Helen Marks’s Elizabeth sponge cake recipe

03 Apr 2018

Helen shares her twist on the classic Victoria sponge cake

Helen Marks pictured outdoors, next to a swimming pool

Our Tea with the Girls campaign encourages our supporters to hold a tea party to raise funds for life-saving blood cancer research and patient support. For inspiration, we're sharing a series of tried and tested recipes donated by celebrities, our Patient Ambassadors and the original Calendar Girls themselves.

Helen Marks was one of our dedicated Ambassadors. This is her recipe for a souped-up Victoria sponge.

View a printable version of this recipe.


For the sponge

  • 6 medium eggs, beaten
  • 200g Billington's Golden caster sugar
  • 200g soft unsalted butter
  • 200g Allinson Nature Friendly self-raising white flour sifted
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp vanilla extract

For the strawberry filling and icing

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 150g soft unsalted butter
  • 75g white chocolate, melted
  • 150g strawberries (remove stalks and chop finely)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

For decoration

  • 150g whole strawberries
  • 75g white chocolate melted
  • 50g dark chocolate melted
  • 150g mixed berries
  • Mint leaves

A close up of Helen Marks' Elizabeth sponge cake


  • Preheat oven to 180c degrees (160 degrees fan; gas mark 4).
  • Grease and line 2x20cm sandwich tins with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat all sponge ingredients together until smooth and light.
  • Divide the mixture between the two tins, level and bake for 20 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack.
  • For the filling, beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Slowly beat 100g of the strawberries and the vanilla into the butter mixture, then increase the speed until the mixture is smooth, fluffy and a lovely pink colour.
  • Place one of the sponges onto a cake stand, securing with a little filling.
  • Using a piping bag, pipe large bulbs of filling around the edge of the cake, then cover the middle with the remaining chopped strawberries. Top the second sponge and pipe the rest of the filling around the edge. Chill for one hour to set.
  • Dip three strawberries into melted white chocolate and leave to set. Drizzle some melted dark chocolate over the white chocolate covered strawberries. Place these in the centre of the cake with other berries. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.

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