Sweet, Savory and Sunny

This Victoria Street Sponge Cake is the centerpiece of my dream picnic at the Rose Garden. A simple cheese board, with some nuts and fruit, and a cold glass of local rosé to accompany this sweet treat makes for an intimate and unforgettable afternoon gathering with family and friends. My obsession with this elegant cake began when I lived in London and worked in a small bakery in Primrose Hill. Kids and their parents would come in for tea after school and order a slice of this delicious layered confection, called Victoria Sponge. I loved everything about it and insisted the head baker teach me the recipe. I made it my own by adding ricotta in the cake batter and mascarpone to the icing. 



3/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup full-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Dash of salt
Fruit jam for the filling

• Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour a 7 or 8-inch springform pan.
• Beat the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
• Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and ricotta cheese and beat until smooth.
• Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and then beat into the butter mixture until combined.
• Wash the beaters thoroughly and then beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.
• Gently fold the egg whites into the batter and spoon it into the prepared springform pan.
• Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester stuck into the center comes out clean.
• Once fully cooled to room temperature, cut into two layers. Spread ¼ cup of your favorite jam on each side of the
  cake, followed by a generous dollop of mascarpone cream on one half. Sandwich the two sides together, dust the top
  with powdered sugar, and serve.


1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. of mascarpone cheese at room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

• Use an electric mixer to whisk the heavy cream on medium speed until stiff peaks and set aside.
• In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar together until smooth, then gently fold into the heavy cream.

About Ayda Robana

I have always loved hosting friends and family around the dinner table, so in 2007 I decided to turn my passion for cooking into a small business. For over a decade, I owned and ran a local luxury catering company called Om Sweet Mama. I recently rebranded to more closely reflect my personality and my food philosophy and now operate as Ayda Robana Catering. I continue to specialize in seasonal local cuisine and focus on sustainably raised and harvested meats and seafood, and plant-based menus. My food is clean and simple, with lots of Mediterranean and international influences. I gain inspiration from adventures abroad and most importantly, from my passion for connecting with people from different cultures. Collecting their family recipes and cooking together is a way to have a heart to heart connection and experience cultures outside of one’s own. 805.837.9009, AydaRobana.com