Classic Victoria Sponge with a Healthy Twist

I was asked recently by +Tracy Griffen if I could supply a simple gluten free cake recipe for one of her clients, delighted as always to collaborate with great people who love healthy and nutritious food, I adapted this very traditional recipe to enhance the healthiness by reducing sugar and adding fresh fruit.

Testing and exploring new recipes to push the bounds of possibilities of taste and texture is what I love to do. To balance the fat content of this cake, I incorporate lots of lemon zest. Lemon not only enhanced the flavour, it offers essential nutrients in one mouthful; glycaemic and non glycaemic carbohydrates, potassium, folate, calcium, thiamin, niacin, Vitamin B6... to name a few.. It contains no fat of sodium, being a plant food, no cholesterol either. 
Those of you who follow my blog posts will know of my relative antipathy towards sugar, in this recipe, I incorporate coconut to maintain a natural sweetness whilst reducing the sugar by 50%!

Victoria Sponge Recipe - Dairy Free, Gluten Free
400g Unsalted Butter (DF)
200g Light Brown Sugar
100g Coconut dessicated
6       Eggs
400g Self Raising Flour (GF)
Dollop Raspberry Jam
50g   Unsalted Butter (DF)
100g Icing Sugar
1 Lemon zest

Beat the butter, sugar and coconut until light and fluffy
Beat the eggs in a separate dish until they have fluffed up
Slowly incorporate the eggs into the mix, keeping the mixer on a medium speed
Sift the flour into a bowl (sift holding it as high as you can without losing flour onto the surface)
Putting the mixer on a slow speed, slowly add the flour until it is ‘just’ mixed in.

Divide mixture into two cake tins 9”, spread evenly and place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.  Depending on your oven, for two tins, it will take approximately 30 minutes.
Try not to open the oven door until about 20-25 minutes into the baking. Lightly press the sponge with your fingers and if it bounces back to its form then it’s ready. If the dents stay in the sponge then give it more time. When the sponge is ready, let it stand for 5 minutes then use a palette knife round the sponge and leave it on a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, put the (DF) unsalted butter into a bowl and mix slightly, slowly add the sifted icing sugar and zest until it is light and fluffy.

When the sponge is cool, if you have made one sponge then use a long serrated knife to cut in half, spread the jam onto the base layer, put a layer of fresh raspberries then the buttercream (it may be easier to use a piping bag). Put the top layer on and dust with icing sugar and add more fresh fruit.

I hope you enjoy this super healthy, dairy and gluten free classic Victoria Sponge cake with a twist

Happy Baking!

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