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Chocolate Hazelnut Victoria Sponge Cake: the classic dessert recipe

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
By Cookist
Butter or margarine
225 g (8oz)
caster sugar
225 g (8 oz)
4 Medium
self-raising flour
175 g (6 oz) sieved
Cocoa powder
Medium jar of Nutella or other chocolate nut spread
Unsalted butter
75 g (3 oz)
Icing sugar
175 g (6 oz) plus extra to dust
Cocoa powder
45g (45g/3 tbsp)
about 10 ml of milk or warm water

Victoria sponge is a classic recipe that has stood the test of time, simply because it makes a great cake that is versatile enough to adapt to your tastes and many different fillings can be used.

This is a cake with a Royal seal of approval! The cake was named after Queen Victoria, who enjoyed a slice of sponge cake with her afternoon tea. Baking powder was invented in 1843, and this innovation allowed sponge cakes to rise higher than they ever had before. Cookery writer Felicity Cloake says this discovery was “celebrated with a patriotic cake”, and this was Victoria Sponge.

A basic Victoria sponge recipe consists of jam and cream sandwiched between two sponge cakes. The top of the cake isn’t iced or decorated, apart from an optional dusting of icing sugar. This cake uses cocoa powder to give it a delicious chocolately taste, with a simple filling of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread. You can, if you prefer, use a buttercream or cream cheese filling instead – that’s the beauty of the Victoria sponge.


Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/160C fan/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and if the mixture starts to curdle, add a little flour.

Fold in the remaining flour and the cocoa powder with a metal spoon.

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for approx. 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Once completely cold, use a palette knife or spatula to spread Nutella over one half of the sandwich cakes. Place the second cake on top, and dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder if desired.

To make the butter icing, place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and then add enough milk / water to make the icing fluffy and spreadable. Sift and beat the cocoa powder in to the icing and use it to sandwich the two sponges together.

Dust the top of the cake lightly with sieved icing sugar.


If you can, use loose-bottomed sandwich tins – it makes removing the cakes so much easier.

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