Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Afternoon Tea: A British Tradition

Afternoon tea is a British tradition, something to savor and take pleasure one of life's little perks. Whether going out to a tearoom or a castle in the countryside or at your Grandmas house or even at home by yourself. Once in a while its fun to bake a cake sit down and savor a good cuppa with a slice of homemade cake. I have so many fond memories of cake as a child my mum would bake a lot and we would often have cake in our lunch box. But my Grandma is the families cake maker she is famous for her chocolate cake. She tells me that baking is therapeutic and lifts her spirits if she is feeling a wee bit low. When we stayed at the cottage in the Cotswold's my Grandma brought not just one but three cakes for all - a chocolate 3 layer none the less, ginger and a fruit cake and my great Aunt brought a malt loaf. 

heres Jasmine eating it!

One of my favorite British cakes and my sister in law's (an Indian that has been romanced by the British tea shops he he) is the Victoria Sandwich. Named after Queen Victoria as it was also her favorite. I have featured it on Chow and Chatter before but couldn't resist a shot with my new little tea cups I got in England. Its a simple sponge cake with butter cream and Jam in the middle.

Mine didn't rise perfectly aw well it was delicious anyway


  • 6 oz of self raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 oz of butter 
  • jam 
  • icing sugar
  • 6 oz of sugar

  1. cream the sugar and butter, slightly melted butter works better
  2. then fold in the flour and eggs to make a smooth batter
  3. add to a baking tin and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes 
  4. when cool cute in half and fill with butter icing and any desired jam then sprinkle with icing sugar
Or make two cakes with 4oz proportions in two tins I was a bit lazy lol

Butter icing - simple mix in icing sugar to a gold quality butter

Garnish with fresh strawberries for a treat

Cirencester cathedral 

The beautiful village where we stayed in the Cotswold's 

Join me tomorrow evening at 5pm for a chat about Tea and Cake, memories, history and fun, feel free to call in and tell us about your memories of cake, tea and family

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  1. Yum, I've never had a Victoria sponge, but I love that it shares my name :) Happy eating!

  2. We used to have tea many eons ago but i think it has worn off because of people being busier as the years go by. How sad. I loved tea time..a legacy from the British. A victoria sandwich was the first cake I learnt to bake at 12. Ill never forget bringing that home from hme science class :)

  3. This sounds so quaint and lovely!!

    The cake looks great!!

  4. Can't wait, what a wonderful tea! The cake looks great!

    That is the cutest picture if Jasmine...it's a keeper!!!

  5. I like this kind of afternoon tea, but too bad, till this moment, I still have no time to do this way, I hope soon I have time to enjoy my afternoon tea with my family or close friends.

  6. I grew up in Cameron Highlands which is a tea growing region in Malaysia. We do have a afternoon tea tradition thanks to the British.. scones with strawberry jam :)

    Love the cake, will try when I am more confident with baking!

  7. Such a cutie. I've always wanted to experience a good ol' fashioned afternoon tea.

  8. Victorian sponge cake with fresh strawberries... mmm, yum! With a cuppa, it definitely soothes us :)

  9. I love the idea of sitting down to tea and rehashing your day with family and friends. Such a quaint tradition. I think we would all be happier if we experienced it more often. This cake looks delicious, especially with the jam in the center!

  10. I have tea time with my boys every day. Granted, for them it's milk and a small sweet, but they ask for it every day and it's a nice way for them to sit still for five minutes and indulge. They've been hankering for Reese's Cups recently (they're their father's boys!) and I've let them get it out of their system but most days I'm lucky to get a homemade cupcake or cookie in them so it's a good treat and not one that will have them running head first into walls later.

    Love me a Victoria sponge; then again, two shoes sandwiched with jam would sound good to me, too. This looks so good.

    And little Jasmine--too sweet!

  11. Victoria - oh if it has your name you will love it
    Zurin- oh thats so cool it was your first cake wow one good tradition from the Brits
    Adventures in domestic cooking - smiles
    Lyndsey thanks love ya
    Sonia - oh i hope so as well lol
    3 hungry tummies you will make a fab cake and loving this chat
    Jenn its time to have one lol
    the lacquer spoon oh for sure
    Joanne thats exactly what i do when i visit mt grandparents lol
    Lisa oh thats so cool wish we were closer could do together

  12. Nice pics n cake looks spongy n yummm

  13. It's so nice that you've got Jasmine learning about English Tea at an early age. Something she'll never forget I'm sure.

  14. I love this tradition! I wish it was the American way too! I always wanted to make a Victoria Cake. Such a yummy treat!

  15. The cake sounds terrific and definitely perfect with a cup of tea! We just introduced our daughter to tea, she likes it with milk & sugar!

  16. ooohhh, the Victoria sponge cake looks yummy. Love the photo of Jasmine, she's cute.

  17. quaint..and you are right ..tis british :)

  18. Vrinda thanks means alot as you can bake
    Sam aw thanks hope not
    Reeni looking forward to seeing yours
    peackins thanks
    5 star foodie oh i bet she does lol
    Madin thanks and thanks for stopping by
    Jhonny thanks

  19. Annegret and I listened to your tea BlogTalk Show today together: Tea CERTAINLY has a place in the 21 century. Now more than ever -- with our crazy, hectic schedules and lives! My hubby and I have informal tea and cookies together almost every day of the week when he returns from work! (He always has Indian masala chai, and I have a variety of spiced black teas!) It's our time to reconnect and reflect!

    But I grew up with high tea in the tea parlors ofPhiladelphia and Trenton (our cultured aunt would take us 3 girls upon every visit to her house)! Even now when my sisters and I gather together we always bake scones and cookies, and have high tea in the afternoon!

    Thanks for your post and RadioShow today!

  20. Connie thanks so much I should have had you on as a guest !

    your such a good Connie

    Love Rebecca

  21. It's not just a British tradition! It's a staunch South African tradition as well.

  22. I love sitting down with a cup of coffee and my kids for an afterschool snack. They would really love a slice of your cake.

  23. That cakes looks similar to the Maria Luisa cake that make in Colombia.Looks delicious,Rebecca!

  24. I love that last pic with the buildings and the car. Very cool. I would so love to go there.

  25. I love, love, love that last pic with that gorgeous black car. Very cool. The cake with jam and butter icing looks delicious. Would love to indulge in a slice right about now :)

  26. HT smiles I am sure it is but I am a Brit so it comes from my tradition lol and thanks so much for stopping by
    Mimi here are a few slices for the kids!
    Erica oh thats so cool
    Lori: I love that old car as well lol
    kim here you go a sl for you

  27. Rebecca, your victoria cake looks very good, esp. with strawberries atop! I love it.

  28. Hi Jasmine! Just dropping by to thank you for visiting...your daughter is indeed very cute! I wouldn't mind having some of those victoria sponge with a cuppa in that gorgeous teacup of yours! Cheers!

  29. I always loved tea when I visited Great Britain. And the assortment of sandwiches, cakes and scones was lovely. I've had tea in other cities too, as well as some American cities, but it's not a habit with us as it is over there.
    I've got lots of tea books....not certain if a Victoria Sponge is in them or not, but I'm copying your recipe anyway!

  30. Angie thanks so much
    Jeanne sure thing Rebecca
    Sushma thanks
    Barbara oh you must try making it it will rock if you make it

  31. Beautiful pic of Jasmine and this similar yummy tradition is here too, came with Brits :)



  32. lovely tradition. this cake looks delicious.

  33. What a lovely cake - love the strawberries on top!

  34. Victoria sponge is lovely with tea served in a tearoom in the English countryside! Thanks for sharing the recipe of a timeless classic.

  35. I love having tea in the afternoons- It is an instant "pick me up"! I also love the look of that cake-yum!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Best wishes,

  36. Gera oh thats cool us brits and how tea lol
    Azita thanks so much
    Dianas cocina thanks and thanks for stopping by
    tasteof beirut oh my pleasure oh and its good anywhere he he
    Natasha oh I love your tea posts have a great weekend too

  37. Your photos are getting better by the day....that wedge of v. sandwich cake looks superb!!!!

  38. Hi Rebecca-I just wanted to let you know that I downloaded the radio show yesterday and I loved it! This is a fabulous idea and I can't wait to tune in for the next program. Well done you radio super star you!

    Best wishes,

  39. kitchen butterfly oh thanks that means a lot from you trying harder lol
    Natasha oh thanks thats so sweet of you love ya

  40. kitchen butterfly oh thanks that means a lot from you trying harder lol
    Natasha oh thanks thats so sweet of you love ya

  41. I can't wait to try out this Victoria Sponge cake.. I studied abroad in London during college and fell in love with afternoon tea. I have some black currant jam that is just dieing to take part in a dish like this :)



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