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Union Jack Victoria Sponge Cake

Introduction & method

I made my version of the official amaretti and lemon trifle a few weeks ago. It was challenging, so I thought I'd try to come up with something cheaper and easier. My cake is in the shape of one quarter of a Union Jack and it's based on a classic Victoria Sponge. In the end, I don't think it was cheaper or easier, but it's certainly tasty.

Union Jack Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

Make Sponges

Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F) for a fan/convection oven, 180°C (356°F) conventional, gas 4. You'll need two square cake tins, about 23cm (9 inches). Line them with greaseproof paper, leaving a good overhang to act as a handle. Beat together the butter and sugar until it is fluffy and light. Mix the vanilla in with the eggs and add this mixture to the butter/sugar in stages, making sure it's fully incorporated before you add more. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add it to the mixture. Stir in enough milk to give the batter a dropping consistency. 

Tip the mixture into a large bowl, weigh it, and divide equally between two bowls. Stir red food colouring into one batch of batter, and blue into the other. Use only a small bit of colouring to begin with until you get an idea of how strong it is. Pour the mixtures into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cakes. If comes out dry, the cakes are done. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make Buttercream

You need your butter to be quite soft but not melted before you start this. Beat it together with the icing sugar. Add the vanilla and keep on beating until the mixture is smooth. Divide the mixture into two parts and colour one piece red and the other piece blue.

Glaze the Blueberries

Blueberries usually have a dusty appearance that won't wash off. If you want them to be shiny, make up a suger syrup of equal parts sugar and water. Heat them on the stove until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, tip the blueberries in, strain them and place them in a single layer on a plate until needed.

Chocolate Crown

This is meant to look like the points of a crown or coronet, placed on each corner of the cake. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Break the chocolate up into squares and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it for 30 seconds, then stir the chocolate. Repeat microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is all melted - about 2-3 minutes. Pour the chocolate into the tray and swizz it around until you have an even layer. Don't make the chocolate too thin. When the chocolate has set, cut it into 8 tall triangles and spray them with the golden glitter powder.

Royal Icing

Beat the egg white until frothy. Add the sugar, lemon juice and glycerine and beat to stiff peaks. Place in an airtight container until you're ready for it. Adding glycerine gives the icing a softer texture. If you don't use it, the icing will dry really hard and brittle.

Trim the Sponges

Carefully cut the crunchy edges off your sponges and slice the top horizontally to get it level. You might need to level up the sloping edges with some offcut slivers stuck on with jam. Make sure that both of your sponges are the same length and width.

Begin Assembly

Take the blue sponge and spread a thin layer of blue buttercream along the bottom edge and left-hand side of the cake's top. It should be the width of 2 raspberries. Now spread royal icing in a 2.5cm (1 inch) strip alongside the buttercream strips and in a diagonal line from the bottom left corner to the top right. You'll probably find the icing picks up cake crumbs. Don't worry about this now, we are laying down a 'crumb coat' and when it is dry it will glue the crumbs to the cake. Then apply a second, thicker coat of icing. With the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn't have done this, I would have bought some white fondant icing and used that. 

When the royal icing has more or less set - this may take several hours - place 2 rows of raspberries on the red buttercream. Fill the two triangles with blue buttercream and stick glazed blueberries on it. Use a needle or some small tweezers to place the berries accurately.

Final Assembly

Place the red sponge on a cakeboard or plate. Spread the top generously with raspberry jam. Whisk the cream and sugar together until you get stiff peaks. This might take about 5 minutes but be careful not to overbeat it or you may end up with butter. Pipe a thick layer of cream over the jam layer. You might want to dot some blueberries around to act as a spacer so the top cake doesn't squeeze all of the cream out. Place the blue sponge on top and position chocolate shards at each corner. Use buttercream to stick the chocolate to the cake and royal icing to glue the long edges of 2 triangles on the corner. Pop a raspberry on top of each chocolate point. The cake is finished. Relax, wave a flag, bask in glory.



The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Union Jack Victoria Sponge Cake on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 335 grams caster (powdered) sugar
 335 grams butter (softened)
 335 grams self-raising flour
 6 large eggs
 3 tsp baking powder
 75 ml milk
 1 tsp vanilla extract
 100 grams unsalted butter
 200 grams icing (confectioners) sugar
 1 tsp vanilla extract
 1 tbsp milk
 2 tbsp sugar
 2 tbsp water
 100 grams icing sugar
 1 egg white
 half a tsp lemon juice
 half a tsp glycerine
 250 ml double (heavy) cream
 3 tbsp icing sugar
 400 grams white chocolate
 a few squirts of golden edible spray glitter


For the topping, a handful of raspberries and a handful of blueberries. For assembly, a couple of tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam. Red and blue food colouring paste, gel, powder or liquid.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 10 
Prep time: 1 hour.
3 hours time: Setting.
Cooking time: 1 hour.
Total time: 5 hours.