Rhubarb and Ginger Victoria Sponge (GF)


The warmth of the ginger plays perfectly against the tart rhubarb and softly whipped cream in this early summer take on the British classic.

celebration • sweet treat • spring • summer


Afternoon tea, cakes filled with jam and whipped cream, Sunday roasts, Yorkshire puddings and desserts with names like Eaton Mess and jam roly-poly; the cuisine of the British Isles had me at hello. It’s everything I want food to be. Comforting, homely, approachable, inspired by the season’s best. It’s the kind of food you’d like to come home to.  And who wouldn’t want to come home to a Victoria sponge cake?

Around the time I turned seven, I became convinced that I was actually British. Somewhere, somehow, a horrible mistake had been made – maybe a mix up at the hospital, these things happen – and I was now being brought up in a country that was very clearly not my home. 

It’s true that I was reading Jane Eyre at the time and that just a year prior, when I had finished reading Little House on the Prarie, I had thought I was actually a pioneer who had time-warped to the wrong century. But somehow, this conviction of being fundamentally British stuck


The problem was that I wasn’t British. Sure, my great parents were, but what did that matter now? Despite my begging, my parents callously refused to listen to my pleas to be sent away to boarding school. If I couldn’t come to Britain, Britain would have to come to me.

And thus my obsession with all things British began, but in particular, British food. As you can see, I haven’t changed that much. Not really.

The Victoria sponge, or Victoria sandwich as it is sometimes known, was named after Queen Victoria, who liked to enjoy a slice with her afternoon tea.  It is essentially a pound cake, made with equal quantities of butter, sugar, eggs and flour and I find this quite satisfying. If I am ever stranded without a cookbook or a phone but happen to have ample quantities of butter, sugar, flour and eggs, I could confidently make this cake. That makes me feel pleased.

This is my variation on the classic, made gluten-free and subbing in a tart roasted rhubarb filling for the raspberry jam and infusing the whole thing with the warmth of ginger. Make sure you have it with some tea


Rhubarb and Ginger Victoria Sponge

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes



For the rhubarb:

  • 3 1/3 cups (400 g) rhubarb (about 8 large stems)

  • 1/4 cup (40 g) coconut sugar

  • 1 inch sized piece of fresh ginger, grated

  • zest of 1 orange

For the cake:

  • 7 oz (200 g) softened butter

  • 1 1/4 cups (200 g) coconut sugar

  • 1 cup (100 g) almond flour

  • 2/3 cup (100 g) buckwheat or brown rice flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 4 eggs

For the whipped cream:

  • 1/2 cup (140 ml) heavy whipping cream

  • 1 tbsp stem ginger syrup or 1 tbsp honey with 1/2 tsp dried ginger


For the rhubarb:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

  • Slice the rhubarb into 1.5 inch segments. Place in a baking tray and cover with the sugar, the grated ginger and the orange zest. Use your hands to mix everything together.

  • Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Note: the mixture should not be very liquidy, but if there is much liquid in the pan, simply strain your rhubarb.

For the cake:

  • Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 8 inch cake tins and line the bottoms with parchment or grease proof paper.

  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  • In a separate bowl, mix together the almond and buckwheat or rice flour, baking powder, ginger and salt.

  • Beat the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture with each egg and beating well between each addition. Fold in the remaining flour and mix until smooth.

  • Divide the batter between the two cake tins and level out the surface. 

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely.

For the whipped cream:

  • Combine the cream and the stem ginger syrup (or honey and ginger powder) in a bowl and whip until you've formed soft peaks. 

To assemble:

  • Place one cake on a cake stand or plate and spread the cream over the top. Spoon the rhubarb mixture over the cream. Place the second cake on top and dust with icing sugar. Decorate with fresh flowers if you like

Tried this recipe?

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coconut sugar

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almond flour