sponge is my all time favourite recipe, ever. Ever ever ever. I mean… look…. how can you resist a slice?
Before my coeliac diagnosis, it was my go-to recipe so as soon as I decided to start learning how to bake with gluten free flour, it was the first recipe I worked on.
3 years later I’m still baking this cake on the regular. I’ve made it for a Sunday treat, birthdays and even weddings (truly honoured to have been asked to make that one!!). Everyone says its so light and tasty – no one has ever guessed its gluten and dairy free.
**WARNING – I’ve made the recipe look like its reaaaaally long. Its not, its really easy.** I’ve just gone massively overboard on the tips & tricks because I want to make sure you’re never reading the recipe thinking “hmmm does she mean this…or this?”… or “does this look right?!”.
Gluten Free Victoria Sponge Ingredients
Its all very simple bits – I don’t think you need any fancy baking powder or xantham gum if you’re using good ingredients! Recommendations below.
Here’s some info about the ingredients and possible substitutions if you need them:
1) Gluten Free Flour
- Cupcakes: Ideally you need self-raising for the cupcakes. If not, add 1.5 tsp of baking powder to the plain flour.
- Brand: I like Doves Farm FREEE
(2) Caster Sugar – White granulated sugar would be fine too
(3) Icing Sugar – no other options here I’m afraid!
(4) “Spread” – Flora – this is my preference for making cakes and buttercream as it makes them light and fluffy and is naturally dairy free but of course you can replace it for any of your preferred brands
(5) Egg – I’m yet to try other options but I’m told flax eggs, chia or even more apple sauce can work! Will try them asap and update this guide
(6) Jam – any flavour you like but I like using Strawberry!
Its really important to make the cake airtight as soon as its been constructed. It will dry out quickly otherwise. Either use a tin, a cake dome or wrap in cling film and then it’ll keep for 3-4 days if you can make it last that long!
This recipe also freezes really well! Wrap in a layer of cling film and then a layer of tin foil. Defrost at room temperature (or I’ve even stuck it in the microwave for 10 second blasts when I’ve been impatient and desperate!!!)
Ever heard of cake straps?
Ok… you know how in all bakeries and fancy Insta accounts, the cakes have a lovely flat top (i.e. not domed), so they stack perfectly? Turns out thats partly due to these “cake straps”.
Found this pic online to show what I mean. Left has no cake straps, right has cake straps.
Soak them in ice water, wrap them around the outside of your cake tin and then just bake as normal. Genius!! You can buy them easily online – mine are by Wilton.
EASY RECIPE: My BEST EVER Gluten Free Victoria Sponge
- 340 grams Gluten Free Self-Raising Flour
- 340 grams Caster Sugar
- 340 grams Spread - I recommend the Flora above (see "ingredients" in the blog post)
- 6 Eggs
- 300-400 grams Jam
- 500 Icing sugar
- 250 Spread - I recommend the Flora above (see "ingredients" in the blog post)
- Preheat your oven to 180oC (fan).
- Line your tin with baking paper.>See my pic for how I do it :a. Cut a piece of baking paper in circle, slightly larger than the tin. b. Put a piece of paper into the base of the tin and push it around the edges so the excess forms a little lip around the sides of the tin. This makes it easier to remove the cake when its cooked.c. Remove the paper from the tin, cut small lines around the edge (zoom in on the pic below to see), to help it sit in the tin nicely and then place the paper back into the tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the butter & sugar until fully combined. >You’re looking for the mix to be paler, smooth & creamy! I use an electric whisk for 1 min.
- Crack all the eggs into a separate bowl & beat together until just starting to froth up, like the picture. >Takes 10 seconds. You can use the electric whisk for this too.
- Add 1/3 of the beaten eggs and 1/3 of the flour to the butter/sugar and whisk together until JUST combined (10 seconds). >Don’t over whisk, otherwise you’ll lose the air bubbles & your cake won’t be quite so fluffy!
- Repeat for the next 1/3 eggs and flour and whisk in. Then repeat for the remaining 1/3.>Again, only whisk until JUST combined. 10 seconds again.
- Scrape right around the sides of the bowl to pick up any excess flour. Give the mixture one final whisk, making sure you reach right to the bottom of the bowl and everything is fully combined. >Still try not to over whisk! 5 seconds at most.
- Pour roughly half the mix into each tin. GENTLY spread the mix around until its even and right to the sides.
- Place the cakes into the centre of the oven. Bake for approx 30 mins. >If you cant fit two cakes onto one shelf in the oven, put one in the middle ish and one near the bottom. Avoid the top as it gets hot!>Do not open the oven door in the first 25-30 mins otherwise you'll end up with a flat-as-a-pancake cake.>You’re looking for them to be firm on top but springy to touch and a knife/skewer poked into the middle of the cake should come out relatively clean! Second pic shows what a "clean knife" looks like. If its not, pop the cake back into the oven for 3 mins and repeat.
- Once the cakes are cooked, immediately run a sharp knife around the very edge of the tin to loosen the cake from the sides.
- Leave it to cool for 5 mins in the tin, then carefully remove it and place onto a cooling rack until COMPLETELY COOL.>I use a springform baking tin. I open the spring to remove the sides of the tin, then place a cooling rack upside down on the cake. Flip the cooling rack so the cake is upside down and then remove the base of the cake tin and the baking paper.
Make the Buttercream
- Add the butter and icing sugar to a bowl. Whisk until smooth. This will take at least 2 mins.>It should look like the second pic – thoroughly mixed together, pale and fluffy! The first one hasn't been whisked enough because you can still see bits of icing sugar. Its also still quite yellow.
- How to fix a common compliant: "my icing went too runny and the top layer of cake was sliding around on it!" My tip: Scrap right around the outside of the bowl and gather the butter icing together in the middle. Leave the butter icing to sit at room temperature for at least 30 mins. At that point, give it another little mix with a spoon. If it feels REALLY soft and like it couldn't hold a the weight of a cake, add some more icing sugar and whisk again until it feels thick.
Construction – Do not attempt to move onto this stage until the cakes are completely cool
- Before actually constructing your victoria sponge, very carefully put the two layers together to see which way they sit the best. Sometimes one side is slightly higher than the other or they might sit more evenly together if they're turned upside down.
- Take your jar of jam. Give it a good mix with a spoon to soften it up a little.
- Spoon it ontop of one layer of cake.Don't put the jam right to the edges. Leave about £1 spare around the edges. When you put the top layer of cake on, it'll squish everything out!
- Pipe/spoon the butter icing ontop of the jam. I like to do it in a flower pattern like the picture, but you can just spoon it on roughly too.
- If you want to, and you've got some buttercream left, make another flower of buttercream on the top tier of the cake. Add a few spoons of jam and some strawberries. Dust with icing sugar
Want some more classic bakes?
Here’s some of my faves. All gluten and dairy free