This tender gluten-free Victoria sponge is perfect for when you crave a light and fluffy vanilla cake. Air is whipped into the batter resulting in a luxurious feather-light and springy texture. Sandwiched between the luscious sponge cake is a filling of sweet, tangy jam and dairy-free whipped cream.
Have you ever watched The Great British Baking Show? My girls and I love it. We enjoy getting to know the contestants and learning about all the desserts/foods we have yet to be exposed to in America.
One of the recipes on the show that intrigued me was the classic Victoria sponge. While the recipe itself has a few different steps, once you master making this decadent vanilla cake, you’ll never stop.
Gluten Free Victoria Sponge
Victoria sponge (or a Vicky sponge, as some of my friends in the UK say) is a British cake. It’s a vanilla sponge typically sandwiched with jam and whipped cream (or buttercream).
The cake was named after Queen Victoria, who is rumored to have eaten a slice daily during tea time, which makes me giggle. She and I would have been great friends.
This sponge cake is lighter and fluffier than a regular vanilla cake, absorbing moisture very well. You can layer on the fruit, jam, syrups, and liquors; the cake will take on whatever flavors you add.
Traditionally, Victoria sponge is served at tea time; however, I enjoy serving it at formal or informal get-togethers. Or anytime a cake craving hits.
What Makes Sponge Cake Light and Fluffy
There are periods of mixing egg whites and egg yolks at high speed to achieve a classic sponge texture. Beating produces tiny air bubbles, which triple the volume of the eggs. You then gently fold the remaining ingredients together. This results in a cake with a highly springy texture.
I also use a similar technique in my almond flour chocolate cake.
Other cakes, where the ingredients are stirred together without beating the eggs, like gluten-free carrot cake, gluten-free chocolate cake, or gluten-free banana cake, tend to have a heavier (but still so delicious) crumb.
- Please ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature – including the eggs and almond milk.
- Grease your cake pans well and line them with parchment paper.
- Beat the egg whites and yolks to the recipe specifications. This cake relies on the volume of the eggs (both the whites and the yolks) to be successful.
- Use the whisk attachment to beat the eggs and sugar, not the flat beater.
- Sift the dry ingredients together to keep avoid clumping.
- Be gentle with the gluten-free cake batter. Fold the ingredients together carefully and steadily (not too fast) to keep the elements aerated.
- Please don’t open the oven door unless you have to. These cakes are fragile, so any premature door opening before they are done may partially deflate them.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Gluten-Free Flours/Starches– This recipe has only been tested using the gluten-free flour and starches listed in the recipe.
- Baking Powder– Provides leavening.
- Sea Salt– Adds flavor.
- Eggs– Eggs are the backbone structure of this gluten-free cake recipe. There are no substitutes.
- Caster Sugar– This is finely ground granulated sugar. You can purchase it or make your own by placing cane sugar in your high-speed blender to grind the granules.
- Olive Oil– Olive oil is light and rich in flavor. If you need a substitute, try melted coconut oil or another light-tasting oil.
- Vanilla Extract– I recommend using natural vanilla extract in this recipe vs. artificial stuff!
- Almond Milk– You can substitute any dairy-free milk (or dairy milk) of a similar consistency in this dairy-free Victoria sponge. I’d recommend starting with a coconut milk beverage or oat milk.
Dairy Free Victoria Sponge Fillings
I use a filling of raspberry jam with a dairy-free whipped cream in my gluten-free Victoria sponge recipe below. Alternatively, you can replace the whipped cream with a dairy-free buttercream.
Dairy Free Whipped Cream Options
- Homemade Dairy Free Whipped Cream– This is my favorite option because I usually have lots of canned coconut milk or canned coconut cream on hand.
- So Delicious Cocowhip– This pre-made dairy-free whipped cream by So Delicious tastes good (though I find it a bit too sweet for my liking), but it is available at most grocery stores in the frozen section. It is important to note that the Cocowhip needs to be kept frozen or remain only at room temperature for an hour or two; otherwise, it can melt or change textures. If you decide to use Cocowhip in the sandwich of your Victoria sponge, I recommend adding it just before serving.
- Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative– This product resembles dairy-filled heavy whipping cream. Found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, you can whip it and sweeten it just like “real” heavy whipping cream.
Making In Advance and Storage
These cake rounds are perfect for making a day in advance. Wrap them up, and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to sandwich them with the filling and serve.
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 3-4 days.
For the sponge:
- ¾ cup (90g) tapioca starch
- ¾ cup (87g) sorghum flour
- ¼ cup (37g) brown rice flour
- 2 teaspoons (6g) baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons (4g) xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon (3g) sea salt
- 4 (215g) large eggs, separated
- 1 ¼ cups (254g) caster sugar, divided
- ⅓ cup (70g) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (12g) vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (163g) unsweetened almond milk
- powdered sugar for dusting
For the filling:
- ⅓-1/2 cup (95-145g) raspberry or strawberry jam
- 2-3 cups (200-30g) dairy-free whipped cream (see recipe notes)
To make the Victoria sponge:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F), generously grease, and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- Sift together the tapioca starch, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and sea salt in a large bowl.
- Combine the almond milk and vanilla extract.
- Separate the eggs, and place the yolks (78g) in a medium-sized mixing bowl and the whites in a large-sized mixing bowl.
- Beat the egg whites (137g) using an electric mixer until trails form in the foam. Next, slowly add ¼ cup (51g) of the caster sugar to the whites in four increments, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes, depending on the mixer and speed.
- Add the remaining 1 cup (203g) of caster sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks. Beat the yolks and sugar until pale yellow and thick, about 2-3 minutes.
- Very slowly drizzle the olive oil into the yolks while mixing continuously, so the oil emulsifies.
- Fold the yolk mixture into the whipped egg whites, a third at a time, until completely incorporated.
- Now sift in a third of the flour, and pour in a third of the almond milk. Fold until combined. Continue this step until all ingredients are folded in and combined. When you feel like you finally have all the flour lumps incorporated, fold a few more times.
- Divide the batter equally between the two prepared baking pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick, when poked into the center of the cake, comes out mostly clean (a few crumbs are okay).
- Cool for 5-10 minutes in the baking pans before removing to cooling racks to cool completely before filling.
To assemble the Victoria sandwich:
- Place one of the cake rounds on a plate or cake stand. Spread the jam evenly over the top of the round.
- Now spread the dairy-free whipped cream evenly over the top of the jam.
- Top with the second cake round and lightly dust lightly with powdered sugar.
Caster Sugar- This is fine a finely ground cane sugar. You can buy it already prepackaged, or you can make your own by grinding cane sugar in your high speed blender.
Cake Pans- You might be tempted to use 9-inch cake rounds instead of 8-inch, be advised if you do your cakes will be much thinner and you'll need to reduce the baking time.
Filling- In this gluten free Victoria sponge recipe I use a filling of raspberry jam with a dairy-free whipped cream. Alternately, you can replace the whipped cream with a dairy-free buttercream if you choose.
DAIRY FREE WHIPPED CREAM OPTIONS
- Homemade Dairy Free Whipped Cream– This is actually my favorite option because I normally have lots of canned coconut milk or canned coconut cream on hand.
- So Delicious Cocowhip– This pre-made dairy-free whipped cream by So Delicious not only tastes good (though I do find it a bit too sweet for my liking), but it is available at most grocery stores in the frozen section. It is important to note that the Cocowhip needs to be kept frozen or only remain at room temperature for an hour or two at most, otherwise it can melt or change textures. If you decide to use Cocowhip in the sandwich of your Victoria sponge, I recommend adding it just prior to serving.
- Silk Dairy Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative– This product behaves just like dairy-filled heavy whipping cream. Found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, you can whip it and sweeten it just like “real” heavy whipping cream.
Did you make this recipe? If you did, please give it a star rating and leave a review or comment below! And remember to take a pic and share it on social! Tag @allergyfreeak or #allergyfreealaska on Instagram!