Lemon and elderflower Victoria sponge with buttercream filling

Our lemon and elderflower Victoria sponge recipe is layered with a generous buttercream and jam filling. A fruity red jam is the traditional way but you could continue the lemon theme and use dollops of lemon curd instead.


225g softened unsalted butter diced plus extra for the tins
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
225g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs plus 1 yolk
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp whole milk
2 tbsp elderflower cordial

75g unsalted butter softened
75g icing sugar sifted plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
125g good quality jam of your choice (see method)

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter two 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins about 5cm deep and line the bases with baking paper. Using an electric whisk on high speed, first whisk the butter and lemon zest in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes until very pale and fluffy, then add the sugar and continue to whisk for another 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the eggs and extra yolk one at a time, whisking well with each addition until the mixture is amalgamated, then sift and whisk in the flour and baking powder in two goes, just lightly, followed by the milk and cordial.
2. Divide the mixture between the cake tins (you can weigh it for accuracy), smooth the surface and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and shrinking from the sides and a skewer inserted into the centre of each one comes out clean. Run a knife around the collar of each cake and leave to cool (the cakes will sink back slightly). When cool, remove from the tins and peel off the base paper.
3. For the filling, whisk the butter in a medium bowl using an electric whisk for about 1 minute until very pale and fluffy, then gradually whisk in the icing sugar and whisk for 1 minute longer. Whisk in the cordial. Work the jam to loosen it and press through a sieve into a small bowl.
4. Spread the surface of one sponge with the buttercream using a palette knife, and then with the jam. Sandwich with the second sponge. Set aside in a cool place for a couple of hours for the buttercream to set. The cake will keep well for several days loosely covered in a cool place. Dust with icing sugar close to the time of serving. If wished, you can lay a doily or flower stencil on top before dusting.