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Victoria Sponge Cake and the 80/20 Rule

Confession time: this is not a healthy dessert.

It falls in the small bracket of the 80/20 Rule of Healthy Moderation

Under this simple guideline, you eat healthy 80 percent of the time. This allows you to indulge in less healthy foods 20 percent of the time. The reasoning is that if you are eating healthy most of the time, your health should be able to withstand whatever you do the rest of the time.

Nobody is perfect, and who would want to be?

I find this 80% good, 20% treat ratio helps me to strike a balance and stay true to my healthy living lifestyle choice. If you are still able to eat what you want at least some of the time, you can make healthy living an overall lifestyle change.

” be good 80% of the time and you can treat yourself the rest of the time “

I believe there is no problem with enjoying treats as part of a healthy diet but if you’re going to have a treat, make it count.

When I indulge in treats like this Victoria sponge cake I ensure that I use the high quality ingredients (organic and unprocessed where possible) and that I savour and enjoy every last bite. Without feeling guilty.

After all guilty pleasure is not a pleasure, it’s a just another source of guilt. Instead, I encourage you to take pleasure in your food, healthy or not, and enjoy it as a celebration of life. That way you can have your Victoria sponge cake and eat it!

Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

Making a Victoria sponge couldn’t be easier, simply measure out equal weights of egg, flour, butter and sugar. Cream the wet ingredients together, then gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients. Here are the directions step by step. I suggest healthier ingredients, you can substitute for white flour/sugar etc if you wish and it will still work, but won’t taste as good!


  • 4oz (110g) butter (at room temperature if possible)
  • 4oz (110g) raw cane sugar (e.g. Muscovado, Demerara, and Turbinado)
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4oz (110g) wholewheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

To finish

  • Jam (raspberry is traditional, strawberry also works well)
  • Strawberries cut in half
  • Icing sugar to dust (optional)

Loving preparation

Preheat the oven to 170C, gas mark 3, 325F.

Prepare two 18cm tins, I like to butter the edges of the tins and then sprinkle flour on them before adding the mixture. Other people swear by lining them with grease proof paper, both methods work.  If you only have one deep tin then put the mixture all in one and divide the cake once cool.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence; add the eggs slowly (to avoid curdling).

Sieve the flour and baking powder and gently fold in to the mixture.

Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins and place them on the centre shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes.

When they are cooked, remove from the oven and let them rest for about 1 minute, then turn them out on to a wire cooling tray, loosening them around the edges with a palette knife first.

Allow the cakes to cool completely before sandwiching them together with jam (and whipped cream if you fancy) and adding fresh strawberries and other berries over the surface.

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