Lemon & Passionfruit Curd meets Victoria Sponge

Is it terribly shocking to admit, that I have never baked a Victoria Sponge? Nope, never.

Years of eating rather tasteless birthday cake sponges put me off somewhat. The indifference was compounded by the fact that celebrity chefs went on about it and baking books were not complete unless a Vic Sponge was included. I have to be honest and say that I was a little intimidated too, to bake such a revered British classic. One can read pages on the technical aspects of making a perfectly light and moist cake and that of course, thwarts any initial, feeble spark of interest.

Until now.

It started with passionfruit, which were selling rather cheaply at the supermarket. I bought a fat bag of them and I knew I was going to be stirring a Lemon and Passionfruit Curd that afternoon. Couldn’t be easier, bung it all into a bowl over simmering water and let it emulsify and thicken. The curd, full of wonderful lemon-citrus tang, was complimented in equal part by the fruity hit of the passionfruit. The dark seeds peeking under a glossy sheen of curd made for pretty viewing too. It was sublime and the first taste had me reaching for a sliced bread to smother it on. When needs must people.

I was wondering how to make the most of the curd and turned to pals online; all exceptional bakers; on what to do with the curd. Obviously, the famous Victoria Sponge got quite a few mentions. I tentatively let it be known that I had never baked one. Cue lots of capital letters and question marks! Recipes were thrown in my direction and I was implored, scolded and urged in good hearted measure to give it a go.

So I turned to Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess and tried her Victoria Sponge recipe. My natural laziness let me deviate to the path of least resistance and I opted for the food processor method, where everything is blitzed in the machine to make the batter. The cake suffered for it. Dense, it also erupted in the middle, like a volcano and so didn’t really meet any expectations. It was tasty to eat, but a Victoria Sponge it was not.

So the next day, I went for the traditional creaming, adding eggs and flour, slowly and alternately, poured the lemony, buttery batter into a waiting pan and smoothed it with prayers that it would turn out alright. And it did! Looking at the golden fat disc gave me such a sense of accomplishment and pleasure.

For the sandwich bit, I whipped up some double cream, folded in the curd and sandwiched the two halves of the cake. Next, I made a simple glaze of passionfruit juice and icing sugar and poured that on top.

Tasting the large chunk of cake, stabbed onto the end of my fork, I will say that I felt like slapping myself. To think that I had missed out on eating one of the loveliest cakes I have ever baked! The lemon infused, tender crumbed, moist but light sponge was perfectly partnered with with the smooth, tart and tangy curd and the passionfruit glaze added a subtle touch of fruitiness. The rest of the family concurred and the cake was demolished in  two days. And I had another ‘must-try-sometime’ item happily struck off the list.

To all the foodie pals out there, you know who you are;  I thank you.

To view and print recipes,

clickhere for the Lemon Curd

Click here for the Sponge

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26 comments

  1. Natalie Morine

    Wonderful piece of writing again Carrie! I love a nice sponge with fresh cream & jam yours sounds delish with the fresh curd…I have a confession to make…I too have never made a sponge, must remedy that now esp after looking at yours!! :D

    • Phew! Another one! I thought I was the only misfit! Its pretty easy, though I think shallower sandwich pans are required rather than a high sided one which this is. Better lift I would think! And this combination was superb, really loved it as am not a fan of jam in cakes. I know, I know…

      Let me know how you get one….

  2. Oh my, stunning photos!!! I absolutely love them! So bright and full of lemony sunshine. And I absolutely love Victoria Sponge. Growing up, my mum had a soft spot for plain sponge cake which was inevitably passed on to me.

    Beautiful writing as well, Carrie. I loved reading every word! :-)

    • Aww thanks Thanh…I had a gorgeous tea towel that went perfectly ;-)

      The only sponge I knew while growing up, was the birthday cake one and it was tasteless and dry so I guess I painted every plain sponge with the same pastry brush!

      Changed my mind now though :-)

  3. Lovely lovely lovely. All of it! Could really do with a nice cake for tea today but my poor shoulders are murdering me and I’m forced to spend the day laying down! Ha! Shalle not a virtue slice of this instead for our piccies are good enough to eat Mrs PP. Hmmm, a slice of Creme’s date tart would be rather fab with my “virtual” afternoon tea – luckily I have Mrs Potts so I can *really* have the tea at least!

  4. That looks so beautiful! (love your cake plate btw! So pretty)

  5. i like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out tastingspot.com. it’s for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share recipes will other foodies.

  6. anabela martins

    Lovely, loveçy and delicious wowwww:-)

  7. Can only imagine how happy “Victoria” must be :p

  8. Oh how I would love to come across a fat bag of cheap passionfruit. I grew up in Hawaii and I alwasy start missing tropical fruit in the middle of winter. I made lemon curd for the first time today!

    • Somehow the idea of growing up in Hawaii sounds rather magical! Passionfruit is rather new to me (via Nigella’s Pavlova topping) though my mother used to eat it all the time when she was little. How did the lemon curd go?

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  10. Christine

    I just stumbled upon your website, and I must say this looks sooo good! I am definitely going to try. :) However, if I can’t get passionfruit am I able to use some substitute like a passionfruit syrup/flavoring/essence thing? Not sure if that will be quite the same though :(

    • Oh Christine, I apologise, I didn’t see your comment till now!! I personally have not come across passionfruit flavoured syrups, so I don’t know about those. If I had to buy something it would be the syrup, and not the flavourings or essences as those are likely to be chemically produced to mimic the taste of passionfruit and its a poor replica.

      You could just do the whole thing in lemon, which is also quite traditional. Fruit like raspberries or blackberries would work. Or just plain whipped cream in the centre, with strawberries are divine.

      Hope this helps. ;-)

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  12. Luchair

    This is a stunning Victoria, impressively high it is! Love the idea of serving it with passionfruit curd. Dont know how i missed this – lovely post.

  13. Jayne

    Oh my, the lemon and passionfruit curd is devine (she says licking not only the spoon but wiping my finger around the bowl to scrape up every last drop). The smell was delightful, so much so that it got my daughter out of her room to ask what I was doing – whooppee!!!!! I shall now make a Victoria sponge cake and sandwich it with pure delight, thank you for sharing :-) x

    • Oh Jayne, thanks for the feedback and am so glad you love it! Major credit for the recipe if it called to your daughter as well, ha ha! There are no better critics than children…enjoy that sponge :-)

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