Victoria Sponge Cakes with Chamomile and Macerated Strawberries

Words & Photography by Sophia Real

I am not the first person to pair Chamomile and Strawberries – there is a recipe for chamomile panna cotta and macerated strawberries in one of Heston Blumenthal’s books and a quick jaunt around the Internet will bring up recipes for chamomile sorbet, chamomile custard and other sweet floral delights made with chamomile. Yet, it is a rare combination. Maybe unsurprising given a lot of us will have grown up sipping tepid chamomile tea while recuperating from yet another childhood illness.

Yet with herbs finding their way into baked goods more and more, it is about time we gave chamomile a second chance. Its flavour is delicate; lemony, even a bit grassy, and undoubtedly floral. Moderation is key when using chamomile – too generous a helping will yield a bitter flavour yet, if you show too much restraint, the chamomile will be imperceptible.

These individual Victoria Sponge Cakes are my idea of the perfect treat for an indulgent afternoon tea. Quicker and less involved than baking a regular-sized version, and the addition of chamomile, the use of macerated strawberries rather than jam, and the topping with whipped crème fraîche are enough to give the original recipe a delicious make-over without straying too far from the original.

Making a Victoria Sponge Cake could not be simpler. There isn’t even much of a recipe to remember. It all starts with the eggs, like any good cake really. If you are making a regular round Victoria Sponge Cake, to be split and filled with whipped cream and strawberry jam, start with 4 eggs. Weigh the eggs (in their shell) and then measure out the same weight of butter, sugar and flour.

To make the cake, you follow the creaming method: You cream the (soft) butter with the sugar with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy. Next, you beat in the eggs one by one, before folding in the flour. To make the cake a little lighter, I whisk some baking powder into the flour – about 1/2 tsp per egg (so 2 tsp for a regular sized cake).

Depending on how many I am serving I also like baking individual Victoria Sponge cakes, using muffin tins to bake small, cupcake sized sponges. Rather than splitting these small cakes in half, I like simply topping each with a generous dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche and a spoonful of my favourite jam, or even some macerated berries or fruit compote.

Victoria Sponge Cakes with Chamomile and Macerated Strawberries

Note: Most medium eggs weigh about 60g each (in their shell), so I have spelt out below the weight of each ingredient – it is worth weighing your eggs (in their shell) before you start though, just to make sure the proportions are correct and you don’t end up with a dry cake in case your eggs are rather on the small side!



Makes 6 individual cakes


For the cakes:

120g soft butter
120g demerara sugar
2 eggs
120g Kamut flour (you can also use spelt or all purpose flour)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp dried chamomile flowers, finely ground
Pinch of salt

To serve:

1 punnet of strawberries
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried chamomile flowers, finely ground
125g crème fraîche


Start by making the individual cakes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

If not using a silicone mould, grease 6 individual small cake moulds or muffin tins with butter.

In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy (this should take approx. 5 minutes using an electric whisk). Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour with the baking powder, ground chamomile and pinch of salt. Fold into the wet ingredients and combine.

Distribute the batter evenly among the 6 individual cake moulds.

Bake for approx. 25 minutes or until the cakes are deep golden in colour and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for approx. 5 minutes before carefully removing the cakes from their moulds. Leave to cool completely.

While the cakes are in the oven/cooling, prepare the strawberries.

Hull the strawberries. Dice them finely, then add them to a small bowl. Add the sugar and the ground chamomile and stir together. Set aside to macerate for 30 minutes.

In a large bowl whip the crème fraîche until firm (given its high fat content this will not take more than a few minutes). To serve, spoon some whipped crème fraîche on each small sponge cake and top with a 1-2 teaspoons of the macerated strawberries.

Victoria Sponge Cakes with Chamomile and Macerated Strawberries was created by Food&_ community member:

Sophia Real

Sophia Real