Tottenham Cake is a classic English recipe. A delicious simple sponge cake base topped with pink icing and sprinkled with hundreds and thousands. Tasty on its own or serve it with custard for a teatime treat.
You’d be forgiven if you mistook Tottenham Cake for ‘School Cake’ and from what I can tell the only real difference is that school cake has white icing and is often served with pink custard. Remember that?
Old school puddings
If you’re a fan of old school puddings and sweet treats why not try my Cornflake Tart? The recipe comes from a dinner lady circa 1980s! Or, check out my really easy Fairy Cakes, the recipe will transport you right back to your childhood.
Tottenham Cake has gained in popularity since it was part of a technical baking challenge on The Great British Bake Off.
You can find Tottenham Cake for sale in Greggs the bakers or better still, make it yourself – GBBO style!
Here’s what you’ll need
This is a super simple recipe that uses basic easy to get hold of ingredients and is quick to make.
You’re going to love it!
Why is it called Tottenham Cake?
Tottenham Cake hails back to – yep, you guessed it: Tottenham, London.
Tottenham Cake was originally sold for an old penny (or half a penny for a misshapen piece) by Quaker Henry Chalkley in 1901.
Why is it pink?
The pink colouring was derived from Mulberries that grew in the Quakers’ buried ground. The juice from the mulberries was added to the icing and turned it from white to pink.
Mulberries aren’t as easy to come by these days (unless you have a convenient graveyard or hedgerow to forage from). You can get the same effect by adding a little blackcurrant juice to the icing.
Or and add a tiny smidge of pink food colouring gel until you’re satisfied with the colour.
How to serve
You might like to try adding a layer of strawberry jam or desiccated coconut to the top of the baked cake.
However, I do love the simple pink icing and think it looks really pretty and inviting.
Finish with hundreds and thousands or sugar strand sprinkles and you’ll end up with a really tasty Tottenham Cake, perfect paired with an afternoon cuppa or smothered in custard for a teatime treat.
More Classic Tempting Recipes
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- 300 g unsalted butter softened
- 300 g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 300 g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- 300 g icing sugar
- 3-4 tbsp warm water
- pink food colouring just a smidge!
- 2 tbsp hundreds and thousands
To make the sponge cake
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan/Gas4/350ºF. Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well until combined.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl and fold the mixture together usuing a spatula or wooden spoon until you can no longer see white streaks of flour.
- Add the milk, stir the mixture until it loosens and all the ingredients are fully combined.
- Transfer the cake batter into the baking tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you make the icing.
To make the pink icing
- Put the icing sugar into a bowl and pour in 3 tablespoons of warm water and mix thoroughly. Check the consistency is pourable, if it's too thick add another few drops of warm water until you have the correct consistency. It shouldn't be so thin it runs down the sides of the cake.
- Add a dot of pink food colouring to the icing and mix to combine. Check the colour – if it's not pink enough, keep adding dots of food colouring until you're satisfied with the colour.
- Pour the icing on top of the cooled cake and use a palette knife to smooth the icing.
- Sprinkle the hundreds and thousands over the top then put the cake aside until the icing sets.
- When the icing has set, use a sharo knife to cut the Tottenham Cake into squares.
- You can use a stand mixer, electric handheld whisk or cream the butter and sugar by hand.
- Check the icing isn’t too thin otherwise it’ll run down the sides of the cake.
- Storage: Tottenham Cake will keep fresh for 4-5 days in an airtight container.