Tennis Cake

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

tennis cake an English Victorian cake made to accompany the newly invented game of lawn tennis. Some authorities say that the original recipe is by Mrs Beeton herself, although it does not appear in the first edition of her book. It is a creamed cake made light by reserving the egg whites, and also raised with baking powder, containing finely chopped glacé cherries, sultanas, and candied peel; it is flavoured with vanilla, cinnamon, and maraschino or noyau liqueur, and topped with almond paste, glacé icing, glacé cherries, and candied angelica. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, tennis cakes, like other cakes and gateaux of the time, were very elaborate; one bakery textbook of the period gave 29 schemes for decorating the top of tennis cakes. By this time the cake had evolved from a round shape into an oblong approximating to the shape of a miniature tennis court.