A Traditional Victorian Sponge Cake and the Clover Block Challenge

Tuesday 27 November 2012

I was recently contacted and asked to do the Clover Block Challenge. Clover is part of the Dairy Crest family, which is one of the UK's premier dairy food companies. I've always loved the Clover Commercials on the telly and so I thought why not, I'll give it a go.

Cover Block is a spread which has been specifically designed for baking with.With only 30% of the saturated fat that butter has.  On their page I read that it has a buttery taste, which comes from the buttermilk that they churn to make it.  Hmmm . . . all the flavour of butter with only 30% of the saturated fat?  I'm in!


I decided to use it to bake my Victorian Sandwich Cake.  It's one of our favourite cakes and a cake that really highlights the flavour of butter.  Could the Clover Block compete?  We would see.


I recently got a special tin that you can bake individual sponges in and so I was really keen to do mini Victorian Sponge Cakes.  I used the same recipe, but divided the batter equally amongst the spaces in the tin and cut the baking time down by 5 minutes.


The Clover whipped up nicely, just like butter would.  And I admit I tasted it (I am a naughty puppy.  I lick beaters too!) and it tasted just like butter.  But would it bake like butter?


Well . . . you be the judge.  I could in all honesty see no discernible difference between using the Clover Block and using butter.  My cakes had a lovely texture, and if anything, )and I'll put myself way out on a limb here) . . . I actually preferred the Clover as there wasn't that oily greasy feel that you can sometimes get when you use butter.  But maybe that's just me.

In any case, I was well pleased with my results and if I can bake things using clover block, which contain only 30% of the saturated fat, well then, I am quite simply going to use Clover.  Seriously.  The recipe calls for half butter and half margarine.  I used ALL Clover block. Nom! Nom!

 *Traditional Victorian Sandwich Cake*
 Makes one 7 inch cake
Printable Recipe

Popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, this cake remains popular to this day, which is a huge testament to it's taste and ease of baking!  Don't be tempted to use all butter.  This is one recipe that is better for the use of a mixture of butter and margarine.

12 TBS of clover block spread
6 ounces caster sugar (1 cup)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, beaten
6 ounces self raising flour (a scant 1 1/2 cups)

To finish:
3 TBS raspberry jam
buttercream to fill (optional)
icing sugar or caster sugar to dust the top


Butter and base line two 7 inch sandwich tins.  Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.

Cream the butter, margarine, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.  If the mixture begins to curdle, add a spoonful of the flour.

Fold in the flour with a metal spoon, taking care to use a cutting motion so as not to knock out too much of the air that you have beaten into the batter.  Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins, leveling off the surface.  Make a slight dip in the centre of each.

Bake on a centre rack of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the sponges have risen well, are golden brown, and spring back when lightly touched.  Allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before running a knife carefully around the edges and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, place one layer on a cake plate. Spread with raspberry jam and buttercream (if using).  Place the other cake on top, pressing down lightly.  Dust with icing or caster sugar and serve.

Today,s cakes were filled with vanilla butter cream icing and Turkish Vanilla Cherry Jam, which I buy at M&S.  

Be sure to check out the Clover UK page on FACEBOOK, where you can win prizes and share recipes with other Clover followers!Clover Block spread is available at most grocery shops and through your Dairy Crest Milkman.

It's not butter, it's a spread, that cuts, measures and tastes like butter with 30% of the saturated fat.  That works for me!

Many thanks to Kayleigh and Clover for allowing me to participate in this challenge.


For an easy way to cut small cakes, or large cakes for that matter, perfectly in half horizontally . . . cut yourself a nice long piece of dental floss (preferably not flavoured) that fits around the cake with enough over hang to grip decently.  Place it around the centre of the cake, crossing the floss ends over each other  in front.


Gently pull the ends of the floss and it will slide through the cake, giving you perfectly cut layers.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Strong Cotton sewing thread also works a charm!


  1. I am loving the mini victoria sponges and the tip for splitting them in half. I recently purchased the mini victoria sponge tin from that well known shop that all my money disappears to and I can't wait to get started now I have seen your creations.

  2. This is wonderful, Marie! I hope we getting something like this on our side of the pond! I've tried substituting the low fat butters over here, but the moisture content is too high and they don't work!

  3. Looking good Marie. Thanks for the tip about the floss or cotton for cutting them...I always have a problem with that. I can't cut a straight slice of bread to save my life!!

  4. I have been looking at those mini Victoria sponge tins for ages and I think you may have just persuaded me to buy them, this is my husbands fav cake. I have to tell you I have just cooked a batch of your Peanut Butter cookies for my sons Birthday, they look amazing thank you so much whenever I want to bake something now I shall just hop over to your blog and search for what I am looking for
    You can see my cookies here

  5. Those are beautiful!! Your Victoria sponge is one recipe I'm dying for an excuse to try, and I love the mini ones! That Clover stuff sounds fabulous, too bad I can't get it over here! You get to try the greatest stuff! Lucky lady. :) love you!!

  6. I learned that trick for splitting a cake in two when I was in the Girl Scouts (here in San Francisco, CA) back in the 1950s. I always use thread. Like the kind you sew with. Very difficult to explain without actual pictures. Now I can send people to this web page. I was trying to find the post where you show the large Victoria Sponge cake but got this instead. Lovely.


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