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Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

February 19, 2013

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

Victoria sponge – the quintessential English teatime treat – is, according to tradition, a basic sandwich cake filled with either strawberry or raspberry jam and dusted liberally with icing sugar (though a little whipped cream might make an appearance). Delightful as tradition is, there’s nothing wrong with zesting proceedings up a little – literally. The addition of orange and lemon zest is a great way of achieving a very special flavour, without doing away with the lightness of the perfect sponge cake.

Basic sponge is extraordinarily simple to produce, but there is one secret behind achieving the ideal crumb – weigh your eggs. Your cake batter should consist of equal parts egg, flour, sugar and butter (if you really haven’t the facility to weigh eggs, three medium eggs are around 190g). Follow this instruction and I can guarantee that, assuming no baking mishap occurs, every sense your body can spare is likely to pat you on the back and say “jolly well done, old thing”.

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

When following this recipe stick to using blackcurrant or blueberry jam – they work the best with citrus flavours. Avoid getting too creative and adding lemon juice to your mascarpone as it’s likely to alter its texture somewhat and could overpower the rest of the cake in terms of flavour. As things stand, the tart berries and citrus zest harmonise rather well and the creamy mascarpone brings that little bit of luxury to the table that really helps this cake shine.

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sandwich {recipe}

Makes 1 cake


• 3 eggs

• Butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour in equal measure – weigh the eggs in order to get exact amounts.

• 1 lemon, zest

• 1 orange, zest

• 2-3 tbsp blackcurrant jam

• 250g mascarpone

• 1 tbsp icing sugar


1. Grease and line two 18cm sandwich tins, heat oven to 180C. Cream together the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one. Sieve in the flour and fold in gently along with the zest. Divide the mixture between the sandwich tins and bake for around 25 minutes, or until they make no sound when listened to.

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

2. Once baked leave for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Set aside to cool completely.

3. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and sieve in the icing sugar – beat thoroughly. Spread one sponge with the jam and place the other on top. Decorate with the mascarpone and enjoy! Store in the fridge in an air tight container.

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

Cost: Basic cakes never set one back too much – there’s a limit to the cost of eggs, butter, sugar and flour. Of course, mascarpone is a little pricey compared to icing sugar and even double cream, but it’s worth it. Still, at around £2.30 for the entire confection it’s difficult to stray far from frugality.

102 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2013 6:06 pm

    Sounds yummy and last week when I made a sponge my eldest wanted blackcurrant instread of raspberry, so maybe I will be a nice mummy and knock this up in a mo. I even have a tub of marscapone lurking in the fridge and it’s within date! Gosh, a miracle in itself.

  2. February 19, 2013 6:08 pm

    This looks divine! Love black currant jam and I also love that you used mascarpone, I bet the tanginess matches well with the sweetness of the cake!

  3. February 19, 2013 6:14 pm

    OMG – this looks incredible!! A must try…

  4. February 19, 2013 6:30 pm

    That looks and sounds delicious. I have some blackcurrant jam left over from the summer, some mascarpone in the fridge and love Victoria sponge anyway – will be making this version!

  5. February 19, 2013 6:30 pm

    Looks lovely! I have to get some mascarpone to try this.

  6. February 19, 2013 6:31 pm

    Beautiful looking cake, Nick! You do sponges so well!

  7. February 19, 2013 6:41 pm

    Only looking at this picture makes my day!

  8. February 19, 2013 6:42 pm

    This was my mum’s “go-to” cake recipe. The test of a good cook (forget chef, “cook” is the epoch of the home bastions and of true soul food) is their ability to make a good Victoria Sponge. This came direct from my mothers mother who was a true Lancashire Lass and who was the source of the font of all knowledge. NO-ONE knew more about culinary practices than my grandmother. She was also the instigator of “don’t run around in bare feet you will get calves that no man will love” and “just put this book on your head and walk around for a day, you are slouching girl!” and “shoes on the table and you will NEVER be able (presumably to bear children but I had 3 😉 )”… she would sniff your Victoria sponge first. Not good enough that it looked amazing…the smell had to be right…then she would poke the crumb…apparently grandma had some sort of special touch that was able to appreciate the density of a crumb by the patternation of her fingerprints (magic woman…) and if everything was apparently up to her standards (which it rarely was) she would deign to humour you by taking a very small slice of your offering and eating it with a fork…”ladies eat with forks, spoons are for plebians!” (God help you if you picked it up with your fingers!!!)… your Victoria Sponge (after being duly sniffed and prodded of course…) would appear to have grandma’s seal of approval written all over it! BRAVO Mr. Frugal…you have indeed made it! 🙂

    • February 19, 2013 7:37 pm

      Your mother was a wise woman – love the tips about bare feet/calves! have to say. I’d enjoy my cake more eating with my fingers 😉

      • February 19, 2013 7:51 pm

        Me too! And my fat calves didn’t stop 2 men from wanting to marry me (but not at the same time 😉 )

      • February 19, 2013 7:58 pm

        Brilliant 🙂 (Sorry to hijack your thread here Frugal!)

      • February 19, 2013 8:00 pm

        LOL! I don’t think Mr. Frugal minds do you sir? He is a most magnanimous host of all things foodie, frugal and convivial so wouldn’t mind 2 old dames having a bit of a natter about the old days 😉

      • February 19, 2013 8:05 pm

        He is a gentleman indeed!

      • February 19, 2013 8:06 pm

        (Well we HOPE he is! 😉 )

      • February 20, 2013 7:10 pm

        OH yes I’m generous and benevolent and all that! Carry on ladies!

      • February 20, 2013 7:10 pm

        That’s quite all right, of course!

      • February 20, 2013 7:10 pm

        I have fat calves…

      • February 20, 2013 7:38 pm

        Did 2 men want to marry you as well? (You are starting to look more and more like “me old mucka” Nige every day Fruges! 😉 )

      • February 20, 2013 10:14 pm

        Haha – they did not. Don’t say that!

    • February 20, 2013 7:11 pm

      Same for my mother and grandmother! The best grandmothers are always like that – a 6th sense for cake…Thank you so much, Fran!

      • February 20, 2013 7:39 pm

        Cake is to grandmothers as getting an A+ on your final exam is to a student…an absolute apex of achievement 🙂

  9. kieriniowa permalink
    February 19, 2013 7:03 pm

    Super delicious.

  10. February 19, 2013 7:31 pm


  11. February 19, 2013 7:35 pm

    oh, vic sponge makes me weak in the knees, and your variation sounds (and looks) beautiful!

  12. February 19, 2013 7:36 pm

    What a wonderful tip about the egss/weight thing. Makes it so much easier for me as it’s so logical! Beautiful filling and topping too.

  13. andreamynard permalink
    February 19, 2013 7:38 pm

    Looks wonderful – and I have a tub of mascarpone in the fridge, so very tempted to get baking soon.

  14. February 19, 2013 8:26 pm

    My favorite English sweet. Yours looks beautiful with the marscapone….

  15. February 19, 2013 8:46 pm


  16. February 19, 2013 9:03 pm

    I just love simple old-fashioned cakes like this. So many confections are over-the-top these days, but sometimes we just need to go back to the time when cakes weren’t towering art creations, but rather simple and lovely. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the simple spongecakes my mother used to make, adorned with buttercream frosting, and your cake, although different, reminds me of that. I think it’s time for a little nostalgia in the kitchen.

  17. February 19, 2013 9:18 pm

    Ooh this cake looks utterly lush and with the mascarpone topping such a real treat, I also love the citrus and the blackcurrant fusion as I think these flavours marry off particularly well. Superb!

  18. February 19, 2013 9:24 pm

    I am sitting here drinking a Chai tea and wishing SO bad I could have a piece of your cake right now♥

  19. February 19, 2013 9:47 pm

    Oh, how I wish I could reach through my computer screen and steal a slice of this delightful cake! It looks lovely. And you’ve reminded me, I really must invest in a kitchen scale!

  20. February 19, 2013 10:04 pm

    Lovely looking cake Nick. Round here, they always seem to come out like a spare car wheel. Not that I bake them myself…

  21. February 19, 2013 10:48 pm

    I have a soft spot for the good old victoria sponge, I must admit. I tend to go for the jam/cream centre and icing sugar atop, but am encouraged to try the mascarpone – perfect counterbalance for a ristretto.

  22. February 19, 2013 11:32 pm

    You just can’t beat a Victoria Sponge, this looks gorgeous. My mum always made sure there was one in the cupboard, made fresh from Delia’s recipe. We never had blueberry conserve though, usually raspberry jam, of the home made variety of course. And it was frugally finished with a dusting of icing sugar. Delicious though 🙂

  23. February 20, 2013 12:15 am

    Oh, this looks and sounds divine! Your desserts are always to die for.

  24. February 20, 2013 1:32 am

    She’s a beaut!

  25. February 20, 2013 2:48 am

    I’ll have a BIG slice of that cake with a nice cup of tea, thanks !! Looks delicious.

  26. February 20, 2013 3:12 am

    This looks really AWESOME and I want a slice right now!

  27. February 20, 2013 6:25 am

    You’ve really got this down to a science! No wonder when I used to make sponge cakes I could never get it just right. I love the citrus and the tart berries! Great job Nick!

    • February 20, 2013 7:04 pm

      Aww, thanks, Somer! The problem is that over there you don’t weigh anything!

      • February 20, 2013 7:31 pm

        I know! I actually do have a kitchen scale, but I rarely use it. Mostly I use it for cold process soap where the measurements HAVE to be exact.

      • February 20, 2013 7:31 pm

        ahha – I use it numerous times every day 😀

      • February 20, 2013 7:35 pm

        I’m a lazy cook and don’t usually measure at all, I just kinda eyeball ingredients for size/weight. I only measure for reals when I’m doing recipes for the blog, It wouldn’t be very good of me to not be precise when posting.

  28. February 20, 2013 7:33 am

    Reblogged this on Northern News.

  29. February 20, 2013 9:47 am

    Mmh berries, orange, mascarpone and sponge – wonderful!

  30. February 20, 2013 9:49 am

    Mmm, lovely! I’ve heard about weighing everything according to the eggs but never usually get round to it – thanks for the push! Really like the idea of lemon + orange zest, and the mascarpone as well! That’s this wekeend’s baking sorted. I am going to use this for cupcakes (easier to feed an office) so will probably have to be a little more watchful at the oven…

  31. February 20, 2013 1:37 pm

    I love mascarpone in desserts! Actually, I love mascarpone with anything!

  32. February 20, 2013 3:15 pm

    Wow, can’t wait to try this! Yum!

  33. February 20, 2013 5:20 pm

    What a gorgeous cake.

  34. February 20, 2013 6:04 pm

    You know.. I just love photos of a gorgeous cake, sponge cake is one of my favorites:)

  35. February 21, 2013 3:52 am

    A beautiful twist on tradition – sounds delicious Nick!

  36. February 21, 2013 1:14 pm

    I am totally abandoning strawberry for blackcurrant. Wow, this looks like an incredible combination! The sponge looks perfect too… what’s your secret? Thanks for sharing!

  37. February 21, 2013 1:18 pm

    Simple yet classy! I would try it with blueberry – thanks for that suggestion. I have never tried black currant anything…

  38. February 21, 2013 1:38 pm

    This looks like a pretty much perfect Victoria sponge. Have you ever tried putting the blueberries in the batter?

  39. February 21, 2013 4:12 pm

    Cricket tea wouldn’t be the same without this cake! Well played sir

  40. February 21, 2013 6:01 pm

    Oooh wonder if I have any black currants left in the freezer from our garden. This looks lovely.

  41. February 22, 2013 3:36 am

    OMG. This looks amazing! Must try!!

  42. February 23, 2013 1:22 pm

    bookmarked 🙂

  43. February 24, 2013 6:53 am

    Wonderful combination! Blackcurrants and mascarpone = delicious cake! 🙂

  44. February 24, 2013 3:55 pm

    I wonder if it would work just as well with blackberry jam. I love me some blackberries.

  45. February 25, 2013 2:29 pm

    Mmmmmmmmmmm! Amazing twist on a classic recipe. LOVE!

  46. February 28, 2013 8:26 pm

    Thanks for the reminder about the ratio for making the perfect sponge cake. I haven’t tried that method yet, but your Victoria Sponge is twisting my arm. 🙂

    P.S. There’s a recipe for homemade mascarpone cheese on my blog (just type in “homemade mascarpone” in search) — then you can have your cake (& eat it, too!) anytime your frugal heart desires.

  47. March 2, 2013 8:12 am

    Yummy, yummy, yummy, and the whole weigh the eggs thing and take it from there….. is how my Grandmother taught me to make a sponge x


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