The A to Z of Baking: V is for Vanilla Sponge Cake


I think the title of this recipe sounds as dull as anything! (There’s nothing like starting a blog post on a positive note…) BUT it is, in fact, damn tasty! It is, compared to other recipes, pretty simple, but it’s effective.

I saw a pretty picture of this cake, alongside the recipe for it, in a copy of a women’s magazine that had been left in the holiday apartment that my sister and I were staying in on the island of Crete a few years ago. Having never really baked much but wanting to try my hand at it, I ripped out this recipe and added it to my recipe folder. AKA the ‘One day, before I die, I will make these recipes’ folder.

Well, it’s taken me nearly four years, but I have finally made this recipe. That was the inspiration for taking on this A to Z of Baking challenge – to try out those recipes that I’ve had fluttering about and never got round to, so at least I can say I’ve ticked this one off the list now, and it hasn’t disappointed. This is a lovely cake and perfect for enjoying in the garden on a spring day, with a cup of tea. That’s the romantic vision I have for this cake, anyway. I have mostly enjoyed it in my pyjamas with a hangover on a weekend, but hey, it still tastes just as good 😉

High points

As I mentioned, this cake is simple but effective. The vanilla really shines through in the flavour of this recipe, and the combination of soft sponge and sweet cream cheese icing really works well together.

Low points

The original recipe called for slicing the cake into three layers, but that didn’t really seem possible so I just opted for two layers.


4.0 from 1 reviews
The A to Z of Baking: V is for Vanilla Sponge Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
For the cake
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g softened unsalted butter
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry jam
For the cream cheese icing
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50g softened unsalted butter
  • 125g full fat cream cheese
For the crystallised blueberries
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ½ punnet blueberries
For the crystallised blueberries:
  1. Separate the egg white, put the caster sugar into a bowl and lay out a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  2. Dip the blueberries into the egg white, then into the sugar. Lay on the paper to dry for one hour.
For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4.
  2. Beat the sugar and butter together to get a fluffy and pale consistency. Beat the eggs separately, then add in little by little while mixing. Add the vanilla and spoon in the flour.
  3. Line an 8-inch (20cm) cake tin with greaseproof paper and half-fill with the mixture. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes. Test before removing to ensure the cake is cooked all the way through. A knife should come out clean and the top should bounce back when pressed.
  4. Allow to sit in the tin for five minutes, then remove the lining and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely, then remove the top and slice into two even layers with a large serrated bread knife.
For the icing:
  1. Mix together the icing sugar, butter and cream cheese until very light and fluffy.
  2. Spread a layer of sponge with jam and cream cheese icing on one half of the cake, then stack the other layer on top. Coat the cake liberally with cream cheese all over the sides and top, then use a palette knife to make large strokes to add texture to your cake.
  3. Top with the crystallised blueberries.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. Laura @ The Unsung Mum April 25, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    This looks amazing! I love baking but just don’t get the time with the kids. I’m seem to just make cupcakes and choc chip biscuits these days. I will def give this a go though! Thanks for sharing. #KCACOLS

    • Jenny April 26, 2016 / 7:40 am

      Thanks Laura! You can’t go wrong with a good cupcake :-) Thanks for stopping by x

  2. My Petit Canard April 25, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    I love a good vanilla sponge cake and this looks delicious! I bet tearing out that recipe was one of the best things you did 😉 Emily #KCACOLS

    • Jenny April 26, 2016 / 7:41 am

      Thanks Emily! I’m glad I managed to finally give this recipe a go :-) x

  3. Tori April 26, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    This looks delicious. I love sweets and can follow a recipe like a boss, so I think I will save this for later 😉
    Thanks so much for linking with #KCACOLS! I hope you come back next Sunday!

  4. Kat April 27, 2016 / 11:28 am

    Vanilla Sponge cake is my favourite type of cake! Sounds and looks very yummy #kcacols

  5. Karen April 27, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    I love vanilla sponge! The cake looks so tasty. I’m doing a similar a-z food challenge too but I’m on j next week! It’s good fun making new recipes. #kcacols

    • Jenny April 27, 2016 / 5:11 pm

      It is indeed! Your challenge sounds really interesting, is it on your blog? :-)

  6. Ali Duke April 27, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    That looks amazing. It certainly does not sound boring to me, I love vanilla things. Unfortunately my baking skills are not up to much, so I will have to get my hubby to make it :)

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