Cake with... My Grandma


My wonderful Nonna. To me, this lady is sunshine. Always sparkly, smiley, warm and bright. She also whips up a notoriously, family renowned Victoria sponge. My inspiration!

What makes you feel on top of the world?

Just being alive. The warmth of the sunshine, gardening, planting my tomatoes. The simple things.

Do you have a personal quote or mantra?

People always asked us (herself and my wonderful Grandpa) why we were so lucky. We weren’t lucky, we created our own luck through years of early mornings (4:40AM) and hard work.

Nugget of advice that has stuck around?

Our parents weren’t go-getters. We had to go out there and create our own nuggets of advice, mine would be to look after your money. It’s tough out there, put aside even just a tiny amount every month, savings always help.

Favourite cake?

Just a simple sponge is perfect.

Any baking tips?

Avoid Mary Berry. Delia Smith is my lady! Baking double quantities never works. Make sure your oven is decent.

Your ultimate TLC tips?

A good lipstick always makes me feel great. Looking after yourself, getting your check ups, visiting your dentist and a podiatrist (a.k.a getting a pedicure!)

Here is my Grandma’s Victoria Sponge recipe:

175g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

175g soft unsalted butter (room temp)

175g caster sugar

3 free range eggs

2-3 drops of vanilla essence

Pre-heat oven to 170C, prep two 7inch cake tins.

In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder - holding the sieve high to give the flour a good airing. Then simply add all the other ingredients into the bowl, and whisk them until thoroughly combined.If the mixture doesn’t drop off a wooden spoon easily when tapped on the side of the bowl, then add 1 or 2 teaspoons of tap-warm water, and whisk again.

Divide between the two tins, level off and baking on the centre shelf for 34 minutes. (she is very specific).  When cooked and golden, leave in tins briefly for 30 seconds, then careful turn out onto a wire cooling rack. Patiently wait till the cakes cool completely sandwiching cakes together with a filling (usually jam and fresh cream).