Vanilla Sponge / Cupcakes

A classic sponge is a great recipe to master –  use it to make traditional sponge cakes (vanilla, lemon drizzle, coffee), cupcakes and celebration cakes



Ready In:

1 – 2 hrs



Skills covered

Creaming, Whisking, Folding, Sieving, Baking

Vanilla Sponge

By: Chloe Coker

This classic vanilla sponge recipe is the basis for Victoria sponge, vanilla cupcakes and celebration cakes.  It uses a creamed method, where you whisk (“cream”) the butter and sugar, then whisk in the eggs, then gently fold in the flour.  The aim is to trap as much air as possible to keep the cakes light and fluffy.  You can adapt the flavor of the sponge to make things like lemon drizzle and coffee & walnut cake.



  12 x Cupcakes Victoria Sponge 7” round celebration cake / 24x cupcakes 7” square or 8” round celebration cake
Tin Cupcake tin lined with cupcake cases 2 x Victoria sandwich tins, greased and lined 7” round deep cake tin greased and lined 7” square or 8” square deep cake tin greased and lined
Unsalted butter, softened 150g 200g 250g 300g
Caster sugar 150g 200g 250g 300g
Vanilla extract 1 tsp 1 tsp 2 tsp 2 tsp
Eggs 3 4 5 6
Self raising flour 150g 200g 250g 300g
Milk / water (if necessary) 1 tbsp 2 tbsp 3 tbsp 3 tbsp


  • Preheat the oven to 180*c. Grease and line your tins
  • Place the butter in a bowl and beat it with an electric whisk / table top mixer for a minute until light and fluffy
  • Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk for another minute until the mixture is pale and fluffy
  • Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until well incorporated after each addition. Add a tbsp. of the flour along with the eggs to stop the mixture from curdling
  • Sieve in the flour and fold it into the mixture. If the batter feels quite stiff, add in a couple of tbsp. of milk and fold through until well incorporated
  • Spoon the mixture into your tin/cases and bake in the top half of your oven: for around 15-20 minutes for cupcakes, 20-25 minutes for Victoria sandwich tins, 45mins-1 hr for celebration cakes. The cakes should be well risen and golden and smell baked – a skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean
  • Take the cakes out of the oven and cool on a rack
  • While your cakes are baking you can get ahead by making your buttercream
  • *Alternative: Try replacing 1/3 of the flour with ground almonds and 1 tsp of baking powder



To cover an 8” cake you will need:

200g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract / paste

  • Place the ingredients in a bowl and whisk for five minutes until light and fluffy.  *It is important you whisk it for a really long time – it will make it life and stop it tasting buttery
  • You can add flavourings to buttercream such as lemon / orange zest, coffee, hazelnut essence and cocoa powder/melted chocolate.

Tips, Tricks and Teaching Info

Line Your Tin & Turn The Oven On

Line your tin and preheat your oven before you begin.  The raising agents will start to work as soon as you stir everything together so you want to get the mixture in the tins and into the oven asap

Room Temperature Ingredients

When making a sponge cake, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you start and that your butter is soft – it is more elastic at room temperature so will trap air much more easily