The best supermarket Victoria sponge cakes, judged by British fashion house Boden 

Six fashion lovers size up this most classic of cakes. Which version will triumph?

L-R: Sandeep, Laura, Aimee, Alice, Charli, Olivia
Members of the Boden team, L-R: Sandeep, Laura, Aimee, Alice, Charli, Olivia Credit: Sarah Lloyd

As the old adage goes (or maybe it was Worzel Gummidge), there’s little that can’t be solved with a cup of tea and a slice of cake. The Victoria sandwich, with its country-fête connotations, trumps super-sweet chocolate fudge or showy walnut cake, but its simplicity belies the precision required to produce a fluffy, light sponge – especially one with a shelf life.

This week, we served up the classic British cake to the staff at a classic British fashion house, asking Boden’s designers and marketing team to put sponge, cream and jam to the test. Let’s hope they kept the crumbs away from their clothes rails.

Waitrose No.1 Victoria sponge cake

Credit: Light Project Photography

£5.25 for 12 slices, Waitrose & Partners

“There’s not quite enough cream in this one, but the crust on top is lovely.” Olivia

“The jam has a lovely tanginess. A strong start.” Sandeep

“I want a bit more cream, but I’m not complaining. It’s good for a supermarket sponge.” Charli

Asda Extra Special Victoria sponge cake

Credit: Light Project Photography

£1.85 for 325g, Asda

“It’s a little sad and messy.” Charli

“It’s quite dry and artificial-tasting. Not extra special in my eyes.” Laura

“It tastes a little like artificial sweetener – like it’s been made with Splenda.” Sandeep 

Oggs vegan Victoria sponge cakes

Credit: Light Project photography

£4.25 for 184g, Sainsbury’s 

“They’ve had a problem with their jam distribution here, but it does smell very appealing.” Sandeep

“They’re lacking in jam, but I really wouldn’t know they’re vegan.” Charli

“It tastes a lot like a fairy cake – it would be good for a child’s party. It reminds me a bit of a scone.” Aimee

Waldron's Patisserie vegan Victoria sponge

Credit: Light Project Photography

£4 for 150g, Ocado 

“It looks a little anaemic, but it is generous with the cream alternative and jam.” Laura

“It tastes quite fresh, but the sponge is a little bit doughy. You can tell it’s been frozen and defrosted.” Charli

“The jam tastes fruity and fresh, and I really like the chunky bits of strawberry. It has potential, if it weren’t for the texture of the sponge.” Olivia

Emma’s Country Cakes Victoria sponge bites

Credit:  Light Project Photography

£1.60 for 4 bites, Ocado

“The cream tastes like mayonnaise! Bizarre, just bizarre.” Laura

“It’s a bit like a school dinner pudding, isn’t it?” Aimee

“It’s very dry, with a really thin line of cream and jam.” Olivia

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Victoria sponge

Credit: Light Project Photography

£2.75 for 345g, Sainsbury’s

“The jam is really lovely in this one; it’s zesty, which makes the cake feel lighter.” Laura

“This is the fluffiest of the supermarket ones. It’s almost refreshing.” Sandeep

“The buttercream is a bit grainy, but I’ll forgive it for the jam and sponge.” Olivia

Propermaid gluten- and diary-free Victoria sponge

Credit: Light Project Photography

£8.99 down from £11.99 for 800g, Ocado

“I can’t taste the jam at all in this one.” Laura

“It has a strange floury taste to it – it’s heavy and grainy.” Aimee

“To be honest, it’s really not that bad for gluten and dairy free. I wouldn’t feel hard done by.” Olivia

Tesco finest* Victoria sponge

Credit: Light Project Photography

£1.70 down from £2.75 for 6 servings, Tesco

“It’s quite dry because there’s nowhere near enough cream in there.” Olivia

“It’s very sugary – this would be good with a strong cup of tea.” Laura

“I don’t mind this one – it’s better than Asda, but not as good as Sainsbury’s.” Sandeep

BRONZE Studio Bakery Victoria sponge

Credit: Light Project Photography

£20 for 1.68kg, Booths

“It’s got a good ratio of cream and jam to sponge; it feels indulgent.” Olivia

“It’s dense, this one. Like your grandma’s homemade version. I like how moist it is.” Laura

“I feel the jam is quite overpowering, but otherwise I’d be happy to eat the whole slice.” Alice

SILVER Betty’s Victoria sponge cake

Credit: Light Project Photography

£8 for 440g, Betty’s

“It looks really inviting and homemade. It’s got a good ratio in the filling, and I really love the lattice design.” Laura

“This one tastes like a solid bake – in a nice way. It’s got structure, and you can tell you’ve had a slice.” Aimee

“It’s quite light, I think. You could definitely pretend you’d made it.” Charli

GOLD Fiona Cairns Victoria sponge triple-layer cake

Credit: Light Project Photography

£16 for 18-20 slices, Waitrose & Partners

“It looks epic! It’s got beautiful layers, and a good amount of cream.” Laura

“The sponge has a lovely vanilla flavour to it, and it’s the perfect heaviness.” Olivia

“It has a really lovely crust on top that almost cracks when you cut into it – I’d be chuffed if I got this cake.” Alice

 

In a club and fancy being a taster? Email [email protected]