I saw this recipe in the new issue of Canadian Living magazine. It caught my attention because I first tried it when I was living in England and really enjoyed it. This cake was a favorite of Queen Victoria and it is a classic tea-time treat in England. Today it was my Sunday afternoon treat. The trick to making it light and airy, like a sponge, is to beat the butter, and add the sugar bit by bit as well as the other ingredients to ensure the batter is not heavy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1/2 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C sifted all-purpose flour, OR 1 3/4 C cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 C milk
Grease and flour an 8 or 9" round metal cake pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
With a mixer, beat butter until light and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in sugar, 3 T at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; sift into butter mixture alternatively with milk, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on rack for 10 minutes then turn out onto rack and peel off paper. Cool completely.
2/3 C whipping cream. Whip until stiff; add powdered sugar while beating for desired sweetness. My jam is very sweet, so I didn't add too much sugar.
1/2 C strawberry jam
Using a long serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally. Spread the jam on the bottom half of the sponge, and then the cream. Replace the top of the cake. Sift powdered sugar over it all.