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Celebrity Chef Alan Coxon's Victoria Sponge

Epilepsy Action Tea Break - Friday 21 October

Alan Coxon

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  • 225g (8oz) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 225g (8oz) castor sugar or vanilla sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of milk or water to add if necessary

For the filling:

  • 425ml (3/4 pint) whipped cream
  • Sugar
  • Strawberry jam

You will also need: two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins


  • Before you do anything else, pre-heat the oven to 182 degrees C/360 degrees F/gas mark 4¼. Prepare two 20cm (8inch) sandwich tins by greasing them thoroughly and lining the base with non-stick parchment. Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat it until it is pale and light.
  • Add the sugar and continue beating until it’s light and fluffy.
  • Break the eggs into a separate bowl and beat them lightly. Add the eggs a spoon at a time to the batter mix, beating in each addition thoroughly before adding the next.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together. Use a large metal spoon; fold in the sieved flour to the egg and butter mixture.
  • The mix should now be ready.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins. Tap the tins down gently to get rid of any large air pockets and level the cakes. Place into the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • When ready, cool on a cooling wire rack and remove the baking parchment. When completely cool, prepare the filling with the strawberry jam and cream and sandwich the two sponges together.
  • Dust the cake with rose petal scented icing sugar and decorate the cake with crystallised rose petals. The beauty about a simple cake like this is that you can decorate it any way you like.

Alan's tips

  • If the mix is soft enough to drop easily off a spoon tapped gently at the side of the bowl it is ready to bake. If it is too dry add a little milk.
  • Try using some vanilla sugar. Put a vanilla pod in some castor sugar about three weeks before using. The castor sugar will take in all that lovely flavour and give a nice flavour to your sponge. You can add other flavoured sugars instead of vanilla. Lemon sugar, cinnamon sugar, cardamom sugar, rose petal sugar is good examples.
  • If your mixture curdles don’t worry. A little bit too much egg is in there fighting against the fat so stick a spoonful of flour in and mix it together. This should absorb all that excess liquid that’s separated it in the first place and that will bring it all together into a nice mixture.
  • Be very careful not to open the oven or to bang it while the cakes are baking, as it won’t help your sponges at all.
  • You know the sponges are cooked when they feel firm and springy in the centre. A good way of testing is to give it a gentle poke in the middle and if it springs back then it’s ready. The other one is to place a skewer or a knife into the centre and if it comes out clean then you know that it’s done.

Why has this recipe been donated to Epilepsy Action?

A cup of coffee and a piece of cake can make a real difference for people with epilepsy.

Epilepsy Action’s network of coffee and chat groups can provide a life line to people who might be feeling isolated because of the condition. Coffee and chat groups give people affected by epilepsy an opportunity to come together and share their experiences.

Text ACT NOW to 70700 to donate £5, the cost of a cup of coffee and piece of cake, to Epilepsy Action. Together we can make sure no-one has to face epilepsy alone. Terms and conditions.

Want to hold your own Tea Break?

Each year in October, Epilepsy Action holds a fundraising event called Tea Break, asking people to pop the kettle on, make a brew, bake a cake and have a cuppa with us! The money raised goes towards helping everyone affected by epilepsy in the UK! 

Holding a Tea Break really is a piece of cake! Whether it’s a cup of tea and a cake in your kitchen or a tea party at your workplace, you can hold your Tea Break anywhere and invite anybody along to share the fun. In the past, we have had Tea Breaks registered all over the UK; from Cornwall to Scotland, in schools, homes and workplaces.  

If reading this recipe has inspired you to hold a Tea Break for Epilepsy Action, why not register for your free fundraising pack now and bake a difference?

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