A fond memory recalled from childhood, the familiar words called out by my parents… “your tea is ready,” a signal letting us know our evening meal was on the table. High Tea or as we called it our “Tea,” was a light savoury meal that would be eaten somewhere between the hours of 6pm to 7pm.
Afternoon tea (3pm to 5pm) reserved for special occasions usually involved serving a selection of delicious home-baked cakes, light fluffy scones and crustless sandwiches, all washed down with copious amounts of freshly brewed tea.
I love how this quote sums up afternoon tea and I believe it is a special ceremony, a visual feast, a time to take out your pretty china cups, decorative plates, quaint cutlery, antique tiered cake stands and linen napkins… and spoil all the lovely people in your life.
“Under certain circumstances there are few hours more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” ― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady.
Afternoon tea would not be complete without a selection of cakes, so you might like to try other recipes such as, Rocky Road Chocolate Cakes, Matcha Tea and Lemon Cupcakes , Mini Pavlova Bites, Chocolate Guinness and Blackcurrant Cupcakes or Welsh Cheese Cakes.
Victoria Sponge Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream
- 110g butter, softened
- 110g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 25g self-raising flour
- 75g all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of fresh orange juice
You will need a 12 hole cupcake tin lined with paper cases and a piping bag and nozzle.
for the buttercream
- 110g unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon of finely grated orange zest
- 200g icing sugar, sieved
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of fresh orange juice
- sugar flowers and strips of candied orange peel, to decorate (optional)
How to make: Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4/Fan 160°C.
Add the butter, caster sugar and orange zest into a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat ingredients together until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs (a few tablespoons at a time) to the cake mixture, beating well after each addition.
Add in the sifted flours and fold into the cake mixture with a spatula until the mixture is smooth, stir in the milk. Divide the cake mixture evenly among the prepared baking tin. Bake cupcakes for about 18 to 20 minutes or until the middle of the cupcake springs back when lightly pressed with fingers. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring the cupcakes to a wire cooling rack.
For the buttercream: Add the butter and orange zest into a mixing bowl, beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the sifted icing sugar into the butter, beating between additions until all the icing sugar has been incorporated. Beat in the orange juice. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with the desired nozzle, pipe the buttercream on top of each cupcake. Decorate with edible sugar flowers and candied orange peel, if desired.