Selecting and Lining Cake Pans. To make a tiered cake, you'll want to use pans that have straight walls. This cake uses two 8" round cake pans and two 5" round cake pans. (Each tier is made of two cakes.) For the cake batter, I made a triple batch of the recipe below and poured a third of the batter in each of the 8" rounds, and split the last third between the two 5" rounds.
Line the cake pans using parchment paper. Set pans on top of a large sheet and trace the bottom of each pan, then cut out the circles. Next cut a strip of paper to line the wall of each pan. It should be an inch wider than the height of the pan, and long enough to wrap around the inner wall. For an 8" round pan with 3" walls, this is a 4" x 26" rectangle. For a 5" round pan with 3" walls, this is a 4" x 16" rectangle.
Fold over 1" of each strip, lengthwise. Then cut small tabs along that 1" section.
Sugar syrup. Prepare a simple syrup that will be brushed on the baked cake to add moisture and flavor. Place equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then remove pan from heat and allow syrup to cool. Flavor to compliment your cake - I added a couple tbs lemon juice once the syrup had cooled. Store in the fridge.
The Cake. The recipe makes one 8 in round cake. It can be flavored however you'd like - with lemon zest (yum!), orange zest, vanilla etc.
Victoria Sponge Cake
From Peggy Porschen's Simply Spectacular Cakes
1-3/4 sticks salted butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1-1/3 cups self-rising flour
about a third cup of the sugar syrup
Prep. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 1. Cream butter, sugar and flavoring in bowl of stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and mix on high until light and fluffy (this will take several minutes). Turn mixer to medium and add eggs one-by-one. If your mixture begins to look curdled (like mine does in the second photo below), add a little of the flour to the mixture and continue to mix until combined. Turn the mixer to slow and slowly incorporate the flour.
Step 2. Pour batter into lined cake pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Bake for 25 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake start to cool in its pan, sitting on a wire rack. When it's still warm, poke holes in the cake top using a skewer, then brush the top with sugar syrup (Uh oh - as you might see in the last picture, I forgot to do this until it had cooled!) Remove the cake from the pan once it has cooled.
Storing the Cake. To freeze the cake to use later, wrap cake in two layers of plastic wrap, then one layer of foil. To store cake for decorating the next day, wrap in waxed paper, then foil, then store at room temperature.