Tottenham Cake



Tottenham Cake Greggs

“A Peculiar Local Invention” – Ted Willis

According to a Tottenham Hotspur fan site, the Tottenham Cake derives from baker Henry Chalkley who originally sold these pink spongy squares at the price of one old penny and smaller odd-shaped pieces were sold for half a penny. So why the pink icing? Well, the pink icing is thought to have come from the mulberries which were found growing at the Tottenham Friends burial ground.
Although not directly linked with the football team, it is suggested by Ted Willis that in 1901, the Tottenham cake was given away for free (!) to local children to celebrate the Spurs’ FA Cup victory.


150g/6 oz Softened Butter
150g/6 oz Caster Sugar
150g/6 oz Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
3 Medium Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Essence (Optional)

125g/5oz Sifted Icing Sugar
15ml Water
Pink Food Colouring
Handful of Desiccated Coconut (Completely up to you how much coconut you want to sprinkle on!)


1. Pre-heat oven at gas mark 4 or 180ºC / 350ºF

2. Line a square tin with grease-proof paper.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar until it becomes a light, fluffy mixture and pale in colour.

4. Add in the 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla essence if required.

5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, whilst adding a tablespoon of sifted flour with each egg. (Tip! As soon as the self-raisingTottenham Cake flour hits the mixture, it begins to react with the other ingredients and the air, affecting its rising ability. Therefore, as soon as your done with this step, get your mixture in the oven – sharpish!)

6. Pour the mixture into your square tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. (Tip!  Try to avoid opening the oven whilst the cake is cooking as the air may cause the mixture to sink! To check if your cake is ready, using a fork or skewer, insert this into the cake. If the fork comes out clean and is not sticky, your cake is ready! If not, pop your cake back in the oven for a few more minutes.)

7. Once your cake is cool, its time to add the pink icing! Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, gradually adding the water. (Tip! If icing is too watery, add additional icing sugar. If icing is too thick, add more water. Icing is tricky to get spot on first time, therefore judge your mixture carefully.)

8. Add a drop of the pink food colouring into your icing. Your icing should be a pale/medium pink therefore add the smallest amount. Once you have your icing, pour and spread this over your cake.

9. Sprinkle desiccated coconut on top of the icing. Leave to set and cut into squares.

This recipe is super-easy, yet really tasty. Plus, you can impress all your friends with the history of the Tottenham Cake!


– Charlotte x


46 thoughts on “Tottenham Cake

  1. Kasha says:

    I just happen to have some self-rising flour at home. I have been looking for a new yellow cake and the texture of this looks lovely. Thanks!

  2. riversidebaking says:

    So great to know the history, there is that other one they do in greggs, also a square with dessicated coconut on top , I think they call it a london cake – will have to do some research into the history behind that – you’ve inspired me! 🙂

  3. BagelsKeeper says:

    They’ve just featured Tottenham Cake on “The Great British Bake Off” – I’m making one this weekend – looks yummy!

    • Catseyes says:

      Stamford Hill? I know it well. I was bought up in Tottenham and to be honest we didn’t consider Stamford Hill as proper Tottenham. Seven Sisters and St Anne’s Road is kosher Tottenham. We did have Tottenham Cake my Nan made it every Sunday for our weekly visit for tea.

    • Jim Logan says:

      I was also brought up in Tottenham around the same time. Coincidentally I was at St Ignatius College from 1963 – 68; still have tolley scars on my hands. I do though remember my Mother used to purchase Tottenham cake for us occasionally. I lived in central/North Tottenham so it may have been better known in that area.

  4. Madeleine says:

    Just found your recipe after watching great British bake Off. Interesting story about the Quakers sharing their cakes at the meetings. Will be making this asap

  5. Laureen says:

    After seeing watching this week’s Great British Bake Off I decided to give this cake a go and came across your recipe. So easy and so yummy even my son (not a big cake eater) is loving it! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  6. ZsaZsa T. Starr (@ZsaZsa_Starr) says:

    I came across your recipe after watching the Great British Bake Off. I love the back story to this cake. Will use this later because I have guests tomorrow, and this looks absolutely perfect for sharing! And totally delicious! 😉 Thanks for posting the fantastic recipe.

  7. Janet Cartwright says:

    I believe the history of this cake comes from the Quakers who believed in frugal living and used the colouring from mulberries in the icing. The reference to Tottenham friends is not the FC but The Friends Meeting House that was in that area, the meeting house of Quakers. This in fact makes the origins of the cake much older.

    • Catseyes says:

      You are quite correct Janet, The meeting house is behind one of the shops on Tottenham High Road. I used to walk past there often in the 50’s whilst shopping with my mum.

  8. Madeleine says:

    made it this afternoon, very nice but husband said not deep enough! Next one will be recipe of 8, 8, 8 and 4 eggs to stop him moaning!

  9. Sam says:

    Thank you for getting the recipe for this cake I try it a few years back in a London Gregg’s .

    I know I’m being thick but I have one question it says add a table spoon of flour with each egg with the rest of flour do you add before eggs or do you add the flour after all three eggs are mixed in please help


    • bakewithmeblog says:

      Hi! It’s completely up to you how to add the flour and eggs in. I usually alternate between adding a little flour and an egg each time but whatever you feel comfortable with doing. As long as all the flour and all 3 eggs make it into the bowl you’ll be fine!

    • bakewithmeblog says:

      Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that! I’m not sure why this could be as I’ve used this recipe many times. Were the eggs you used medium? As larger eggs will give the eggy taste seeing as there is more egg being added to the mixture. The only thing I can think is the mixing of the cake batter, if the eggs are not evenly distributed throughout the batter, the taste may be more eggy.

  10. Maria says:

    Loved your recipe, thank you for posting it. The only thing is that mine did not grow much, it was quite dense and not very spongy. What may I have done wrong?

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