Bake a glorious Christmas sponge cake this season

Don't be fooled by the name, this sponge cake recipe from Marben is so divine you'll want to make it every holiday season. 

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes

Sponge cake may not sound as mouth-watering as chocolate brownies or sticky toffee pudding, but once you dig into its fluffy air pockets full of sugary goodness you'll forget all about monikers. 

Marben's executive chef Chris Locke adds a whole other layer (literally) to this festive treat. This unique Christmas tree Victoria sponge cake recipe not only looks like a Christmas tree but also tastes like one (but better). This sponge cake recipe has subtle yet delightful fir oil whisked into the cake's batter. Don't knock it until you've tried it yourself. Spoiler alert: It's absolutely delicious. 

“Many people have a Christmas tree in their homes, often a real one. What people don’t realize is that their tree not only looks great but also tastes great. And what’s more festive than eating the Christmas tree? This recipe allows the tree to be incorporated into our Christmas food for a true taste of the season.” — Chris Locke, Marben.


Fir oil

  • 1 Tbsp balsam fir needles
  • ¾ cup cold-pressed oil (can be either olive or canola, grapeseed, sunflower)


  • 4 large eggs, preferably free run
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup

Fir oil

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp ground clove
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground mace


  • ¾ cup orange marmalade
  • Icing sugar, to decorate


Fir oil method

  1. Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend the balsam fir needles with the oil.
  2. Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove any solids. Set aside.

Sponge method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs and sugar vigorously for 30 seconds. While continuing to whisk, add the fir oil slowly to incorporate.
  3. Add the milk and vanilla extract, and mix together briefly.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat together until combined, intermittently scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Lightly oil the inside of the cake tin and pour the mixture in.
  6. Bake for around 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely.

Buttercream method

  1. Place the butter into the bowl of the stand mixer and, with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed.
  2. Add the icing sugar little by little until incorporated.
  3. Finally, add in the spices and combine.

Assembly method

  1. Once the cake is cool, slice it in half lengthwise to produce a top and bottom piece.
  2. On top of the bottom piece, lather on the buttercream, then add the marmalade on top of that.
  3. Place the top piece of the cake on top of the bottom and dust the top with icing sugar. Serve.