Sunday 21 April 2019

Neven Maguire's Victoria Sponge with Lemon Curd

Neven Maguire's Victoria Sponge with Lemon Curd
Neven Maguire's Victoria Sponge with Lemon Curd
Victoria Sponge with Lemon Curd

Neven Maguire’s new book shows the hesitant chef that it’s never too late to learn how to cook. Try these three recipes for a family feast, and gain a lot more pleasure from your kitchen

Victoria Sponge with Lemon Curd

Serves 6–8


225g (8oz) butter, softened

200g (7oz) caster sugar

4 eggs

225g (8oz) self-raising flour

Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Seeds of ½ vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp baking powder

For the buttercream

200g (7oz) icing sugar, sifted

100g (4oz) butter, softened

Seeds of ½ vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

A drop of milk (if necessary)

For the filling

7 tbsp shop-bought lemon curd

Icing sugar, to dust

This is a slight twist on a classic Victoria sponge, but if you want to keep it traditional, then omit the lemon rind in the sponge and replace the lemon curd with your favourite strawberry jam.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

Line 2 x 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed cake tins with non-stick baking paper.

Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together. I find the best way to do this is to use a wooden spoon to push the mixture onto the side of the bowl until it’s mixed together, then beat it hard until the mixture turns from yellow to a paler shade. Alternatively, use a hand-held electric mixer or a freestanding electric mixer, which is much easier and quicker.

Add two of the eggs to the butter mixture along with half of the flour and beat together until combined. Add the other two eggs and the rest of the flour along with the lemon zest, vanilla and baking powder and beat like mad to get a good amount of air into it.

Divide the batter between the prepared cake tins and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until the cakes have shrunk slightly from the sides of the tin, spring back when touched in the centre and a skewer inserted into the centre of each one comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave the cakes to cool completely in the tins.

While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream. Cream together the icing sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy, adding a drop of milk to loosen it if necessary.

Once the cakes are completely cool, place one on a cake stand and spread the buttercream on top, followed by the lemon curd. Cover with the other cake and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Neven's Top Tip

To make this into a coffee cake, simply add 3 tablespoons of coffee essence to the batter with the vanilla and add another couple of teaspoons to the buttercream. Or try filling the sponge with a chocolate hazelnut spread instead of the lemon curd.

** Neven Maguire's Home Economics for Life is published by Gill Books priced at €22.99.

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