rosemary victorian sponge cake


i don’t mean to brag, but i think it’s safe to say that i was the tooth fairy’s favorite little kid. our relationship went waaaay past the conventional money-for-tooth exchange. she left notes under my pillow every  night, regardless of whether i’d lost a tooth. sometimes the notes were even accompanied by small gifts: a thimble, maybe, or a few pansies. there was an expanse of time where i considered twinkle (as she’s known by acquaintances) my closest friend.

to reciprocate her generosity, i often built fairy houses in my yard, hoping to provide her with a place to rest her tiny head. stabilized with sticks, decorated with daisies, and furnished with soft mushroom cap cushions, the houses were made entirely of organic materials. sometimes i layered rosemary needles on the top as a roof.

this cake was meant to be decorated with a huge, edible, stained glass crucifix, but it cracked in half right before i stuck it on top. i think the rosemary and strawberries are actually much more fitting; they don’t overpower the victorian sponge’s delicate jam and cream filling.

you’ll need a 6-inch cake ring and a 6×20 strip of acetate.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam


  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh strawberries

for the cake, preheat the oven to 350º. grease a quarter sheet pan and line it parchment paper. with beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about five minutes. add the eggs in one by one. add the vanilla extract. in a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, alternating and starting and ending with the dry ingredients. spread the batter evenly into the pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to cool fully.

for the filling, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and extract until fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes. add in the cream and beat until bright white.

to assemble, use cake ring to evenly spread layers of frosting and filling between stacks of cake.


2 thoughts on “rosemary victorian sponge cake

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