victoria sponge cupcakes

i have a massive sweet tooth, and an especially debilitating weakness when it comes to pastries.

these little cupcakes are my absolute favorite in the world. when i lived in virginia, i opened up a little farmer's market stand. we sold english goodies ranging from scones to chutneys to curds to little victoria sponge cakes, a specialty made from scratch by a friend of mine. they're absolutely beautiful, fairly easy to make, and everyone loves them. EVERYONE.

i used nigella lawson's recipe from "how to be a domestic goddess" because, seriously, 1) who doesn't want to be a domestic goddess sometimes? and 2) girlfriend knows how to bake.

there's something about the light-as-air vanilla buttercream, the tartness of the raspberry preserves, and the fluffiness of the cake that makes this my favorite dessert.

to make 18 cupcakes, you'll need:
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white/caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • vanilla buttercream (recipe below)
  • raspberry jam
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except the milk in a large bowl. beat with an electric mixer, starting on low speed and working up to high for about 3-5 minutes. your batter will be very fluffy and hold soft peaks. add milk and continue to beat on medium. divide batter into muffin tins, about halfway full. bake for 15-20 minutes. the tops of the cakes should be golden brown. pop the cakes out onto a cooling rack and cool fully.

vanilla buttercream from savory sweet life:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or cream
DON'T COMBINE THEM ALL YET. i get really excited and just throw everything into a bowl sometimes, which is what i did the first time i made this. it's a bad idea.
beat the butter for three minutes in a large bowl until it's nice and fluffy. add 3 cups of the powdered sugar, and turn your mixer on the lowest speed so the sugar doesn't go everywhere. increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons milk, and beat for 3 minutes. if your frosting needs to be stiffer, add more powdered sugar. if it needs to be thinner, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

the final assembly:

cut your little cakes in half horizontally. put a good schmear of buttercream on the top half, and a bit of raspberry preserves on the bottom half. smoosh it back together, and dust the top with powdered sugar.

so there you go. a beautiful, tasty little cupcake, perfect with tea or to bring to any function. believe me. wrap them up in a thoroughly british cupcake wrapper, and pop them on a cake stand.

another way you can enjoy these cupcakes is in the comfort of your apartment.

that's how i eat cupcakes, friend.

and now, a series of hipsters eating cupcakes:

have you ever seen a hipster smile? that's pure, unadulterated enjoyment of the loveliest little cupcakes in the world right there.