Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for Lavender and Lovage’s 1st Year Blog Birthday!

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake

for Lavender and Lovage’s 1st Year Blog Birthday!

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday Lavender and Lovage, Happy Birthday to me! Yes, it’s hard to believe, but the 28th June 2012 is my FIRST year’s birthday as a Blog and a food Blogger……it was a year ago today that I first put fingers to keyboard and started what has become an integral part of my life. It all started with a lazy meal on the terrace – we were at our home in France and had two friends staying from Scotland……after a fine meal and a few glasses of even finer wine, I started to telling my friend how frustrated I was that I no longer had a job as a food writer with a national magazine, Country Kitchen, as it had very sadly closed due to the recession. I got work as a free-lance writer here and there, but not much, so she suggested I start a food blog, by way of directing my culinary creativity as well as keeping up with my photography. It seemed a little weird to be writing to a then unknown audience, but I thought about it and then decided on a name, then took the plunge and set up Lavender and Lovage on Blogger, which was an easy platform to start with.

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

My first post was all about our house in France, and my first recipe was a FISH recipe, which will not surprise those who know me well! And here is it is: Five Minute Pan-Fried Fish in a Beurre Noisette sauce with Capers

Five Minute Pan-Fried Fish in a Beurre Noisette sauce with Capers

I had NO comments of course, in fact looking back at my posts, I had NO comments for 2 weeks, so my friends and family took pity on me and left a few! It continued to be hard, no comments and every day I would post a recipe and notes about what I had been up too…….but, I carried on. And then all of a sudden it happened, I started to follow other blogs, and left comments on their posts, and it all took off…….I remember my pleasure one day when I received no less than 27 comments, more than I get today sometimes, all left on my Coffee Walnut Cake recipe and post – I had finally arrived in Food Blogger-Land it appeared!

A towering slice of Coffee Walnut cake!

I then discovered “Blog Challenges”, the same ones I STILL participate in today, and I will name the first ones I participated in, as they opened up my world, in a food blogging sense; they were: We Should Cocoa hosted by Choclette, Random Recipes hosted by Dom and Simple and in Season hosted by Ren……it was a GREAT way to discover other blogs and meet new people, by this stage my daily traffic had started to increase and I also started to chat with my new friends on Twitter…….I discovered a vibrant community of like-minded people – they were friendly, supportive and encouraging…….they were, and STILL are a very important part of why I write my blog – as well as for my own personal and creative satisfaction of course. I could go on and list every new challenge and event that I attended during my first few months, but this IS a party, so  I will move on……..but before I DO move on and talk about the future, I would like to share one of my FAVOURITE recipes, one of the first recipes that I developed for a blog challenge, my little Chocolate Rose Fairy Cakes……

Chocolate Rose Fairy Cakes

There have been downs too… November of last year, my blog was hacked and they DELETED every single post and left me bereft and without a blog at all……but again, some kind person I knew on-line helped me, and within 48 hours my blog was up and running again, with all my backed up files posted just as before….it was a hard lesson to learn, but thank goodness I backed all my posts up…..I then decided in November 2011 to set up my own blog challenge, I LOVE baking – savoury AND sweet, so I decided to host a monthly challenge, Tea Time Treatsas there was NOTHING similar at the time. However, I realised it was a TALL order to host it every month, so, I asked one of my lovely new blogger friends to help me out, another baker, and as you all know it was Kate from What Kate Baked…..she and I co-host Tea Time Treats every month and we BOTH love it and were thrilled to see how popular it was right from the start, a big shout out and thanks to you Kate!

Tea Time Treats

So, to zoom right up to the present day, what are my aspirations for the future? Well, I shall continue to write a daily post, develop new and exciting recipes, take photos and work with some lovely brands that I am connected with…….Fish is the Dish, Scotty Brand and Morphy Richards……I will also continue to co-host Tea Time Treats as well as my other blog challenge, Herbs on Saturday.

Herbs on Saturday

I hope to work for other brands in the future too, as well as continue to participate in product reviews and PR/Press and Open Days.  I am also going to start shooting videos for my blog……as well as offer some exciting opportunities with eBooks and menu planning. I am also involved in some pretty exciting projects that I can’t reveal just yet, but do watch this space……in short, I am continuing with my journey – I am carrying on as before, but adding destinations to my itinerary. So where’s the cake I hear you cry, it’s here, just a few more words to be said before I offer you ALL a slice…….I want to say a HUGE thanks to my FAMILY, for your love and support and for being the most loyal of audiences, and for putting up with all the cold meals whilst I take photographs; also a big thanks to all of my blogger friends – I was going to name you all, but it would have taken forever, you KNOW who you are, and many thanks for your support and friendship! And, last but NOT least, a BIG thank you to YOU – that’s all of you who visit every day….. without you, there would be no point carrying on! Now, it’s CAKE time! Karen. 

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

My Blog Birthday Cake is BIG, it’s BLOUSY and yes, I know, it’s VERY pink! But, it’s MY party and I’ll bake what I want to! Actually, it should have been an elegant shade of pale pink, but I was distracted when I was adding a DROP (drops in the end) of food colouring to the rose-water icing…….as you do! However, this is a STUNNING cake  – traditional Victoria Sponge Cake with a LARGE slug of natural vanilla extract, sandwiched together with home-made strawberry jam and topped with an exotic rose-water icing……with tiny roses and lavender as decorations…… delicious and perfect for any birthday party. 

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

I am sharing my classic Victoria Sandwich recipe here, which is the recipe I used to make the cake as posted here; then all you have to do to make the birthday cake, is to add 2 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract to the basic cake mixture, and then when it’s baked, sandwich the cake together with strawberry jam OR fresh strawberries and cream. Then make a simple water icing with 75g to 100g of icing sugar, make a thin icing by adding rose-water and just a DROP of pink food colouring, before decorating with crystallised rose petals or fresh roses and lavender.

Crystallised Rose Petals

Crystallised Rose Petals

I also used some FABULOUS Dr Oetker Soft Shimmer Pearls in Pinks and White and they really added a magical element to this cake!  Dr Oetker’s amazing and equally magical Cake Release Spray  was used when baking this cake and I did not need ANY baking/parchment paper in my cake tins, and the cakes slid out with ease.

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

Victoria Sandwich Cake

Serves 8 to 10 slices
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Thanksgiving, Valentines day
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
A true Victoria Sandwich would only contain jam, usually raspberry, but as the cake became more popular and cooks became more affluent, cream was added as a delicious addition. I was always taught that caster sugar was sprinkled on top – again, icing sugar is often used nowadays.


  • 4 large eggs, weighed in their shells
  • butter or soft margarine ~ same weight as the eggs
  • caster sugar/super fine sugar ~ same weight as the eggs
  • self-rising flour~ same weight as the eggs
  • raspberry jam ( or another jam, jelly or curd of your choice.)
  • whipped cream (optional) or double cream (optional)
  • caster sugar or icing sugar for sprinkling on top


Cook’s Notes:
If you use butter remove from the fridge to soften before using. This is not necessary with soft margarine.
If large eggs are used they may weigh 7 ½ ozs/210g. If so make sure you use this weight for the other ingredients.
A smaller sandwich cake can be made with 2 medium eggs. Weight about 4 oz/55g. If so, use 2 x 7” sandwich tins and the cakes and the cakes will need less time in the oven – probably 20 minutes instead of 25 minutes.
Alternative measurements:
4 eggs
8 ounces soft margarine or butter
8 ounces caster sugar
8 ounces SR flour
Proceed as above for method


Step 1 The measurements for this recipe are equal amounts of sugar, flour and fat to the weight of the eggs; therefore, weigh the eggs first – if the eggs weigh 8 ounces, you will use 8 ounces of sugar, 8 ounces of butter or margarine and 8 ounces of flour. If the eggs weigh 6 ounces, all the other ingredients will be 6 ounces – easy!
Step 2 Preheat oven Gas 4, 160C (fan oven), 180C or 360F: grease and base line the bottom of 2 x 8” sandwich tins – cake tins.
Step 3 Cream margarine or butter together with the sugar, until light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs, and then add them to the mixture, gradually and beating well after each addition.
Sieve the flour and fold into the mixture with a metal spoon.
Step 4 Divide equally between the 2 prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes in the middle of the oven.
Step 5 Remove and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes.
Remove from the tins and fill with raspberry jam (and cream if using) when cold, to avoid the cream melting or the jam seeping into the sponge.
Step 6 A light dusting of caster sugar or icing sugar on the top will finish it.
Place on an attractive cake stand or plate, and serve in dainty wedges with freshly brewed tea.
Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

Vanilla, Strawberry & Rose Victoria Sponge Cake for a Big Birthday!

Vanilla, Strawberry and Rose Victoria Sponge Cake

Vanilla, Strawberry and Rose Victoria Sponge Cake

LOOK out for a FABULOUS Dr Oetker Blog Birthday Baking Giveaway Here:

Dr Oetker Blog Birthday Baking Giveaway

 Disclaimer: I was sent some free baking and cake decorating products by Dr Oetker to try and review, and I was not asked to write a review or promote them on my blog; I have chosen to advertise their products as I believe them to be excellent for baking and cake decorating. All opinions are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth

This cake is the perfect candidate for Jane’s  (The Hedgecombers) Tea Time Treats for March, which is Decorative Cakes!

Tea Time Treats Linky Party Logo


  1. says

    stunning stunning STUNNING cake for a stunning woman on her STUNNING blogs 1st anniversary… you are stunning… did I say that already?

    • says

      Thank you too Vivien, I am looking forward to many more jamming sessions with you and your book! Yes, of course, there WILL be a bottle opened…..:-) THANKS! Karen

    • says

      Thanks Jac – your blog was one of the first I “followed” and is still one of my favourites now, as it was then…..Karen xx

  2. Janice says

    Big huge Happy Birthday to your lovely blog. I can’t believe it’s only a year since you joined the blogging community, it certainly wouldn’t be as much fun without you. XXX

    • says

      Aw thanks Janice…….as you may remember, yours was one of the first I discovered, I think I found your link on Jac’s blog… are one of my best blogger friends, and I hope we get to meet up soon! Karen

  3. Bakes-A-Lot says

    Well I can’t better Dominics comments! Happy Birthday to your blog and this cake is BEAUTIFUL! Looking forward to a slice – maybe :o)

    • says

      THANKS Laura, I have enjoyed my journey I must admit! Thanks, the fact you like the cake is a wonderful, as your cakes are STUNNING!

    • says

      Blog Vault on Word Press, and there is a Back Up facility on Blogger, in dashboard, I think it’s under export posts? Can’t remember now as I moved to WP in January!

  4. says

    WOW! Your most stunning creation yet and how apt to post such a magnificent cake on your first birthday! The cake is truly enchanting, I love it. What a wonderful year you’ve had, Karen! Bursting onto the food blogging scene with your distinct style and voice. I don’t think it was long at all before you started to get so many lovely comments, spurring you on. Each and every post has been written with a level of detail and committment that so many of us aspire to! I hope your second year brings you as much pleasure as the first and that many more exciting opportunities come your way. Here’s to your first year of blogging and to friendship across the miles. One of my highlights was seeing you and M in La Belle France – Quelle Surprise! Hope to visit again soon. xxx

    • says

      Aw thanks Ren… what lovely words! :-) :-) The irony is, that this cake is a simple Victoria Sandwich cake, but with frilly bits added! Well, it’s a classic but dressed up to go to the ball, with jam and roses! But, I was VERY pleased with how it turned out. And, yes, I am raising my glass to you across the miles too….and don’t forget M’s invitation, our home is your home any time you want to visit! Merci encore ma petits darlink! Karen

  5. says

    PS Thank you for the mention, for all your comments on my posts and for always supporting Simple and in Season and Family Friendly Fridays Darlink!

  6. says

    Karen, happy, happy HAPPY birthday! What a wonderful cake, to celebrate a wonderful birthday of a wonderful blog with so many wonderful achievements- with many, many wonderful achievements to come, I know it! Thank you Karen for inspiring us all day after day, not mention making us feel all rather green with envy with all the fantastic food you enjoy day in day out. Its been a real pleasure hosting TTT with you! Let’s raise our glasses to a second wonderful year, can’t wait to see whats in store!!

    • says

      THANKS Kate, it has been a pleasure working with you on TTT and I am SO ready to raise my glass with you! I am delighted to know that my food titillates and inspires you……and I will continue to carry on cooking, and baking, and blogging! Now to see what BAKING you have been up to lately… it’s LUSH! Karen :-)

  7. says

    I have so enjoyed reading about your year’s journey just now and what it really made ma realise was how lovely it has been to know you for quite a large part of that. I remember your first post for Simple and in Season and how you won and I was so in awe of your entry that I almost felt like giving up! Although you live over in France, you seem so near that I forget. How lovely it would be if you were just down the road with all the other lovely blogging friends and we could meet for coffee whenever we felt like it. So, thanks for being you and Happy 1st Year Blogaversary! Will be over for last 2 weeks of August and will talk to hubs about dates and a visit xxx

    • says

      Aw what LOVELY words Laura, and if I may say so, I feel immensely privileged to have met you, and so many other lovely blogger friends – I look forward to MANY more coffees, cakes and a good old natter. I HOPE I never intimidate, it is my wish to inspire, but thanks anyway for making me feel so special! Well, I am in England as much as France now, so that’s why I may appear to be so near, but I KNOW what you mean! I am REALLY looking forward to August and I REALLY hope you can stop by then for a night or two. Karen :-) THANKS so much again for your lovely and encouraging words…..

    • says

      I JUST knew that you would approve Rachel…..and yes, I agree, a Blousy Tarty Victorian Bordello kind of cake, perfect for us! Karen :-) Thanks!

    • says

      Many thanks Fleur – it has been a pleasure to have met you in my first year too….and I hope we meet again very soon! :-) Karen

  8. says

    Congratulations & Happy Birthday to your blog Karen!!! That is the prettiest Victoria Sponge I’ve ever seen. Your blog is always filled with scrumptious recipes and lovely stories. Keep up the great job!! x

    • says

      THANKS so much for stopping by to leave your lovely comments Jaime, as an ardent admirer of you and your writing, I am chuffed to bits to read your kind and supportive words! Karen

  9. says

    Hi Karen

    Lovely to ‘meet’ you on Twitter via Hannah. Many congratulations on your 1st birthday…a wonderful achievement!

    I love your cake adorned with roses and lavender…looks too good to eat :-).

    Very best wishes

    • says

      Many thanks for popping by Rona, and also it is a pleasure to meet you too! I use flowers A LOT in my cooking and baking, and these wee button roses just looked so special when I arranged them on top if this cake. I will be seeing more of you, I hope, as we seem to have a Sarah Raven connection! Karen

  10. says

    Happy Birthday to your Blog, Karen.

    Amazing that you have come so far with it in only a year. Really interesting to hear your story.

    And the cake looks great too!!


    • says

      Many thanks Paul, for your kind words and for popping over to the party! I am very PROUD and PLEASED to be a Scotty Brand Blogger, and I just had to mention the brand in my post! It’s Scotty Brand Scottish New Potatoes on the menu today, for a blog post later on…..I am glad that my story was interesting too, it seems impossible that is only a year ago since I started my food blog journey. Karen

  11. says

    Happy blogiversary Karen & what a lovely cake to celebrate this awesome occasion! Your cake is simply breathtaking romantic! Have a lovely weekend, Karen :)

    • says

      THANKS so much Kit – and I am pleased you like the cake, it is QUITE Jane Austen in away n’est pas? You have a great weekend too…..Karen

  12. says

    Congratulations Karen. You have romped through the year gathering pace and collecting fans as you go. You have such a great blog – fun, informative and inspirational. And despite your love of savoury and dare I say it … fish ….., you make some of the most delectable looking cakes on the blogosphere. And this cake is one such – it looks just perfect and oh so right for celebrating your blogiversary. Thanks for mentioning me and so glad We Should Cocoa helped in some small way.

    • says

      Thank YOU for your friendship and support too……and as a seasoned We Should Cocoa fan, I look forward to making MANY more chocolatey and SWEET treats! And, thanks for your kind words too……:-) :-) Karen

  13. says

    That cake looks just fantastic, I love your anniversary post, as one of your subscribers I love everything about your blog, including the name! Happy blogversary, enjoy that cake and, if you have any leftovers, please send me some!

    • says

      A BIG thanks Maria, and I am thrilled that as a subscriber to my blog, you get a daily dose of Lavender and Lovage which you enjoy so much!! THANKS again. Sending some leftovers to you now……:-) Karen

  14. says

    Happy Blogversary, what a wonderful cake nearly as lovely as your yummy, gorgeous blog. Such an amazing blog for only a year old, brilliant x

  15. says

    Everyone has said what I would wish to say, but more eloquently. Many congratulations on a year of dedicated, delicious, educational and inspiring writing. You have a lovely chatty style that we all appreciate and admire. Here’s to many more happy years of baking, roasting, mixing and seasoning, all bound together in beautiful words and images. *clinking glasses*

    • says

      Cheers and **clink** Kellie! And if I can say a BIG thanks to you too, you were one of the FIRST bloggers I “met” on-line through Ren and I have always admired your writing as well as your AMAZING photos and recipes too! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you through your inspired writing……Karen :-) PS: As we are clinking, pass the bottle please!

  16. says

    I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging a year! Congratulations on all your success so far and here’s to many more wonderful blog posts :)

    • says

      I find it hard to believe it’s only a year too sometimes Kathryn, but I have had such fun that it has GALLOPED away! Many thanks for your LOVELY comments and I will keep on writing! :-)

    • says

      Thanks so much, and WELCOME to blogging, I will pop by your blog later……thanks for stopping by to leave your kind comments! Karen

  17. says

    Happy birthday to you and your blog, which I am a great fan of. And what an amazing cake you have created :-) I wish you and your blog all the best in the coming years.

    Many kicthen greetings Kirsten

    • says

      THANKS so much Kiki and also a BIG thanks to you too, for being such a GREAT Tea Time Treats fan and baking all of those amazing things for the challenge! Thanks again and happy kitchen greetings back to you too! Karen

  18. says

    Karen! I’m ABSOLUTELY gob-smacked! What a stunning creation! I’d say it’s your party… and a great choice you’ve made! I don’t think I’ve seen a prettier cake!

    Happiest 1st blogging anniversary! I’m so glad to know both you and your blog exist in the world :) I just recently had my 1st blogoversary, as well, and it was wonderful sense of accomplishment. So congratulations to you, my friend! Keep up the amazing work! The online food community would not be the same without you.xo

    • says

      A BIG THANKS Aimee! I tried to find your blog birthday post yesterday but my internet was playing up… will try again! SO Pleased you like my cake too! :-) Karen

  19. says

    Happy B-Day Karen and Happy B-Day Lavender and Lovage ! Hope your birthday blossoms into lots of dreams come true.
    A stunning blog and a stunning cake! Thanks a lot for your recipes and, I’ll keep looking for more here.

    • says

      THANKS so much for your lovely comments, it is a pleasure to share my recipes, notes, photos and everything else with you and I am delighted that you enjoy what I post! Thanks Mala! Karen

  20. Noeleen says

    Congratulations and Happy “Blog”iversary, Karen. Wishing you many more years of inspirational blogging, baking, cooking, photography and history! You truly have a wonderful talent.

    Love the Victoria Sponge and that one is as stunning as it gets!

    • says

      Aw a BIG thanks Noeleen! Thanks so much for your amazing support since I started my blog off too…you have been an amazing friend! :-)

    • says

      THANKS Mel! The party is still going so you aren’t late! Yes, I never thought of that, it is a match for the gingham background! :-)

    • says

      Thanks Heather – LOVELY to see you here too….I miss you and it’s hard to follow your posts now I am on WP and don’s have GFC!

  21. says

    Happy 1st Blog Birthday!! I can’t believe it’s only been a year as you have achieved so much. I’m so pleased to have been able to get to know you better through the blogoshere. I always look forward to visiting your blog as I know I will be inspired/awed/amazed/entertained/virtually well-fed! This is a really gorgeous looking cake – I LOVE the pink and I hope you’ve saved me a slice :) Here’s to another exciting year ahead and many, many more XX

    • says

      THANKS so much Ros and a BIG thanks back at you for your friendship, chat, support and laughs too….as for saving you a slice, OF course I did! :-) Karen

  22. Lucy, Vanilla Frost says

    Happy first birthday to you and your fabulous blog Karen. It’s definitely a favourite of mine, always some great pics and tips. I think I had better look into backing up my blog posts too! Love the birthday cake – very pretty indeed. Lucy x

    • says

      THANKS Lucy! THANKS so much for your kind words and I am so pleased that you enjoy what I do here….if you need help with back up, let me know! Karen xx

  23. says

    Hi Karen – a lovely post – especially nice for a food blog newbie like me… it’s nice to read what you got up to in the first few months and how you grew your blog organically. I, too, have found the community to be lovely and supportive – I just wish I had more time to do Blogger Challenges etc but alas at the moment I just haven’t (full time mum to 24 month old and due to have my 2nd baby in a few weeks’ time!). But I look forward to getting really stuck in – hopefully all in good time… Thanks for sharing. Also – your cake looks excellent, you can NEVER have too much pink in my opinion. X

    • says

      WELCOME Rachel :-) and I shall make sure I visit your blog now, as I LOVE meeting new people and discovering new blogs! THANKS so much for your kind words, and GOOD LUCK with the 2nd baby too….take care and I hope to see more of you after the new babe has settled in! :-) Karen PS: I am so pleased you enjoyed my post!

  24. says

    Happy blog birthday Karen! I can not believe your blog is only a year old, you are such a pro, truly inspirational! Blog tutoring may be the way to go for you! What an absolutely gorgeous cake too! Here to another fabulous year!

    • says

      Thanks SO much Jayne! What a lovely thing to say…..Blog Tutoring, I am not sure about, but I am always happy to help and promote other blogs, always! Karen

    • says

      A BIG thanks Nazima, and a BIG THANKS to you too, for being such a wonderful and supportive friend, hope to meet up soon! Karen xxx

    • says

      Aw thanks so much Carmela, it was lovely meeting you earlier this year and I hope we get to meet up again soon! Karen PS: Have you used your cake stand yet?

    • says

      HELLO Selena! How are you? LOVELY to see you, and I will pop over to see you later too……when I changed from blogspot to wordpress, I lost my dashboard of blogs I followed, but, I can now add you to my blog list! THANKS for your lovely comments…..Karen

  25. says

    I am not sure how I stumbled upon your lovely blog but I am glad I did. Firstly the cake is fabulous – love your photos and presentation. Secondly – it was so refreshing to read about your first year in blogland as I have only just started my blog and it can be a bit demoralizing when you don’t hear back from anyone. After reading your post I feel energised to carry on. Good luck in your second year.

    • says

      THANKS so much Ang! I have been to see you blog and have left a message – DON’T give up and your blog is FABULOUS, with lovely recipes and photos too! SO nice to meet you! Karen


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