Recipe: "Skinny" Victoria Cake, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

We’ve been in an Artic chill here in New York City since before Christmas; which coincidentally, I discovered is the perfect time to remember the sweetness of summer and a Victoria Cake, which you can make any time, in a snap, is that perfect summery bite. 

What it is, is: vanilla cake with fruity sweetness of strawberry and clouds of whipped cream. It’s everything wonderful about summer dessert, anytime. And here’s the best part, it’s three components that you can make all from scratch or you can make none from scratch and it will be mighty fine either way.

Victoria cake is traditionally two yellow cakes with a layer of jam and whipped cream or butter cream in the middle to make a “sandwich”. Mine is "skinny" becuase I made it using one layer of cake and really that was more than enough for me! Here’s more about the history of Victoria Cake: here and here. And here's a basic recipe which is naturally nut-free; here, too.

Recipe Notes:
I used Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake mix, which is also nut-free. Feel free to use your favorite box cake or safe-for-you yellow cake recipe.

Ingredients as of January 2018

I made strawberry quick jam.

Store bought strawberry jam is also great here. I like Bonne Maman, easy to find, often on sale and very few ingredients. 

I used Nielsen-Massey vanilla

I used Horizon Organic butter

I used Pete & Gerry’s large eggs

I used Whole foods brand heavy cream. It’s just cream. Remember read all of your labels, many heavy creams have extra stabilizers and thickeners and some are even made in nutty facilities.

*If you need a dairy-free version of this recipe, vegan butter and vegan or soy cream whipped up are perfectly fine substitutions here. Also here’s my vegan dairy-free buttercream recipe.*

I used a dark colored 9-inch round pan to bake it. Use what you have, 8-inch round, 9-inch square, cupcake if you’ve got them. They all work and don’t affect taste or presentation.

I sprinkled with Dominos confectioners' sugar, which looks great for presentation and just adds an extra oomph, but totally optional.

Also, I made these a la minute, meaning I didn’t split the cake and put jam all over and it and cream and present it. If you are serving this for a crowd then by all means, cream and jam it! But if you are going to have slices, two or three at a time over a few days, then I suggest doing each piece in the moment, as you are going to enjoy it that way all the components stay nice and fresh.

The cake stayed on the counter, wrapped in tin foil and a zip lock for two days, no problem. After that, you can refrigerate or freeze it but honey, I say, just eat it up and enjoy it! 

See? A glorious, delicious mess!

Oh and yup, the whipped cream will squish out the sides when you put a fork into it (see above), but that’s part of the fun. Use butter cream if you want a firmed, tidier cake. But I LOVE whipped cream here. 

Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake  mix
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (plus some extra for greasing pan)
2/3 cup water
2 t vanilla
3 large eggs

Strawberry jam 

1 -2 cups heavy cream (depending upon how many slices you’re making)

Confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the entire 9-inch round pan with butter.

Using a hand mixer, combine cake mix, butter, vanilla and eggs in large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds and then medium speed for 2 minutes until everything is combined. Pour into greased pan.

Bake for 41 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for ten minutes, then invert it, and place it back on it’s bottom on a wire rack until completely cooled.

Whip 1 cup heavy cream. (Add a tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar if you like your cream slightly sweet). Taste, adjust sugar if necessary, put aside. 

Once cake is cooled, cut a big slice and then slice it horizontally (see slice above). 
Add two teaspoons of jam and slather on the bottom layer. Add more jam if you like, or less if it’s too oozy for your slice. Add two tablespoons of whipped cream on top of the jam. Add more cream if you like, or less if it’s too oozy for your slice. Then place the top layer to make a sandwich.



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