Baking a Victoria Sponge cake arguably could not be more simple – there are just four main ingredients (flour, sugar, butter and eggs), and no fancy techniques required.
One essential and long-standing rule, however, is that the butter and sugar should be mixed together – known as creaming – before the flour is folded in. In the eyes of many, the rule is gospel.
But shock-waves have just rippled through kitchens around the world as Mary Berry has revealed she no longer follows the traditional approach.
“I no longer prepare a Victoria sandwich with the traditional creaming and folding methods, as this all-in-one method gives excellent results every time,” Berry, 83, wrote for the Telegraph.
She explained that many people tell her they’re put off baking because they think it’s too much effort.
“‘It’s such a business!’ they tell me,” she said. “‘All that creaming of butter and sugar. I never seem to have the butter soft enough. And then the tins have to be lined and everything has to be just so.”
But, she says, it really needn’t be a big deal.
“They are wrong if they think that you have to take a day off in order to make cakes successfully,” the baking doyenne explained.
“Cakes, tea breads and biscuits can all be made quickly and easily with the minimum of fuss and trouble.”
If you struggle to get your butter to the right consistency for baking, Berry recommends using baking spread instead, which can be taken straight from the fridge: “You don’t want it too soft,” she added.
When making a Victoria Sponge cake, the former Great British Bake Off judge beats together her baking spread, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a large bowl with an electric mixer, meaning the recipe only requires about five minutes of preparation before the mix bakes in the oven.