Mary Berry’s Lemon Victoria Sandwich
Mary Berry’s Lemon Victoria Sandwich recipe was specially commissioned by the GDST for the 140th anniversary of the Girls’ Day School Trust and appeared in issue 12/13 of Verve Magazine (also available online here). Mary Berry is a GDST alumna, and all girls were given a postcard with the recipe to celebrate the Bake Off event (the final of which was just by one of the hosts of The Great British Bake Off, Mel Giedroyc – another GDST alumna!). I used to teach music at Central Newcastle High School which makes me an ‘Old Girl’, and as I love baking I just had to try out this recipe. If you make your own lemon curd, it will taste even better! I also added buttercream, which is not in the original recipe.
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
For the filling
About 4 tbsp lemon curd
250g icing sugar, sifted (plus extra for dusting)
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml semi skimmed milk
Finely grated zest of half a lemon
1. Lightly grease two 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins and line the bases with a circle of non-stick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160F/Gas 4.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Beat the eggs and add the grated lemon zest and mix well. Pour the mix in a little at a time and mix well. Sift in the flour and baking powder and combine together. (Mary’s original recipe suggests using an electric whisk – put all ingredients into a bowl and beat for a couple of minutes).
3. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and level with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until well-risen and golden.
4. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for a few moments then run a blunt knife around the edge of the tins to free the sides of the cakes. Turn the cakes out, peel off the paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. As the cakes cool, make the buttercream by creaming together the butter and icing sugar. Add the milk and lemon zest and beat until smooth.
6. Choose the cake with the best top, then put the other cake top downwards on to a serving plate. Spread with the lemon curd and then the buttercream. Put the other cake on top and dust with icing sugar. Put the kettle on, cut a big slice and enjoy! If you’re not a fan of lemon, you could always try out my Classic Victoria Sponge. Either of these cakes are best enjoyed with a cuppa!
Post updated 19th June 2016.
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that looks fantastic!
Thank you! It tastes really good – definitely a good choice if you’ve got a sweet tooth! 🙂
[…] one on the Smells Like Home food blog, but I actually decided to use my tried-and-tested recipe for lemon Victoria sandwich by Mary Berry and make cupcakes […]
[…] as I was looking for an alternative to a lemon drizzle cake and I found this on another blog, Hello! Hooray! and apparently it was specially commissioned by the GDST for the 140th anniversary of the […]
Tried it loved it ❤️
Yay! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it 🙂 It’s still a firm favourite in our house!
It says 4 eggs does that mean large or medium
Hi Reshma, I think it’s probably medium on the original recipe – although I always use large to be honest and it has never been a problem! Sorry for my late reply, just getting back into blogging after having my second baby. Hope you enjoyed the cake!
Saw it! … made it (several times) … success every time, so will keep baking as I love it! Thank you for sharing this 🙂 x
Oh yay! I’m so pleased you enjoy making this recipe – thanks so much for getting in touch, Washiela!
This is lovely… however my cakes sunk a little in the oven.. but it still tastes nice.
(I just put more buttercream and lemon curd in the slight dip! )
Hi Sue, I’m so glad you enjoyed it – a little extra lemon curd and buttercream is never a bad thing, that’s what I always do if it happens to me!
Hi Sue if you put to much baking powder in can make them sink or if you open the oven before they are cooked
For American bakers:
Oven temp is 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pan size is about 8″.
To make your own self rising flour, for every 120 g of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. (source: King Arthur flour)
Caster sugar is just a slightly finer grind that granulated, but granulated will work here. If you want caster sugar, it is sometimes called “bar sugar” here, sold for sugaring the rims of glasses.
This is really helpful – thank you, Shannon!
Thanks Shannon…I saw that the Fahrenheit was off. Great tips!
Caster sugar is also called baking (or bakers) sugar in the US. I find it in the baking aisle of my local supermarket (on the bottom shelf next to the granulated sugar). I’ve also heard that you can blitz granulated in the food processor to get something like caster sugar, but I haven’t tried that.
I’m trying this recipe this week. I LOVE lemon and I LOVE Victoria sponge, so this sounds perfect!
Also the European Teaspoon is larger than an American teaspoon.
My cake sunk like a stone in the middle while it was still in the oven. I followed the recipe but wondered what ent wrong.
Oh no! Sorry Christine, I’ve never had a problem with this recipe at all and I’ve made it countless times. Maybe it was the oven temperature?
Recipe says to spread with lemon curd and then butter cream but the picture has it the other way round which I think looks really nice.
I have never noticed that I did it the other way around! I guess it doesn’t really matter 🙂
I made my own lemon Curd, and instead of butter cream I used my own homemade Greek Yogurt for filling, Divine.
Ooh, that sounds delicious!
Hi Clare, looking super forward to using this recipe! Just wanted to ask, is the 225g and the 80g butter to be used both unsalted? Because the 80g is listed as unsalted, whereas the 225g is not. Thank you x
Hello Nina! Thank you for getting in touch and for pointing this out – yes, it’s both unsalted butter. I’ll change that now! Enjoy your baking, this is still one of our favourites 😊 x
Success; looks too good to eat. But will do for my husbands birthday tomorrow.
Yay! Enjoy 🙂
Boo – mine sank, too 😩
It’s still cooling – I haven’t turned it out yet, but I’m so sad it sank – both cakes.
Smells delicious. Will try it again.
Sorry it sank, Amy! It’s Mary Berry’s recipe and it has always turned out great for me – definitely worth trying again!
OH no, my cakes sank like rocks in the oven. They rose up and then did a nose dive. I was so disappointed as I needed the cake for my husband’s birthday.
Both my cakes did a nose dive in the oven. Has anyone asked Mary Berry about this?
If you weigh your eggs in their shells 1st, then use the same amount of sugar and fats. This has never failed me with a sponge cake. Might help with the sinking.
Marys recipe says bake for the first 20 minutes without opening the oven door at all . then bake for a further 5 mins and check for firmness. so 25 mins in total. If you opened the oven door with in the first 20 mins it may have caused it to sink.
I switched the filling up by using cream cheese and passion fruit
Could I use oil instead of butter?
I’ve never tried it, but it would be worth experimenting! A light one that won’t overpower the taste would be a good idea. Let me know how it turns out!
Made this cake several times it is delicious my grandsons favourite make it over and over again
Yay! Oh I’m so pleased you love it, Kim – I haven’t made this for ages, so might have to fix this 😊