Sunday, 4 March 2012

United Kingdom - Victoria Sponge (Around the World in 12 Dishes)

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I'm really excited to be part of this great collaborative project along with some amazing bloggers (check out the full list of participants below) The idea is to get kids in the kitchen and exploring the world through new recipes, tastes and adventures! Cooking with kids offers a range of learning experiences - science, numeracy, literacy, language development, sensory exploration (and geography now too) as well as creating lasting family memories and something yummy to enjoy!

Over the next twelve months we will be making recipes from around the world, starting with the UK - and we invite you to join in too.

How it Works:

You and your kids select a dish from the host country to cook, bake, prepare together

Blog it then come back and link-up here - we'll pin to our Pinterest Board / not a blogger? You can still join in and post a pic on our Facebook Page

Grab a button to share with your readers

p.s. You can extend this activity by doing a craft activity, reading a story also check out some additional extras over at Glittering Muffins - they have a placemat for the kiddos to colour and a printable passport to record your culinary journey!

So now all the formal stuff is over, let's get onto the fun bit (licking the bowl I mean!)

We decided to make a traditional Victoria Sponge - a sponge layer cake with whipped cream and jam. The cake was named after Queen Victoria, who  it is said enjoyed a slice with her afternoon tea.

I have been baking with Vin ever since he was a little little kiddo - I used to strap him in his baby carrier and he'd cluth a little plastic whisk in his tiny hand. I like to think we've become quite the little baking team - when Little CC comes to play I have two kids chucking flour everywhere helping out so I thought I'd share some tips I've picked up along the way (in blue) and point out specific learning opportunities as we go (in orange).

Before you begin - set up your area - we do this in the kitchen standing on a chair, but it would probably be easier to work on a drop cloth on the floor. You'll need a food procesor (or a mixing bowl and whisk), two 21cm round tins, scales and measuring spoons.

Ingredients - you might find it easier to weigh out the ingredients before your kiddo joins you in the kitchen - or turn it into a maths activity, talk about volume and capacity of your measuring spoons, more and less, weigh each ingredient, count the number of eggs etc

225g Softened Butter
225g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs
200g Self Raising Flour
25g Cornflour (or just use 225g SR Flour)
1 tsp Baking Powder
3-4 tbsp Whole Milk

Remember to let the kids feel each ingredient, talk about the different textures, smell the vanilla, taste a teeny bit of sugar or butter. With older kids make predictions about what will happen, the purpose of each ingredient - flour and baking powder are raising agents, eggs bind the mixture, sugar and vanilla are sweeteners etc

1. Wash hands, put on apron, tie long hair back - use this opportunity to talk about hygiene in the kitchen

Line your baking tins with baking paper and grease the sides with a little butter - encourage the kids to help with smearing the butter round, older kids can measure the tins, draw around them on the baking paper and cut out circles - size and shape recognition

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, Gas Mark 4 - dicuss how the oven is hot and explain safety rules, older kids might like to set the temperature (check they got it right though!)

2. If you haven't already weighed out your ingredients, do it now - I do this straight into the bowl of the food processor, but when kids are doing the scooping and pouring it's best to do each ingredient in a separate bowl

3. If you're using a processor put all of the ingredients except the milk into the bowl and pulse till you've got a smooth batter - luckily it's hard to overmix this cake so let the kids do this bit. With the motor running add the milk a little at a time until you have a soft dropping consistency - talk about how the ingredients have combined, taste a little batter (be aware of raw eggs) and let the kids give it one last stir with a wooden spoon to check for lumps

(if you're making this the traditional way i.e. no processor then cream the butter and sugar, add vanilla, then add each egg one at a time followed by a spoon of flour, then the cornflour and a little milk)

4. Spoon the mixture evenly between the tins - count as you go or talk about fractions (half the batter in each tin) and bake for around 25 mins - now is the time to reinforce those safety messages about the oven! You can also make predictions about what the heat will do to the ingredients and imagine what it will taste like when it's done

5. Take the cakes out and allow to cool slightly in their tins before turning out on a wire rack to cool - decide which will be the top and the bottom, and cool the bottom layer upsidedown

6. When the cakes are completely cool pour around 200ml double cream into a bowl and let the kiddos go wild whipping it up - talk about how the liquid cream starts to take on solid form, make squiggly patterns with the whisk - spread the cream over the top of the bottom cake in a nice thick layer, push it almost to the edges (remembering it will squidge out as you put the top layer on).

Place the berries on top of the cream, we go in circles from the outside in.

Turn the top layer upside down and spread on around 3 tbsp jam (we used raspberry, depending on what berries you are using)

Now the tricky bit, you need to flip the jam top layer over on top of the cream and berries, try to get it straight, but remember nothing you make with kids needs to be picture perfect!

7. Dust the top with a little icing sugar and maybe a flag or two if you like - then enjoy!

The linky will be open for a year so you have plenty of time to get inspired and get cooking. In the meantime check out the other participants and see what they're up to!



  1. Now THAT is one PERFECT Victoria Sponge! Love your flag activities too!


  2. Very nice and looks yummy! Very well written post :)

  3. Looks sooo delicious. Reading all these cake/afternoon tea posts has me hankering for something yummy to go with my plain morning cup of tea. Btw, you header looks awesome :-)

  4. You've inspired me to create our own Sponge Cake this week afterschool for a tea party in our week in the UK. I love how you made the flag with legos too. We incorperated toys into our learng about the UK too.

  5. That looks so YUMMY!!! I am pinning this!

  6. I really want to eat some of this right's calling my name! ;-)

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