I baked a gorgeous gluten free almond and cherry victoria sponge cake last week. That sounds quite boastful, but honestly, there was some great alchemy occurring in my oven and that cake was wonderful. This isn’t a fancy recipe, but it yields lots of ‘yums’!
Putting together the recipe was simple and straightforward – my ‘old school’ victoria sponge recipe, with some almond flavouring – although in hindsight adding ground almonds to replace some flour would probably make something even more special. I cobbled together a filing from canned black cherries (and, just a teeny splash of kirsch), layered on the whipped cream, and ta-dah. Cake time.
If you’re wanting to make something easy, that most people will love, and gluten free, then this is the bake for you.
- 4 large eggs
- 225g gluten free self raising flour blend (I used Dove’s Farm)
- 225g golden caster sugar
- 225g baking spread (or softened butter – but I find spread gives better results in GF baking)
- 1/2 tsp Xantham Gum
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Almond flavouring
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tin black cherry pie filling (I used Princes)
- Splash of Kirsch (optional)
- 300ml carton double cream
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4, 180ºc, lightly grease 2 sandwich tins (or use greaseproof paper to line)
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the caster sugar and baking spread until really pale, creamy and fluffy. About 2 mins with an electric whisk on medium.
2. Add a few drops of the almond flavouring.
3. Sift in a few tablespoons of the flour and add one egg. Mix in.
4. Repeat step three until all of the flour and eggs are combined.
5. Mix in the Xantham Gum and baking powder. At this point you may need to add a splash of milk to loosen the mixture – a tablespoon or two at most should work if you need to. It will be a fairly thick consistency, but should be easy to move into the sandwich tin.
6. Pour mixture into the prepared sandwich tins and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes – check at this point if cooked (a knife or skewer inserted should come out clean). If not, pop back in for 5 minutes.
7. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes to cool then turn out carefully onto a cooling rack.
8. While the cakes cool: empty the tin of cherry filling into a saucepan with the splash of kirsch (optional) and heat gently while stirring for 10 minutes, until it thickens. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely.
9. Whip the double cream with one tablespoon of icing sugar until it forms stiff peaks.
10. Once the cakes and the cherry filling are both completely cool, transfer the sponge to a serving plate, spoon over the cherries on the bottom sandwich (don’t go completely to the edge, it’ll spread when you put the top layer on).
11. Carefully spoon the cream over the top of the cherries, don’t blend the fillings – you want to see a definite layer when the cake is assembled.
12. Place the top sponge layer on top of the filling, and dust over the remaining tablespoon of icing sugar.
Serve and enjoy!
Let me know if you tried this recipe and what you think of the result. If you want to make this non-gluten free, just remove the Xantham Gum and substitute the Gluten Free self raising flour for standard self raising. Just be aware to not over-mix when adding the flour at the end, as it will behave differently to gluten free flour blends.