This decadent twist on classic British Victorian sponge cake is filled with creamy custard and fresh, ripe strawberries in place of traditional jam. Perfect to serve as a standalone dessert or with a cup of afternoon tea! This article first appeared as part of UCLA Connect’s Alumni Newsletter–you can read the original here.
Guess who’s London-bound?!
I’ve been sitting on this news for a few weeks now for several reasons, most of which have to do with the limited time I now have to bake, photograph, and blog. As it turns out, working in entertainment is most definitely NOT a 9-5 job and we’ve been 1000% slammed at work—though, thankfully, in a great way! Between that, computer science night classes at UCLA Extension, the kick-off of triathlon training season, and my stubborn determination to maintain some semblance of a social life on my off hours, it’s been hard to find a spare minute to sit down and really write. But the prospect of heading off to the UK again in a few months’ time—and finding a perfect excuse to make this cake that I’m sharing with you all today!—was too tempting to resist. Clearly.
I first discovered Victoria sponge cakes when I went to visit England nearly two years ago, on my first personal trip to Europe. I wrote about it in this post and wholeheartedly plan to pig out on at least five slices (over afternoon tea, of course!) the moment I land in London toward the end of this year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this quintessential British treat, I explain a brief history of the cake here and will just add that this is THE perfect cake to lead into the spring and summer months. With its light, springy texture and irresistible hint of strawberries folded into freshly-whipped cream, it’s hard not to shove my face straight into this cake after a twelve-hour work day!… Read more
For the first time ever, I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago in a foreign country. I was feeling a bit nervous because I was far away from home, family, and friends–I had arrived in London only two days before, and both days had been packed with touristy (and wonderful!) but tiring activities, including a day-early birthday surprise of 4 o’clock tea-and-champagne time. Thankfully, I had given up any claims to local trip planning already and was more than happy to go along with the plan for the next day, which involved a visit to nearby Leeds Castle in Kent and a very British plan to picnic on the rolling green lawns under the rare English sun. As it turns out, the California sunshine followed me to all but two days (both spent in Edinburgh) of my visit to the UK and Ireland, so I wasn’t complaining!
One of the things I loved most about my visit to Europe is the pace of life there. We spent that entire day in sun-kissed bliss, strolling around the castle and meandering around the rolling green lawns and doing nothing in particular. It was such an unexpected change from the usual hubbub of invitations and surprise parties and planned outings that I couldn’t help but feel glad that I had decided to book an early August flight to the UK, despite all of my earlier reservations about spending my birthday abroad.
Another lovely surprise that I hadn’t anticipated was the homemade Victoria Sponge Cakethat arrived on the patio table after dinner that evening! A candle was already lit on top–I made a wish and blew it out, opened a card, and felt that little wriggle of happiness in my chest that only a really pleasant and unexpected surprise can inspire. By that time, the birthday wishes from back home were also flooding my way through social media and my (thankfully unlimited) international texting, and we spent the rest of the night in the forest-lined backyard, watching shooting stars from the Perseid Meteor Shower light up the starry black night sky.… Read more