These mini Victoria sponge cakes are a total winner every time! Light and fluffy vanilla mini cakes sandwiched with beautiful strawberry jam and delicious vanilla buttercream. They are so simple, but these Victoria sponge cup cakes are always enjoyed by everyone!
A bit of royal British trivia
As you might suspect, the classic Victoria sponge was named after Queen Victoria herself. However, the tradition of afternoon tea, as we know it today, actually began with Anne Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. You see, back in the 19th century, the evening meal was taken between 8pm and 9pm. The poor Duchess complained of a “sinking feeling” around mid afternoon, so she requested some tea and light food was brought to help her stave off her hunger until the evening meal (or High Tea as it was then called).
Once this became part of her every day, she began inviting friends to partake in enjoying afternoon tea with her. Amongst those she invited to join her was none other than Queen Victoria herself. Once it had been given the royal seal of approval, this new tradition quickly rose in popularity amongst the upper classes, and the tradition of afternoon tea was born.
Queen Victoria was said to have rather a sweet tooth. Biographers have named a whole array of sweet treats she was said to have enjoyed, from cakes, petit fours, biscuits, tablets and many many more. However, this simple vanilla sandwich cake with jam and cream was always a favourite of hers, and so it came to be named after the monarch herself.
And a little extra British baking trivia for you!
Oh, and I love this little extra bit of trivia for you! On the much-loved baking show the Great British Bake Off, all the ovens are tested every day using a (full sized) Victoria sandwich cake. This cake serves as the benchmark to ensure all the ovens are working perfectly before the bakers enter the tent. Surely, if you needed any more reason to love this cake, that is it! It truly is the cake of the Great British Bake Off!
What ingredients do I need to make mini Victoria sponge cakes?
- Butter: I use unsalted butter, so I can control the amount of salt in the mini vanilla cakes.
- Caster sugar: for sweetness in the mini Victoria sponges.
- Eggs: gives structure and stability to the Victoria sponge mini cakes as they bake.
- Vanilla: used in both the cake and the buttercream frosting that fills these Victoria sponge cupcakes. Gives a wonderful flavour to this bake!
- Flour: I use self raising flour to make this Vic sponge cake. If you do not have self raising flour, you can use plain (all purpose) flour. In this case add an additional generous teaspoon of baking powder to give the cakes some rise.
- Icing sugar: used to sweeten the buttercream and for dusting over the cakes as a finishing touch.
- Strawberry jam: for the filling in this easy mini Victoria sponge.
- Milk: used only if required to loosen the vanilla buttercream filling enough so it pipes easily when filling these miniature Victoria sponges.
What equipment do I need to make this mini Victoria sponge cake recipe?
- Mini sandwich cake tin*: this tin is so useful as it has loose bottoms on all twelve bases, making removal of the cakes from the tin a breeze! If you do not have a tin like this, a cupcake tin will work just as well, just make sure to grease each mould well or use cupcake cases when baking.
- Digital kitchen scales*: I provide all my measurements in cups, however I would encourage all bakers to weigh out ingredients when baking. A set of digital kitchen scales is so useful and totally an essential baking tool for me.
- Measuring spoons*: a set of measuring spoons is essential for any baker. This is because these are more accurate than using everyday teaspoons and tablespoons, which can vary greatly in size.
- Stand mixer*/Handheld electric mixer*: both useful tools to make life easier in the kitchen! You can, of course, make this whole recipe entirely by hand. But it will be quite the workout for your arm!
- Sieve*: to sift the dry ingredients before mixing in for the Victoria sponge cakes mini.
- Spatula*: used to scrape down the bowl with as ingredients are added, ensuring everything mixes together thoroughly. Also useful to scoop out the buttercream filling before piping or spreading for this Victoria sponge mini.
- Piping bag*: I use a piping bag and nozzle to give a pretty and neat result in these Victoria sponge with buttercream cakes. However, you could also just spread the icing evenly over the cake before continuing with the recipe.
- Piping nozzle*: Gives some pretty detailing to the buttercream when piped to fill the cakes. See my note for piping bag above for alternatives.
How to make mini Victoria sponge cakes
These are, in essence, vanilla cupcakes split in half before being filled with jam and buttercream and then generously dusted with icing sugar. Delicious!
For the cakes
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 160C/320F. Butter the mini sandwich tin (or muffin tin), or line with muffin liners then it set aside whilst making the cake mixture.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, or using a stand mixer, cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix in, then sift in the flour and beat again to combine.
Step 3: Divide the mixture evenly into the prepared tin, being careful not to overfill it. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes until springy to touch and beautifully golden. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
For the filling
Step 1: To make the buttercream, beat the butter until pale and soft, then add the icing (powdered) sugar in two or three goes, mixing slowly to avoid a sugar cloud coating your kitchen. Add in the vanilla, mix to combine, then turn the speed up to make the buttercream really fluffy. If you need to loosen the mixture a little, just add a little milk until you get the consistency of buttercream you want. Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle and set aside.
Step 2: When the cakes are completely cool, split them in half then spread about ¾-1 tsp jam on the bottom half. Pipe some buttercream stars on top of the jam layer. I do this by piping one star in the middle and six surrounding it, like a flower. Doing this will also spread the jam further towards the edges of the cake, so no need to spread too far to start with. Top it off with the other half of the cake, then dust with extra icing sugar to finish. Enjoy!
How can I tell when my cakes are baked?
You will know when the Victoria sponge cakes mini are done as they will be firm to touch. They will also have shrunk away from the sides of the pan slightly. A toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the cake will come out clean or with one or two crumbs only.
How long does a mini Victoria sponge cake last? How do I store these mini Victoria sponge cakes with buttercream?
This cake is best eaten within 2-3 days of being made, as the cakes will then begin to dry out. Store the mini cakes at cool room temperature in an air tight container kept out of direct sunlight.
How to freeze cake
If you wish to make this Victoria sponge buttercream ahead of time and freeze it, this is not a problem. I would recommend not freezing an assembled Victoria sponge cupcake, but the baked and cooled individual cakes instead. Then, when you are ready, you can defrost the cakes, whip up the buttercream, and decorate the cakes.
To freeze the mini vanilla cakes, first make sure they are completely cool. Wrap each mini cake in cling film and place it in a sturdy airtight container. Then place the container in the freezer. I prefer placing the cakes in a container as it protects them from bumps and knocks when in the freezer.
How to defrost mini Victoria sponge cakes
When you are ready to decorate the mini cakes, simply remove the container from the freezer and unwrap them. Place each cake in a single layer on a cooling rack, brushing off any remaining ice crystals, and leave to come to room temperature. The cakes can be decorated once fully defrosted.
Additional tips for making the best mini Victoria sponge cakes recipe
- Use ingredients at room temperature when making the cakes. The reason for this is simple: ingredients all at room temperature will combine better and make for a better bake.
- If the butter is on the firmer/cooler side, I like to beat mine up a little before adding in the caster sugar, just to allow it to mix better together.
- No loose bottomed pan as I have for these mini Victoria sponge bakes? No problem! You can use a regular muffin tin too. You can line it with cupcake cases, which will give you a little ridge all around the sides of the cakes. If you want to avoid the ridges, try laying two strips of baking paper in a cross shape in the base of each muffin tin before greasing and putting the cake mixture in. Then you can use the overhang to pull the cakes out of the tin.
- Make sure the cakes are completely cool before decorating. This is especially important in this bake, as the buttercream will just melt if the cakes are still warm. I make cakes the evening before, so they cool completely overnight before being decorated.
- If you prefer, you can use softly whipped cream instead of buttercream to fill the cakes. This however does make the cakes less stable and needing to be eaten quicker as double cream will spoil quicker than buttercream.
- The dusting of icing sugar is totally optional, but I really love how it finished the cakes off, making them look extra special!
If you have any questions about these mini Victoria sponge cakes, please comment below and I will do my best to help. And do remember: if you enjoy this recipe for mini Victoria sponge, please leave a rating and review below. You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world. You already know I would love to see!
More recipes from my blog for you to enjoy
If you enjoyed this cake, please do have a look at these recipes I think you will love too!
Victoria sponge cake: This British classic has to be a staple in every baker’s library! Two delicious vanilla flavoured sponge cakes are filled with softly whipped cream and jam and a simple dusting of icing sugar to finish. Perfect for afternoon tea or any celebration!
Strawberries and cream fudge: An amazing fudge taking inspiration from a quintessentially British favourite. Creamy and delicious, this will be everyone’s favourite fudge!
Buttermilk fruit scones: These easy fruit scones are the only fool-proof recipe you will ever need for the most beautiful scones! Perfect fresh out of the oven and still warm or cool and split topped with clotted cream and jam. Or any other way you fancy!
Thanks for joining me today, my friends. Hope you enjoy this gorgeous mini version of a traditional British bake. As always, happy baking! x
Recommended equipment I used *
|Mini sandwich cake tin||Digital kitchen scales|
|Measuring spoons||Stand mixer/Handheld electric mixer|
|Piping bag||Piping nozzle|