Never too old to start running and Victoria Sponge Cake

by Joanne on May 3, 2011

What an interesting start to the week I had!  I went downstairs to workout and hear “Osama bin Laden is dead”. I dropped the weights, not believing my ears.  My first response was “GREAT!” My second response was “Oh GREAT! Ted and I have to get on a plane this Friday.  What if al-Qaida are quick to retaliate?!!!” I’m not thinking anyone is going to target OUR plane but …you know. Cross fire?!!!

Moving on to more personal and positive things.  Don’t ever believe you are too old to begin a good workout regimen.  My dad is 86 years old.  He has always been active and gets annoyed with himself because he nods off to sleep for an hour mid afternoon.  He doesn’t account for the fact that he gets up at 2AM, sometimes 3AM, many times 4AM and 5AM to have a cup of tea.  Recently, Dad started embarking on longer, more vigorous walks since he has reduced some pain he was having in his knees.  That walking has turned into a run.   Yes…at 86 years old, my father has decided to run. Now he’s not planning on a marathon or anything, just incorporating a bit more aerobic activity into his already active life style given his age.  This is what he told me this morning…

“Jo! I’ve got to tell you.  This morning, I went out for my walk.  I was at the marina and saw a gal running.  I asked her if I could try to run with her and she said sure.  So I ran with her all the way from the marina to XXX street.” My dad’s amazing!   I think the distance he ran was between a quarter to half a mile.  You know, I have some really fantastic men in my life!

Victoria Sponge Cake – another Royal Wedding dedication.

The dessert dedication to the Royal Wedding.  Victoria Sponge (original recipe found at Saveur).  A deliciously simple cake to bake from scratch and popular as an English afternoon tea sweet.  It was named in honor of Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria’s nearly 64-year reign (1837-1901) was the longest in British history. She presided over a period of British industrial progress, artistic successes and political empire-building which became known as the Victorian Era. Victoria was only 18 when she became queen upon the death of her uncle, King William IV. In 1840 she married her first cousin Albert, the German son of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Victoria was shattered by his untimely death at age 42, and she went into a prolonged period of mourning. (She never stopped mourning entirely, wearing black the rest of her life.) Late in the 1860s she re-emerged into public life, and as years passed she became increasingly venerated among her subjects. Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee — 60 years on the throne — in 1897. After her death in 1901 she was succeeded by her son Prince Albert, who became King Edward VII.
Read more: SOURCE.


Makes an 8” round cake.


  • 3/4 lb Butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil *Apple crumbles added this because the original recipe calls for HIGH FAT EUROPEAN BUTTER.  You do NEED this oil to moisten the cake.
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract *Added by Apple Crumbles. Leave out if you want the traditional recipe.
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract / juice *Added by Apple Crumbles.  Leave out if you want the traditional recipe.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup double Devon Cream *Not available unless you order on line.  I used simple whipping cream (1 cup heavy cream + 1 1/2 TBS vanilla sugar + 2 TBS (1 pkt) Dream Whip (stabilizer).
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam (I used Blackberry seedless)
  • Confectioners sugar to top the cake

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Grease 2 8” round cake pans, 2 inches deep, with 1/2 TBS butter and dust each with flour (or use Pam Spray for Baking (has flour in it)).

Beat the remaining butter and oil in a large bowl with your standing electric mixer for 5 minutes on high speed.

Add the granulated sugar and beat until fluffy.

Combine eggs with 6 TBS water.  Add 1/2 the egg mixture and 1/2 the flour to the butter-sugar whip.   Beat well for 2 minutes.  Add the remaining eggs and flour. Beat for another 5 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Allow to cool

Beat the cream in a bowl with the vanilla sugar  and dream whip (if you have the Devon cream, simply beat for 2 min. ) and beat for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Place one layer of cake on a plate and spread with jam then top with whipped cream.

Spread the rest of the jam on the other cake layer, then put on top of the whipped cream topped layer. *Put it jam side down.


Dust the cake with confectioners sugar.


A lovely little tea cake.  It’s a little more dense than traditional Apple Crumble cakes but still so very enjoyable.


Let’s be honest here….what ISN’T enjoyable when it’s loaded with that much whipped cream?!!!


I’d like to make the Princess Cake but that may have to wait a few weeks.  It looks so good, coated with Almond paste covering. Oh Yum!
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  • At 2011.05.03 07:23, claudia lamascolo said:

    This looks awesome Joanne, love the photo’s Queen Victoria is a lovely time period as well!

    • At 2011.05.03 07:47, Heather said:

      Your dad is a rockstar!! That’s so cool!

      • At 2011.05.03 08:11, McKayla (green groats) said:

        Yes, your dad is amazing! I hope I’ll still be able to run when I’m 86!

        And, that cake looks so good. If only I could have a slice right now….

        • At 2011.05.03 08:31, James Brewer said:

          Victoria Sponge cake is up there with the best cakes ever! You just can’t beat it. In fact I made one the other day too.

          Well done your dad!

          • At 2011.05.03 21:10, Bela said:

            That is awesome of your dad. Way to go!

            • At 2011.05.04 10:56, Nancy Jean said:

              Way wrong thing to do, looking at your photos of the Victoria Sponge Cake mid-morning … geez, I think I’d give my right arm to have a slice of that right now!

              GO DON! You’re Dad is truly amazing, and must’ve sounded so adorable on the other end of the line, telling you about his day. Sweet.

              Thanks for the brief write-up w/the cake recipe. I’m gonna have to dig a little deeper, you’ve got me curious now as to what her hubby died from so young.

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