Since Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday this past weekend, I thought I would do a spiffed up version of a Victoria Sponge Cake. I made 4 layers instead of two, and added lemon zest and juice as well as a layer of lemon curd, though it is quite fine with just the raspberry layers.
If you are going to include the lemon curd layer, make that and set aside to cool.
Lemon Curd (optional – you can just do another jam layer if you wish)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 or 2 lemons)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
Whisk the lemon juice, sugar, and eggs until thoroughly combined and most of the sugar has dissolved. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until the curd is steaming (but not boiling) and thickened.
Take the curd off the heat, add the butter, and stir until the butter has melted. Pour the curd through the strainer to get rid of any lumps.
For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
zest of one lemon
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups milk
1 cup raspberry jam
icing sugar to dust over top
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat in after each addition.
Add in the zest, juice and vanilla and mix to combine. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix half into the batter. Add half of the milk and mix in. Add the rest of the flour mixture and stir. Add the last of the milk and stir. Pour into 2 round cake pans that have been greased with butter. I also like to use parchment paper in the bottom of the pan to ensure the cake comes out nicely. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes on a rack for a few minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely. Slice cakes in half horizontally.
Add 1/2 cup of jam to the first layer and spread evenly. Add lemon curd to the second layer, and jam to the third. (If you are omitting the lemon curd, you will need an extra 1/2 cup of raspberry jam). Sprinkle icing sugar over the top of the cake using a small strainer. Add fresh raspberries for decoration.