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Royal recipes: Savoury and sweet

Victoria sponge

Whether it’s for a picnic in the garden or a party at home, here are some recipes from the Royal Kitchens to inspire you: a delicious Victoria sponge, egg mayonnaise toasts and homemade sausage rolls.

Egg Mayonnaise on Toast Points

egg mayonnaise on toast points ©

Incredibly simple but when made with beautiful fresh eggs and unctuous home-made mayonnaise, this dish is a real treat on a summer’s afternoon.

4 fresh free-range eggs

3 tablespoons home-made mayonnaise

1 teaspoon English mustard (optional)

1 small bunch fresh watercress (washed and picked through)

4 slices of thinly sliced granary bread

Salt and pepper

1 Depending on how thin you want your toast ‘points’ to be, you may want to grill the bread, remove the crusts, and then separate the toasted sides of the bread from each other with the round end of a knife, in the same way as for Melba toast. Then cut each side into quarters and put on to a tray, untoasted side up, and grill again.

2 Boil the eggs for 6 minutes, remove from the water and allow to cool slightly. Peel the shell from the eggs over a bowl, and halve and chop the eggs, not too finely, into a bowl. Gently fold in the mayonnaise (and the extra mustard if using), adjust the seasoning, and fold in half of the watercress.

3 Spoon the egg mayonnaise on to the toast points, garnish with the remaining watercress.

Home-made Mayonnaise

3 free-range egg yolks (as fresh as possible)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground white pepper

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

450ml groundnut oil

1 Place a bowl on a tea towel to hold it steady, and in it whisk together the egg yolks, mustard, half the tarragon vinegar, salt and a little freshly ground pepper. When thoroughly combined and starting to go a paler colour, start to add the oil in a steady stream a little at a time (best poured from a measuring jug, even better if someone else can help you). This is the critical point – too much oil too quickly and the mixture will curdle.

2 As the mixture starts to thicken, add the remainder of the tarragon vinegar to loosen the mixture again slightly, then add the remainder of the oil in a slow steady stream. Adjust the seasoning to taste. You can store home-made mayonnaise in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Victoria Sponge

Queen Victoria is known to have had a sweet tooth, and this light but delicious cake was named in her honour.

Victoria Sponge©
For the Victoria sponge:

3 free-range eggs

150g unrefined caster sugar

150g unsalted butter, softened

150g self-raising flour, sieved

½ teaspoon of vanilla essence

For the vanilla buttercream:

150g unsalted butter, softened

220g icing sugar, sieved

1/3 split vanilla pod

Strawberry jam


2 × 20 cm/8" Victoria sponge cake tins


1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4).

2 Prepare the cake tins by greasing with butter and lining the bottom with a circular piece of baking paper. Leave to one side until required.

3 Cream together the caster sugar, vanilla essence and softened butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, a little at a time to avoid the mixture curdling. Finally, fold through the sieved flour until all the ingredients are perfectly combined.

4 Divide the cake mix evenly between the two prepared cake tins and carefully smooth the mix to create two level layers. Place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the cake appears golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before turning the cakes out on to a wire rack.

To make the buttercream:

5 Cream the softened butter with the sieved icing sugar and the seeds from the split vanilla pod. The buttercream will become pale and fluffy with little flecks of vanilla seeds throughout.

To assemble the Victoria sponge:

6 Once the cakes have completely cooled, carefully and evenly spread a layer of buttercream on to the top of the first cake. Next add a thick layer of your home-made jam, before carefully placing the second cake on top of the jam and very gently pressing down. Finally, dust the top of the cake with icing sugar.

7 Serve with a pot of tea!

Miniature sausage rolls

Miniature sausage rolls©

Makes 10 rolls

260g (9oz) sausage meat

180g (6oz) ready prepared all-butter puff pastry

1 fresh egg

1 bunch sage, chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2–3 tablespoons flour, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6).

1 Sweat the chopped onion in the oil for 5 minutes without letting it colour, then add the chopped sage and cook for a further 2 minutes.

2 Remove the onion and sage from the heat and allow to cool before mixing into the sausage meat. Place the sausage meat in a piping bag with a small nozzle.

3 On a floured surface roll out the pastry until it is about 3 mm thick. Move the pastry sheet to a clean surface.

4 Pipe sausage meat along one edge of the pastry, leaving a 1 cm gap before the edge itself. Fold the pastry over the sausage meat and seal the edges together with egg wash. Trim the pastry to neaten the edge.

5 Allow to firm in the fridge for 45 minutes.

6 Cut the long sausage roll into 4 cm slices. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Royal Teas: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace


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