Classic Victoria Sponge with Rhubarb and Custard

I suppose that's a bit of a misnomer for a start.

After all, a classic Victoria Sponge, as beloved by the Queen it's named after, is filled with raspberry jam and cream.

But I had some rhubarb lurking in the fridge that I wanted to find a use for. I'd bought it at the weekend. An impulse buy. Partly initiated by the fact that I'd never actually prepared rhubarb myself before.

I remember my mum cooking it when I was little. My granddad used to grow it on his allotment, and so at this time of year, some of the crop would find its way home on the back of his bike.

Sometimes it would go into a crumble. More often than not, though, it would simply be stewed to an inch of its life alongside the Sunday roast. The rosiness of the rhubarb would glow against it's usual companion of pale golden custard.  

As a child, I didn't really enjoy the taste. Now, though, I can appreciate its tartness, especially when tempered with a light sweetness of sugar.

This cake takes a classic sponge and pairs it with rhubarb and some sweetened whipped cream, flavoured with a hint of custard powder. For me, it was just the right balance of sweet and tart. It's adapted from a recipe in Rachel Allen's Cake.

Something I'll definitely be making again.

Classic Victoria Sponge with Rhubarb and Custard


175g softened unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
175g plain flour
1 tspn baking powder

For the filling
100g sliced rhubarb
50g caster sugar
100ml water
150ml double cream
1 tbspn custard powder
1 tbspn icing sugar

A little extra icing sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180 conventional / 350 Fahrenheit / Gas 4. Grease and baseline two 7 inch / 18cm loose bottomed cake tins.

First, prepare the rhubarb by placing it into a saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently until softened (about 10 minutes). Turn the heat up a little and boil until it has thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

To make the sponges, cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle, until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg a little at a time, until it has mixed in. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and gently fold it in until the mix is just incorporated but smooth.

Divide between the tins and smooth the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes, until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

To complete the filling, beat the double cream with the custard powder and icing sugar until it is thick, but still spreadable. Swirl through some of the rhubarb, and then spread over the top of one of the sponges. Add a thin layer of the rhubarb (see picture), and then place the second sponge on the top. Dust with a little icing sugar.



As the theme for this month's Alphabakes Challenge is 'R', I'm sending this over to Ros at the More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes. This month's host is Ros and the round up will appear on her blog at the end of the month.

As it's clearly rhubarb season, I'm also entering it into Simple and In Season, run by Ren at Ren Behan.


  1. what a gorgeous looking cake and what an incredible rise you have on your sponge!... i love the simplicity of this cake and the addition of custard powder to the cream is pure genius... nice work!

  2. This looks absolutely gorgeous, what a perfect combination of flavours!

  3. Love this seasonal variation on a classic, rhubarb and custard is so yummy :)

  4. Yum...looks lovely! A Victoria sponge is definitely a classic but I love the idea of adding the rhubarb and custard too! :-)

  5. Gorgeous looking cake and the filling looks delicious too. Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

  6. Love this twist on a classic! I often have a stick of rhubarb lurking in the fridge so will definitely bear this in mind in future, it will make a nice change from rhubarb crumble muffins which is how they usually end up!

  7. All your cakes are the kind I love (I've just seen your amazing poppy seed loaf cake too)! I'd never have thought of this filling but wow - it's perfect (I am a rhubarb lover needless to say). And i have to agree with Dom - your sponge is very impressive!

  8. What a great idea to mix rhubarb and custard for the filling - how fun!

  9. Yum, I love the idea of a rhubarb and custard filling!

  10. Love the addition of rhubarb and custard - yum yum. I think you have dropped off my blogging list or have you just been busy?

  11. Hello Denise (and everyone),

    Sorry for my prolonged silence. I've been unwell for a little while and have not been able to focus on the blog (or anything else for that matter). Hopefully, that will change soon.

    Susie xx

  12. So sorry. Hope you are feeling better now? I miss reading your blog.

  13. This is fab! Your food looks very refined and delicious.
    This is simply divine. Nothing beats a good classic Victoria sponge. I love the addition of rhubarb.
    I would like to invite you over to my blog for the "Let's Party!" challenge. It would be lovely to see one of your fab recipes there. This is perfect food suitable for entertaining. Well done!

    11/15/2013 4:04 PM


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