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Mary Berry’s Lemon Victoria Sandwich

Mary Berry's Lemon Victoria sandwich | Hello! Hooray!

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

4 eggs

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

Lemon Victoria Sponge Mary Berry | Hello! Hooray!

Mary Berry's Lemon Victoria Sponge | Hello! Hooray!


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!

Tea and Lemon Victoria Sponge | Hello! Hooray!

Post updated 19th June 2016.

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  1. trialsinfood on February 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    that looks fantastic!

    • Clare on February 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you! It tastes really good – definitely a good choice if you’ve got a sweet tooth! 🙂

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. Lemon Victoria Sandwich – Taylor made bakes on November 6, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    […] 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 […]

  4. Annie mcmann on September 15, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Tried it loved it ❤️

    • Clare on March 23, 2019 at 10:39 am

      Yay! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it 🙂 It’s still a firm favourite in our house!

  5. Reshma Patel on April 16, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    It says 4 eggs does that mean large or medium

    • Clare on June 23, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      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!

  6. Washiela Ratcliffe on May 12, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Saw it! … made it (several times) … success every time, so will keep baking as I love it! Thank you for sharing this 🙂 x

    • Clare on June 23, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      Oh yay! I’m so pleased you enjoy making this recipe – thanks so much for getting in touch, Washiela!

  7. Sue James on May 19, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    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! )

    • Clare on June 23, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      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!

    • chris mooney on October 1, 2021 at 10:14 am

      Hi Sue if you put to much baking powder in can make them sink or if you open the oven before they are cooked

  8. Shannon on June 13, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    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.

    • Clare Albans on July 11, 2020 at 8:31 pm

      This is really helpful – thank you, Shannon!

    • Joe on May 24, 2021 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks Shannon…I saw that the Fahrenheit was off. Great tips!

    • Tracy on July 12, 2021 at 8:30 pm

      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!

    • Dave on July 31, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      Also the European Teaspoon is larger than an American teaspoon.

  9. Christine on August 26, 2020 at 8:45 am

    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.

    • Clare Albans on September 7, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      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?

  10. Karen Davis on October 9, 2020 at 11:26 am

    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.

    • Clare Albans on October 9, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      I have never noticed that I did it the other way around! I guess it doesn’t really matter 🙂

  11. veronica bellotti on October 26, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    I made my own lemon Curd, and instead of butter cream I used my own homemade Greek Yogurt for filling, Divine.

  12. Nina on February 8, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    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

    • Clare Albans on February 10, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      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

  13. Caz on February 26, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Success; looks too good to eat. But will do for my husbands birthday tomorrow.

  14. Amy on April 3, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    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.

    • Clare Albans on April 12, 2021 at 12:27 pm

      Sorry it sank, Amy! It’s Mary Berry’s recipe and it has always turned out great for me – definitely worth trying again!

  15. Sandy on June 10, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    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.

  16. Sandy on June 11, 2021 at 1:46 am

    Both my cakes did a nose dive in the oven. Has anyone asked Mary Berry about this?

  17. Nicola Cornwell on September 11, 2021 at 9:12 am

    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.

  18. Gillian Chappell on November 20, 2021 at 12:27 am

    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.

  19. Sarah B on March 21, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    I switched the filling up by using cream cheese and passion fruit

  20. Alex on April 25, 2022 at 11:05 pm

    Could I use oil instead of butter?

    • Clare Albans on August 8, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      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!

  21. Kim on July 26, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    Made this cake several times it is delicious my grandsons favourite make it over and over again

    • Clare Albans on August 8, 2022 at 2:15 pm

      Yay! Oh I’m so pleased you love it, Kim – I haven’t made this for ages, so might have to fix this 😊

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