Victoria sponge with crème patissière and gooseberry compote

  • Serves 8
  • Takes 40 min to make, 20-25 min to bake, plus cooling
  • Medium
This delightfully old-fashioned sponge recipe is a taste of summer, with sweet and tart combinations.

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories559kcals
  • Fat31.8g (18.4g saturated)
  • Protein7.3g
  • Carbohydrates64.9g (42.4g sugar)
  • Salt0.7g
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[Total: 5 Average: 3.2]
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  • 225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

For the creme patissiere

  • 250ml full-fat milk
  • ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • and seeds scraped
  • 3 large free-range egg yolks
  • 45g caster sugar
  • 40g cornflour
  • 142ml pot double cream
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial

For the gooseberry compote

  • 400g fresh or frozen and thawed gooseberries
  • 50g caster sugar, plus extra to taste
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Butter and line 2 x 20cm round cake tins with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then gradually mix in the eggs with a little of the flour. Fold in the remaining flour, vanilla and milk, until smooth. Divide between the tins, level, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, make the crème patissière. Heat the milk, vanilla pod and seeds in a small pan, until simmering. Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and return to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until very thick. Discard the pod, cover the surface with cling film and cool.
  3. For the compote, put the gooseberries and sugar in a small pan over a medium heat. Cook for
  4. 10 minutes (3-4 minutes if frozen), stirring occasionally, until soft. Stir in the elderflower cordial – add more sugar if it’s tart. Cool completely.
  5. Whisk the cream and elderflower cordial to stiff peaks. Whisk in some crème patissière to loosen, then fold in the rest. Spread onto the flat side of 1 cake, then top with the gooseberry compote. Sandwich with the other cake, flat-side down, then dust with icing sugar to serve.

From July 2008

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  • "
    isabellwhitenstall20:54 Jul 14 2015

    I love this recipe because it is a twist on the Victoria sponge recipe making it extra special using goodberries. It will be a big hit in our house.

  • "
    mandymazliah14:57 Jun 04 2015

    I love this recipe because both Victoria sponges and gooseberries take me right back to the summers of my childhood. I can’t wait until gooseberries appear at my local green grocers so I can make it again.

  • "
    beverleyfrancis8:38 Jun 04 2015

    I love this recipe because when I first made it (a few years ago), it was the first Victoria sponge that actually looked (and tasted) like a Victoria sponge. Every one I had made before, always came out flat and unappetising. I have tried others since but I always return to this recipe. It is light and fluffy and moist with such a lovely flavour. And as I am a great lover of gooseberries, it makes it that extra special (though a basic raspberry, strawberry or blackcurrant jam filling is just as delicious).
    But I warn you now, it is so tasty that it doesn’t last very long!

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