Victorian Sponge Cake

I ventured into my first attempt at baking while in the UK and if I dare say it didn’t turn out too bad. I’m sad I forgot to take pictures of the process but here was the recipe I used to make a cake for my flat-mates birthday!

Victoria Sponge Cake

200 g unsalted butter(room temperature)

200 g caster sugar

4 free range eggs (beaten)

200 g self rising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp milk


Preheat oven to 190 C. Cream together sugar, and butter until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add rest of the ingredients, beat until smooth.  Divide evenly into separate pans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until cake bounces back when touched. Set aside and let cool.

History behind the Victorian Sponge Cake-

So when I was looking up recipes I was aware that my recipes from home might not work the same. And rather than take a gamble on recipes and end up messing up the entire kitchen I decided to look up ‘traditional British dessert recipes’. Of course mince pies, and fruit cake, fairy bread all came up, and so did Victorian Sponge cake. Essentially it’s a sponge cake ( go figure) that is sliced in half or sandwiched, and in between is typically jam or fruit and whipped cream. Sometimes it’s the whipped cream is replaced with butter cream however. It is considered a ‘quintessential English tea time treat’, and rose to popularity during Queen Victoria’s reign (surprise surprise).

However anyone that knows me when it comes to baking knows I only follow instructions so far. So I asked my flat mate what she liked, and she replied she likes chocolate and vanilla. So with the cake being vanilla I set off to make my go to chocolate Ganache Icing.


300 ml double cream

400 g dark chocolate finely chopped. (tip* chopping the dark chocolate or even breaking it up into smaller pieces makes it easier to whisk when adding the cream and will give a more even consistency*)


Heat double cream until a boil, pour over chocolate in separate bowl, whisk until smooth. Let cool (place in fridge if you want a thicker consistency).

Then for the decorations I melted white chocolate and went to work!

I was pleased with the end result, although I should have used a smaller tip to write with. I’m excited to try and see what recipes I’ll try next!




We traveled to the home of the Beatles and to where the titanic departed from on it’s maiden (and only voyage). The Liverpool football(soccer) team had  a game against Swansea (Wales) I wish I was able to see it but unfortunately we had to purchase tickets in advanced. I will make it to a football game while I’m here! We started out our day at the Titanic Museam where we learned about the construction of the ill-fated ship, and what ultimately lead to it’s down fall. (Apparently if they hit the iceberg head on the ship would have been damaged but not sunk).

From the museum we saw the only surviving life vest from the titanic.



We took the trek ( lots of walking in the UK) to the cavern club. Which is the first place the Beatles ever performed.


Additionally we saw the Liverpool library which looked old from the outside but very new from the inside. They have a “wall of fame” and you can see the Beatles dead center under the plaque.



Liverpool was interesting it kind of reminded me of Boston and Pittsburgh. There’s a lot of old buildings (the city was discovered in the 1200’s after all), but next to an old building there would be a modern one. The perfect example of this is the cathedrals (I’m adding a cathedral count with my castle count.)


There was the Catholic Cathedral that is built like a dome, and was started before the second world war but was abandoned and bombed, so when it was rebuilt they built it modern. I could be wrong but I don’t think you’ll find another cathedral in world like the catholic one.


Then just down the street through the trees is the Anglican cathedral. We saw it much sooner before we reached it.



All in all Liverpool was very impressive and I intend to go back when it isn’t as cold! The cathedral count takes the lead!

Castle Count: 2

Cathedral Count: 3

Update: My best friend is from Liverpool I ended up spending a week with her!


This place is absolutely beautiful I don’t know how I got so lucky to end up in such a beautiful place, and you’ll probably read this again and again but Wales is truly underrated. This was my first “real” castle but they’re everywhere so I’m only counting real castles that aren’t completely in ruins in my castle count. Conwy (Con-We.. i think, I’ve also heard it pronounced Con-WAY) is a small sea side town about 30 minute bus, or 10-15 minute train ride away from Bangor, it has beautiful scenery great shops, and evil seagulls… I’m not kidding they warned us about the seagulls don’t feed them.

But enough on that look at this castle! These are some panorama’s I look from inside!


It was built in the 1280’s.. how old! There’s so much history I can’t even begin I highly recommend you to look it up! It was stunning and old and amazing how even though its in ruins it’s really not and it’s held it’s own fairly well!

I wen’t up to second height of the watch towers… I hate heights and the stairs where incredibly steep so I didn’t trust myself going all the way up. Additionally this town had the first traditional red phone booth I’ve seen since being in the UK. Needless to say I was very excited. And yes if anyone was wondering the phone DOES work! That surprised me a bit.

Conwy is home to the smallest house in the UK! Aka my new home.



Seeing as it’s so close I’ll probably be back when it’s warmer to explore some more, it’s a super quick trip that I could do any time I’m bored. Castle and Cathedral Count are all tied up.

Castle Count: 1

Cathedral count:1


Cymru is Wales in Welsh… don’t ask how it’s pronounced I’m still figuring out the Welsh basics. All I know so far is that the double d like Ffordd is pronounced as “th” also the double F isn’t a misspelling. As they told us when we entered it’s one of the oldest languages in Europe if not the oldest.

That’s the Welsh flag for those that didn’t know.  I think it’s so cool. So I arrived Monday morning at 6:20 am… the plane self landed because it was foggy in Manchester… I didn’t know that was a thing. I got through customs in about an hour which I didn’t find personally to be that bad but others thought it was terrible. Around 12 the University picked us up, and we spent two hours traveling to Bangor. I hadn’t slept since 9am the day before so I was running on pure adrenaline. I thought it would be easy to fall asleep… so much.. however jet lag didn’t really kick in the next day. We had this orientation of sorts… and some how being me I ended up lost for over three hours… and it was fine until it started to get dark and I really had no idea where I was going. But that’s when I found the cathedral!

This cathedral is in the center of town and was founded in 525 AD (according to my favorite source Wikipedia). I haven’t had  a chance to go in yet but it truly is beautiful!  It’s about a 10 minute walk from my flat(British lingo) to the main campus. It looks a lot older than it actually is so I’ll let you all figure that one out ;). My flat mates took me out pubbing and that was fun! It’s different being able to legally buy alcohol here. Every time I hand my ID to someone they freak out that it has my height on it because I guess British ID’s don’t. Anyways. That’s a run down of Wales… its the land of castles, and sheep.

Castle Count: 0

Cathedral Count: 1