triple-layer berry victoria sponge

You can’t go wrong with a light sponge, fruit and fresh cream. A middle layer packed with fresh raspberries makes the cake look interesting and also adds texture. Vary the flavours: try lime and raspberry, or blackberry and apple in autumn. The basis of the sponge never changes, but have fun with flavours and decoration.

serves: 10-12 people

335g self-raising flour
335g unsalted butter, softened
335g golden caster sugar
3 tsp baking powder
6 large eggs
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
150g fresh raspberries
600ml double cream
500g fresh strawberries, hulled
Icing sugar, to finish

01 Heat the oven to 160C (non-fan 180C). Grease three 25cm round, loose-bottomed sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.

02 Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the butter, sugar, baking powder, eggs, zest and juice. Mix together until smooth, fluffy and combined. If using an electric mixer, use a medium speed and do not overmix. Divide two-thirds of the mixture between two of the tins. Reserve five of the fresh raspberries for decoration, then add the rest to the last third of the mixture and mix them through, crushing some as you go. Put this mixture into the third tin.

03 Place all tins in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the sponges are risen and golden, and are slightly coming away from the edges (try not to open the oven before the 20 minutes are up). The raspberry sponge may need another 5 minutes. Remove the tins and turn out the sponges onto a wire rack. Leave to cool.

04 Whip the double cream thick enough to hold its shape. Do not overwhip. Spoon the cream into a piping bag with a round nozzle. Keep five strawberries for decoration. Slice the rest.

05 Pipe a layer of double cream onto one of the plain sponges. Top with a layer of sliced strawberries. Spread a small amount of cream on the underside of the raspberry sponge, then place it gently on top of the strawberries (the cream helps the sponges stick together).

06 Pipe a layer of double cream onto the raspberry sponge and top this with the last of the sliced strawberries. Spread a small amount of cream on the underside of the other plain sponge, then set this on top of the strawberries. Push down gently and check the layers are even. Top with leftover cream, the reserved strawberries cut in half, and the reserved raspberries, then dust with icing sugar. Eat it on the day it’s made. It is huge, so best shared at a party as a centrepiece!