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Beginner’s Chocolate Victoria Sandwich Cake

Chocolate Victoria Sandwich cake on pink plate, pink and baby blue napkins and crockery and tea cups.
Try my beginner's chocolate Victoria sandwich cake that is my homage to classic British classic Victoria sandwich cake, but with a chocolate sponge, filled with whipped cream & a homemade cherry jam.  All you need to know for an amazing chocolate cream cake.

Beginner’s Chocolate Victoria Sandwich Cake

Original posted 21/08/21, updated photos & layout 16/07/24

What Is This Chocolate Victoria sandwich cake?

A classic Victoria Sandwich cake is an old but popular British layer cake. Always a very light 2-layer vanilla sponge cake, filled with usually raspberry jam and whipped cream, and topped with a dusting of icing/powdered sugar.

Much lighter than an American Pound Cake, a Victoria Sandwich cake has a more open crumb texture, due to the Caster Sugar & incorporating lots of air into the batter.

Some people refer to it as a Victoria sponge cake, but the real term is Victoria Sandwich Cake, and was baked in 2 sandwich tins. These are simply round cake tins/cake pans, but have a slight angle to the sides, instead of the more common straight side tins.

You can bake in straight side tins too of course, but just make sure to use 2 tins and not cut one cake in half.

Avoid using cake bands (strips that go around the cake tin to reduce the heat a little for baking a flatter cake).

This is because classic Victoria Sandwich cakes have a nice dome, which is very visible when a slice is cut. This rise helps with the lighter texture of the cake.

The chocolate version is my homage to Victoria Sandwich cake. Cocoa powder, does mean a tiny bit less rise, but still a great cake to eat, especially with jam and cream.

Why Use This Recipe?

  • Easy to make & a beginner’s recipe
  • Step-by-step instructions & photos
  • No special equipment
  • No special baking skills required
  • Tastes great
  • Customize with a different jam
  • Video Tutorial

Ingredients & Substitutions

My Chocolate Victoria Sandwich cake is made from the following basic ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Caster Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Coffee Granules/Powder

For The Filling & Topping:

  • Cherry Jam
  • Whipped Cream
  • Icing/Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract (optional)

**Note ingredient amounts are listed in the Recipe card).

Butter & Why Unsalted

Unsalted butter is advisable for all your bakes as salted has a higher water content, that can affect your bake. The amount of salt & subsequent water content, also varies from brand to brand. Ever had your go-to cookie recipe suddenly not work or spread way too much? This is your best bet at the reason.

Freeze your butter and use when you need it and then you can also have when you want it. Buy when on sale & freeze it, or better still make your own butter from double/heavy/whipping cream that is about to go out of date.


British baking typically uses Caster Sugar. This is equivalent to Extra/Super Fine sugar in America.

Don’t confuse it with powdered sugar – that is known as Icing Sugar here in the UK. Caster sugar is finer than granulated sugar. See my comparison photo of UK sugar for reference.

Comparison pic of the icing/powdered sugar, caster sugar & granulated sugar on a black slate.
Homemade Caster Sugar

You can make your own version of Caster sugar (extra/super fine sugar) by blitzing in a food processor or a Nutribullet. Just don’t go too far or you will have made icing/powdered sugar.

Why Use Caster Sugar?

Using finer sugar like Caster Sugar or Extra/Super Fine sugar makes for a lighter cake. The friction created when ‘creaming the butter & sugar‘ together, creates air pockets that result in a nice lift to the cake with a more open texture.


The protein in eggs help with structure and so typically 4 eggs per standard sized Victoria Sandwich Cake. Medium sized eggs are typically used in Britain and this is about same size as large to extra-large in US sized eggs. If you want to weigh the eggs (in their shell), you want a total weight about the same as the sugar.


British recipes often use Self-raising Flour. Not to be confused with US Self-rising flour that has a slightly different amount of baking powder & salt added, but you could use if you had too. Alternatively, you can use Plain (All Purpose) Flour & add the amount of baking powder in the ingredients list. No need for baking powder if using Self-raising flour.

Cocoa Powder

For the chocolate version of the Victoria Sandwich cake, the flour is decreased slightly so we can use cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate. Use any kind you like, but UK cocoa is unsweetened.


Coffee enhances chocolate flavour but does not make the cake taste of coffee. Use coffee granules or powder, or something I have been using lately, is Chai Latte powder.


I love cherry or raspberry jam with chocolate cake. Lidl do a terrific raspberry preserve and a sour cherry preserve. To make your own jam, check out my Plum Orange Jam recipe. Or, a quicker method for smaller amounts in the step-by-step instructions below, where I used canned cherries in syrup.


No Victoria Sandwich cake is complete without a whipped cream filling. So double cream (heavy/whipped cream) is required, that you can whip with a hand-mixer or stand-mixer. Single cream or spray cream will not work or hold the 2nd layer of cake.

Icing Sugar

A small amount of icing (powdered) sugar is used in the whipped cream & dusted on top of the cake.

Very close shot of split vanilla beans that were previously submerged in alcohol to make vanilla extract and showing the vanilla pods, with text homemade vanilla extract.

Vanilla Extract

The vanilla extract is not needed for the cake since we are using coffee but you can substitute the coffee with vanilla if you like.

Vanilla can also be added to the whipped cream but is optional, & we prefer not to add to the cream. Learn how to make your own homemade vanilla extract and save yourself money in the long run.

Recipe Yield

The recipe is for a 8″ (20cm), 2 layer round cake. You can use a 7″ (17.75cm), but for smaller or larger sizes see my How To Reduce A Recipe or How To Increase A Recipe article. Yields 10 slices.

Oven, Fan Oven Or Air Fryer?

This cake has been tested in the oven, in the fan oven setting and even works in larger open-front air fryers.

All temperature settings & conversions are listed in the recipe instructions, for your convenience, and are standard with all my recipes.


Similarly, all of my recipes include conversions in grams, ounces and cups. All have been calculated by hand, by myself and tested several times, since Google is often inconsistent and inaccurate. I also have a conversion table, with common baking ingredients for you to refer to in my Baking Conversions Table.

Lessons Bakers

Beginner Bakers, please ALWAYS read the recipe directions a few times before even attempting to make the recipe.  Often things like butter or eggs need to be taken out to bring to room temperature. 

Experienced Bakers can skip to the Recipe Card below with abbreviated recipe instructions or check out the step-by-step directions below.

Jump to Recipe

Step-By-Step Instructions

(*Note ingredient amounts are listed in Recipe Card below)

1. If making the jam/preserve yourself, make first or ahead of time by washing the cherries with water & white vinegar. Alternatively you can used a can/tin of black cherries like I did on this occasion, remembering to drain off the syrup.

2. Add sugar to a cooking pot with the 1 tbsp water and let the sugar dissolve before adding in the cherries and lemon wedges. Let come to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.

3. Reserve 2 tbsp of the cherry liquid from the pot & place in a small bowl.

4. Add 2 tsp cornflour (corn starch) to a different small bowl and add 2 tbsp water, before mixing together. Add in the reserved cherry liquid & mix till combined

5. Add the cherry slurry to the pot, before reducing the heat to medium & letting the mixture return to the boil for 10 minutes. Reduce to low heat & leave to simmer for about 10 minutes till thickened.

6. Then remove from the pot and leave to cool. Alternatively, place in a clean or sterilised jar & chill till ready to use. You can also blitz the jam a little if you don’t like large cherry pieces in your jam.

7. Cube the butter in small pieces about 1cm (⅓”) when measuring out, as a smaller surface area will result in the butter softening quicker.

8. Once softened add to a mixing bowl with the sugar & ‘cream together‘ by beating with the ‘k-paddle’ if using a stand-mixer, until a relatively smooth paste-like consistency.

9. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating in-between each addition.

See Photo 3.

10. Sieve over the flour, cocoa powder (and baking powder if using Plain/All Purpose Flour).

11. Mix the dry ingredients while sieving them through, lifting the sieve higher off the bowl if possible, to incorporate as much air as possible.

12. Briefly start to mix the cake batter by hand, to eliminate a cloud of dry ingredients in the air.

13. Put to the side while you prepare the coffee mixture. Use coffee powder or granules, or even Chai Latte powder, or combination there off.

14. Preheat your oven to 170°c/150°c Fan oven/325°f/Gas Mark 3. **If using a new or powerful air fryer, I recommend using the Fan Oven temperature of 150°c/300°f**.

15. Add boiled/hot water to the coffee & mix together.

16. Add the coffee to the cake mixture & use a hand-mixer/stand-mixer to bring all the ingredients together.

17. Do not over-mix as this can produce a dense cake & impair the cake rise. Mix only until everything is combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl & check for any dry flour/cocoa patches at the bottom. The result should be a very thick but shinny & glossy cake batter that smells great too. See Photo 5.

18. Next prepare the cake tins/cake pans by greasing the base and up the sides, as well as paper-lining the bottom of the cake tins. Here I used frylight cooking spray, and cut the baking/parchment paper into circles to fit the tin. See my How To Cut Parchment For Round Tins video.

19. Divide the cake batter as equally as you can between the 2 cake tins. Smooth and level the batter before tapping each cake tin on the counter/worktop a few times to expel any trapped air.

20. Pop in the pre-heated oven, on the centre rack, to bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake should be ready when a cocktail stick comes out clean of crumbs, the cake springs back and sides of the cake have started coming away from the sides of the cake tin. See Photo 6.

21. Leave the cakes in their tins to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

Top Tip – line the rack with some baking/parchment paper &/or a tea-towel to stop tell-tale lines appearing on your cakes & leave the cakes top side up.

22. Run a palette knife around the edges of the cake if needed, before turning out the tins, onto the cooling rack.

23. While the cakes were baking or cooling, prepare the cream by adding to a medium sized mixing bowl or stand-mixer. Beat this time with the ‘balloon whisk’ attachment & whip until the liquid cream becomes very thick, creamy & firm peaks form. (See Photo 7 & video).

24. Sieve in icing/powdered sugar just until combined. You can add some vanilla extract now if you wish.

25. Now prepare a piping bag if you want to pipe the cream between the cake layers. (**You can just spread between the cake if you wish). Piping syringes are good if you find it hard to squeeze a piping bag.

26. Cut the tip off the end of the piping bag, enough for the nozzle to fit inside. here I used a Wilton 2D, closed star tip. You can also just cut a tiny hole in the bag & use without a nozzle, or use a small food bag.

27. Place the piping bag inside a jug or something similar, with the nozzle end bent over, pointing upwards. Then open up the bag and fold the ends over the sides of the jug to hold in place. This keeps the bag open, allowing you to have both hands free to use. (See Photo 8).

28. Fill the bag with the cream, unfold the ends of the bag, lightly close together before squeezing and pushing the cream down to the nozzle end of the bag. Twist the bag tight & close with the likes of a peg or clip.

29. Add the flattest cake layer to a large plate or cake stand, flat side up, before adding some cream to the centre of the cake.

30. Spread it thin, then pipe a border of cream rosettes around the edge of the cake layer. You can build this up if you like. See Photo 9.

31. Spoon on the jam/preserve to the centre area of the cake, in-between the cream barrier. Try and have the jam and piped cream about the same height.

32. Top Tip – place this 1st layer of cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (freezer 20 minutes). This helps firm the cream & set the filling before adding the 2nd layer.

33. Carefully place the 2nd cake layer on top, dome side up. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes (10 minutes freezer).

34. Remove from the fridge & then dust the top of the cake with icing/powdered sugar before serving.

35. You can store in the fridge for much easier cutting of the slices, but storing there all the time does make the texture change and be more dense. And cakes tend to dry out quicker if stored in the fridge. So advisable to either place in the fridge about 15-20 minutes before wanting to slice, or let the cut cake come to room temperature before serving. The cream will be fine out of the fridge, as long as not too hot, in a cool environment, for up to 7 days1. Storing cake with just jam and no cream, does not require any fridge time.

The sponge cakes alone can be baked up to 3 days ahead of assembling the cake. Just cool, wrap each layer in cling film/plastic wrap & leave out at room temperature.

36. Victoria Sandwich Cake can be frozen for up to 3 months2. if frozen without the jam & cream. Wrap the entire cake or slices, in baking/parchment paper, then cling film/plastic wrap or tin foil/aluminium foil & placed in a labelled food bag or container. These extra layers of protection will also reduce the chances of freezer burn or any transfer of odours form other frozen foods. Defrost in the fridge overnight before assembling, as leaving at room temperature can dry out the cake3

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: beginner, easy with guidance

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Beginner bakers completing the lessons, please read the step-by-step instructions again before attempting to bake. Save the Recipe Card below but refer back to the detailed instructions & notes, as the Recipe Card is an abbreviated version of the recipe.

Cream filled layer cake on table with teapot and cup to the side.

Recipe Card

Chocolate Victoria Sandwich Cake

Angled shot of a chocolate Victoria sandwich cake on pink plate, with blue, pink and white crockery and teapot to the background.
The classic British sponge cake, but a chocolate version and still packed with jam and fresh whipped cream. This one is made with cherry jam so could be a great Black Forest Gateau. Learn with my thorough instructions and step-by-step photos to be the best baker you can be! Or for an abbreviated version, see the Recipe Card you can easily print off.
Caro @ Caroline’s Easy Baking Lessons
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Fridge setting time optional 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Serving Size 10 serviings


  • 2 7 or 8 ” (17.5-20cm) Cake Sandwich tins  
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • Baking spray, lining paste, or butter to grease (see note in instructions)
  • Scales or measuring cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Hand or Stand Mixer (or a wooden spoon)
  • Sieve
  • Large Metal spoon
  • Small bowl for jam/jelly swirl
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Baking Palette knife or butter knife
  • Small measuring jug (optional)
  • Bowl for whipping cream
  • Icing/Powdered sugar
  • Small sieve (optional) or tea strainer
  • Timer or Phone Timer
  • Clean Soft Tea-towel
  • Cooling rack
  • Piping bag & nozzle (optional) 


For The Cake:

  • 225 grams Unsalted Butter (8 oz, 1 cup/ 2 sticks, softened & cubed)
  • 225 grams Castor Sugar (8 oz, 1 cup of Super/Extra Fine sugar, Domino’s etc.) *
  • 4 Eggs (Medium, US size Large- extra large)
  • 175 grams Self-raising Flour (6 oz, 1⅓ cup Plain/All Purpose Flour plus 3 ⅛ tsp baking powder*)  
  • 50 grams Cocoa Powder (Level ½cup, 1¾ oz)
  • tsp Chai Latte powder (Or 1 tsp coffee granules/espresso powder)
  • ¾ tsp Coffee granules/espresso powder *
  • tbsp Hot/Boiled Water

For The Filling:

  • 270 ml Double/Heavy/Whipping Cream (9 fl oz, about 1 cup*)
  • 1 tbsp Icing/Powdered Sugar (plus for dusting)
  • 200 g Cherry Jam/preserve (up to 7 oz, ½-¾ cup, homemade or shop bought)

For Homemade Jam:

  • 80 grams Sugar (2¾ oz, ½ cup),
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 200 grams Cherries (7 oz, Fresh, frozen or canned)
  • ½ Lemon
  • 2 tsp Cornflour (Corn Starch)

* denotes -see notes


    Prepare The Jam

    • Make the jam before the cake, ahead of time or use shop-bought. Wash the cherries in water & vinegar first. Then add the 80 grams Sugar & 1 tbsp water to a cooking pot on high, & allow the sugar to dissolve.
    • Add the 200 grams Cherries and ½ Lemon in wedges, & let come to a boil for 5 minutes. Reserve 2 tbsp of the liquid and place 2 tsp Cornflour in a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp water and mix before adding the reserve cherry liquid. Add back to the pot, reduce to medium heat & boil for 10 minutes. Reduce to low and simmer for about 10 minutes till thickened. Leave to cool before using or place in a clean or sterilised jar in the fridge.

    Prepare The Cake

    • Cube & weigh/measure out your 225 grams Unsalted Butter & leave to soften. Cubing small to about 1cm (⅓") gives a smaller surface area that softens quicker.
    • Add the 225 grams Castor Sugar to the softened butter & beat together, (with a hand-mixer or stand-mixer), 'creaming' for about 3-5 minutes until very creamy, smooth & also paler in colour. Add in the 4 Eggs one at a time with the mixer on low to medium speed, mixing in-between each addition.
    • Sieve over the 175 grams Self-raising Flour (& 3⅛ tsp baking powder if using plain/A.P. flour) & the 50 grams Cocoa Powder.  Mix briefly by hand and leave to the side.
    • Heat up the oven to: 170°c/150°c Fan oven/325°f/Gas Mark 3. Add tbsp Hot/Boiled Water to the bowl of tsp Chai Latte powder & ¾ tsp Coffee granules/espresso powder & mix till dissolved. (*Use a total of 1¾ tsp coffee if not using Chai Latte powder). Add the coffee mixture to the cake batter and mix just until everything is combined and no dry flour/cocoa patches remain. *Do not over-mix*.
    • Grease your cake tins well, on the bottom & up the sides. Place a circular piece of baking/parchment paper on the bottom of the tin.  I recommend using Frylight cooking spray or homemade greasing/lining paste recipe.
    • Spoon the cake batter evenly between the two tins & smooth out best you can. Place the 2 tins in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. A wooden cocktail stick should come out clean of crumbs & the cakes be coming away from sides of the tin.
    • Leave to cool in the tins, on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, before releasing from the tins, removing the paper and leaving to cool for at least 15 minutes.

    Prepare The Cream

    • Using a hand-mixer or stand-mixer, whip up the 270 ml Double/Heavy/Whipping Cream until very thick & stands tall with stiff peaks. Add in the 1 tbsp Icing/Powdered Sugar and mix till combined.
    • Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a nozzle (I used a Wilton 2D, closed star tipped nozzle), use without a nozzle or even use a food bag. Alternatively you can just spread the cream on the cake.

    Assembling The Cake

    • Once the cake is cooled, place the flattest layer of sponge on a cake stand or large plate, flat side up. Add a little cream to the centre-most area of the cake, and spread thin. Then pipe a border of cream around the edge of the cake. Carefully spoon the 200 g Cherry Jam/preserve into the centre of the cake. If your jam is not thick, this barrier of cream stops it sliding off. (Use however much jam you need & see notes for making your own jam). Make the pipe cream rosettes taller to make this filling layer as even and flat as possible. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes (15 minutes freezer) and this helps the 2nd cake layer from sliding off and squashing the cream..
    • Carefully place the 2nd cake layer on top and then place back in the fridge for 20 minutes (freezer 10 minutes). This helps everything settle and allow for easier cutting of slices. Before serving, sieve over a generous dusting of icing/powdered sugar.
    • For a more modern version, or for a special occasion, you can pipe cream on top of the cake too, and add fresh fruit too such as cherries or berries.

    Serving & Storing

    • Serve with your favourite tea & enjoy with more cream on the side as there will be plenty left-over.
    • Cut preferably while chilled but leave a little before serving. Should not be stored in the fridge for long periods as it will dry out and lose its light airy texture. You can however, cut the slices when chilled, position back together & store at room temperature or a cool place, covered with a cake dome or in a cake tin, for up to 7 days1. Note any fresh fruit used will make the cake soggy so best to add before serving.
    • Victoria Sandwich Cake can be frozen for up to 3 months2. if frozen without the jam & cream. Defrost overnight in the fridge. See step-by-step instructions before this recipe card for details.



    Sugar – British baking uses Caster Sugar & equivalent to Extra/Super Fine sugar.  Make your own Caster sugar (extra/super fine sugar) by blitzing in a food processor or Nutribullet.  See information before Recipe card for reference photo.
    Flour – UK Self-raising Flour used,  but you can use Plain (All Purpose) Flour & add the amount of baking powder listed.  No need for baking powder if using Self-raising flour.
    Coffee – no taste of coffee, but enhances chocolate flavour.  Try using a combination of Chai Latte and regular coffee or just increase the coffee amount.
    Homemade Jam – you can use my Plum Orange Jam recipe. 
    Extra close shot of a slice of chocolate Victoria sandwich cake showing jam and cream filling and partial of the large cake to the background.Cream – I whipped a full 270ml tub of cream and only used about half for piping.  So nutritional values below are based on using half the amount listed.
    Recipe Yield – 8″ (20cm), 2 layer cake.  For different sized tin, see detailed recipe. 
    Oven, Fan Oven Or Air Fryer – cake tested in oven, fan oven & front opening larger air fryer.  All temperature settings & conversions are listed in the recipe instructions, for your convenience, and are standard with all my recipes.
    ***TOP TIP FOR PHOTO READY CAKE – for the cream to hold its shape better once the top layer is on, place the cream topped bottom layer in the fridge as directed in the recipe, before adding the 2nd layer on top.  Chill again after assembling & cut all the slices when chilled as long-term storing in the fridge affects the texture & dryness of the cake.   Cut slices with the knife vertical, parallel to the height of the cake edge and the cream will not completely squash.
    Cream filled layer cake on table with teapot and cup to the side.Classic Victoria Sandwich Cake For Beginners
    For more thorough instructions, process photos & important recipe & ingredient information, please see the full recipe above this recipe card. 
    More Cake recipes
    Chocolate Victoria Sandwich cake on pink plate, pink and baby blue napkins and crockery and tea cups.Recipe Serving – one serving is 1 slice, as made above, with a yield of 10 slices, where only half the whipped cream was used to pipe in the middle. 

    Nutritional Information – I am not a qualified nutritionist & all values are approximate.  Based on a yield of 10 slices, where one serving is one slice.  Assumes ingredients used as listed, with only half the cream needed to be  piped in-between the layers.  Spread the cream and the nutritional values will decrease.  Cut smaller or bigger slices & these values will change.  All values from website MyFitnessPal.com.
    Nutrition Facts
    Chocolate Victoria Sandwich Cake
    Serving Size
    1 slice
    Amount per Serving
    % Daily Value*
    Saturated Fat
    Polyunsaturated Fat
    Monounsaturated Fat
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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    Close shot of a white table with pink and blue and white vintage crockery to the background and a large chocolate Victoria sandwich cream cake to the centre.
    1. Storing Sponge Cakes details from Sponge.Co.UK ↩︎
    2. Freezing Victoria Sandwich cake details from FreezeIt.Co.UK ↩︎
    3. Defrosting Victorai Sandwich details from FreezeIt.Co.UK ↩︎

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    Caro x
    Beginner’s Chocolate Victoria Sandwich Cake

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    1. (5/5)

      5 stars
      Been loving your recipes for some time now and love the new look of this recipe post. Shows our British cakes how they should look and with traditional ingredients. Going to try the new cherry jam recipe too but know the cake recipe is fab.

      1. Thanks mary Ann, so pleased you like the new sleeker look of the recipes and I am getting my pink branding in there haha! But seriously, great to hear feedback from someone who makes my recipes. Thanks again.

    2. (5/5)

      5 stars
      This is such a great recipe. Everything is explained step by step and makes a great cake. Thank you.

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