Queen Victoria Sponge Sandwich blog image

Taste Testing Mary Berry’s Victoria Sandwich​

Has anyone tried making any of the recipes I’ve shared, yet? Share it in the comment section below so I can see what everyone else is up to on the other side of this screen 😉

Today’s taste test involves another great recipe found by watching The Great British Baking Show (thanks Netflix! I was late to the GBBO craze) and it’s Mary Berry’s Victoria Sandwich recipe.

Luckily, converting this one was MUCH easier than the Povitica recipe I shared a few weeks ago due to the fact she has the ounces next to the grams and my measuring cup has the ounces listed, haha. The odds are more in your favor here.

But first, let’s recap in case you don’t know my rules…

I’m not a food blogger. I share recipes I’ve tried and if I’d make them again. The word foodie and hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives about the recipe annoy me. Oh, and photographs that have dusted flour and cutting boards.

You can expect the recipe I used, helpful tricks or what not to do and a couple (probably one) real shots of what it looked like when my bake came out of the oven.

The Recipe:

For the sponge

4 large free-range eggs

225g (8oz) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

225g (8oz) self-raising flour

1 level tsp baking powder

225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

For the jam

200g (7oz) raspberries

250g (9oz) jam sugar

For the buttercream

100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened

200g/7oz icing sugar sifted

2 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line two 8in sandwich tins: use a piece of baking or silicone paper to rub a little baking spread or butter around the inside of the tins until the sides and base are lightly coated. Line the bottom of the tins with a circle of baking paper.
  2. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, flour, baking powder and soft butter. Mix everything together until well combined. Be careful not to over-mix – as soon as everything is blended you should stop. The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
  4. Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the door while they’re cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.
  5. While the cakes are cooking, make the jam. Put the raspberries in a small deep-sided saucepan and crush them with a masher. Add the sugar and bring to the boil over a low heat until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into a shallow container. Leave to cool and set.
  6. The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in the tins for 5 minutes. Then run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
  7. To take your cakes out of the tins without leaving a wire rack mark on the top, put the clean tea towel over the tin, put your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside-down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel – then you can turn it from your hand onto the wire rack. Set aside to cool completely.
  8. For the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Add the remaining tablespoon of milk if the buttercream is too thick. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
  9. To assemble, choose the sponge with the best top, then put the other cake top-down on to a serving plate. Spread with the jam then pipe the buttercream on top of the jam. Place the other sponge on top (top uppermost) and sprinkle with caster sugar to serve.

My Findings:

  • I had never made jam before and was super worried about it ‘setting’ so I picked up some pectin just in case and added a sprinkling of it to my mixture. I also added the sugar scoop by scoop because I wanted to control the sweetness. I ended up using a little over a half cup of sugar.
  • My piping bag was a Ziploc baggy with the corner cut off. Now, this works in a pinch but it did not give me the freedom to make those beautiful pillow clouds of buttercream you see pictured on Mary Berry’s bake.
  • Nothing with homemade buttercream is going to be awful.

Would I Make It Again?

YES. It was super simple and flipping DELICIOUS. The proper storage will keep the sponge fresh for days! I use an oversized container with a locking lid as a makeshift cake holder/saver.

eating cake quote

Come be my friend on Instagram. I’m hilarious.
Originally recipe found, here.
Croatia Dessert

Povitica – A Croatian Sweet(ish) Bread

Have you ever made Povitica? If you’ve watched a few episodes of The Great British Baking Show you may have seen it during one of the technical challenges. It’s a “sweet’ (not if your American) dessert bread filled with a boozy, walnut, and cocoa filling.

During a Christmas gingerbread making house party, my MIL’s friend was talking about a recipe her Mom used to make when she was a kid but couldn’t remember the name, so I asked her to tell me how it tasted and the main ingredients she remembered.

It sounded a lot like the Croatian bread, Povitica. Her mother had been long gone and missed the Christmas memory, so I decided to see if this recipe was THE one with a small hope it would give her a little taste of home.

Fair warning, this isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a pain in the ass to make, strictly based off what goes in to stretching the bread, but if you like a challenge…do it.

But first, let’s recap in case you don’t know my rules…

I’m not a food blogger. I share recipes I’ve tried and if I’d make them again. The word foodie and hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives about the recipe annoy me. Oh, and photographs that have dusted flour and cutting boards.

You can expect the recipe I used, helpful tricks or what not to do and a couple (probably one) real shots of what it looked like when my bake came out of the oven.

The Recipe:

For the dough:

300g (10½ oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

40g (1½ oz) caster sugar

7g salt

10g (⅓ oz) fast-action yeast

30g (1oz) unsalted butter, melted

1 large free-range egg, beaten

½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out

150ml (5½ fl oz) whole milk, warmed

For the filling:

60g (2¼ oz) unsalted butter

4 tbsp whole milk

280g (10 oz) walnut pieces

½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out

100g (3½ oz) caster sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 free-range egg yolk, beaten

To assemble:

15g (½ oz) butter, melted

1 free-range egg white, beaten

100g (3½ oz) icing sugar


  1. For the dough, tip the flour and sugar into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt into one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the melted butter, egg, vanilla seeds and warm milk and begin mixing on a slow speed. When the dough starts to come together, mix for a further 5-8 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is soft, smooth and stretchy.
  2. Tip the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – about one hour. Butter a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin.
  3. For the filling, place the butter and milk in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat.
  4. Place the walnuts, vanilla seeds, sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl of a food processor and blend to a sandy powder. Add the egg yolk, milk and butter mixture and pulse to combine. Set aside.
  5. To assemble, spread a clean bed sheet over a kitchen table and dust with flour. Turn the risen dough out onto the sheet and roll out the dough into a large 50x30cm (20x12in) rectangle. Brush the surface with 15g (½oz) melted butter.
  6. Dust your hands with flour and ease them underneath the dough. Using the backs of your hands, stretch the dough out from the centre until very thin and translucent (you should be able to see the sheet through the dough). The rectangle should measure approximately 1metrex60cm (40x24in).
  7. Taking care not to tear the dough, spread the filling over the dough until evenly covered. If the filling has been standing for a long time and is too thick, add a little warm milk to loosen it.
  8. Starting at the long edge of the dough, lift the sheet and gently roll the dough up tightly, like a Swiss roll.
  9. Carefully lift the dough and place one end in the bottom corner of the greased loaf tin. Ease the roll into the base of the tin to form a long ‘U’ shape, then double back laying the roll over the first ‘U’ shape to form a second ‘U’ shape on top.
  10. Place the loaf tin inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rise for one hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan)/ 350F/Gas 4.
  12. Brush the dough with beaten egg white and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/130C(fan)/300F/Gas 3 and bake for a further 45 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil if the top begins to darken too much.
  13. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. Mix the icing sugar with a few drops of cold water to make a runny icing and drizzle it over the povitica. Slice and enjoy.

My Findings:

  1. May the odds be ever in your favor when converting from metric to standard. I would give you my exact measurements but the piece of paper I flipping wrote it on disappeared (I’m looking at you, Hubs!).
  2. ps: Just get a scale to weigh it out on, I had to remake the dough THREE times. Save yourself the hassle (and two or maybe three – dear Zeus – hours) and spend the $10.
  3. I used the rolling pin as long as I possibly could before I started to stretch with my palms and fingers, not back of the hands as suggested because I’m pretty sure I would still be there trying to stretch it.
  4. I think adding some cinnamon in the filling and cutting the cocoa in half might be good. Oh! And some chopped walnuts sprinkled throughout, too.
  5. Needs to be eaten with coffee or tea. It was lighter tasting than I expected which I assume is due to all the layers, but I wouldn’t consider it sweet like a Cinnabon roll. So if you’re worried it is a true (American) dessert bread, it’s not.

Would I Make It Again?

Fuck no. I’d rather make a cinnamon roll, but I would absolutely make it again if my MIL’s friend specifically asked for it next Christmas.

I made four other people taste a slice before giving it away and got no complaints, but all agreed it wasn’t as sweet as they were expecting considering it was iced.


Povitica Quote on Taste Testing Friday post on RamblinRandol

Come be my friend on Instagram. I’m hilarious.
Originally recipe found, here.