June 10, 2022


I do remember having this as a pudding for school dinners - a sponge cake topped with jam and coconut, scooped in chunks from enormous baking trays.  It was served with pink custard usually once a week, maybe every two weeks at the most.  I loved it!  The dinners at my secondary school were excellent, especially the puddings! 

I first made it myself as part of my afternoon tea.  You can read about that here.  I used quite a large traybake tin which made a shallow sponge, easy to cut into tiny squares.

The squares looked the bees knees when topped with a fresh raspberry and tasted divine.  I took a box full of the leftovers to my knitting group where they were very popular.

I made the cake again for another event, cut into larger squares to be served as a dessert.  It was equally popular.  This recipe is definitely a keeper!  You can see the original here.

It's hard to resist such a dainty treat!

One thing I haven't done with it so far is to repeat the whole school experience and actually serve it with pink custard!  There's time yet!  


For the cake

225g baking spread

225g caster sugar

225g self raising flour

4 eggs

a splash of milk if needed

For the topping

a jar of raspberry jam

25g desiccated coconut

a small punnet of fresh raspberries (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180C / 160 fan / gas mk 4.  Grease and line the base of a traybake tin measuring roughly 30 x 18cm.

Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until creamy and well combined.  Whisk in a splash of milk if it seems rather stiff.

Pour the mixture into the tin and spread out evenly, levelling the top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until done.

Take the cake out of the oven.  Put about half of the jar of jam into a small bowl and stir to loosen it.  Spread this over the warm cake, making sure there are no bare patches.

Sprinkle the desiccated coconut over the jam in a thick dusting and leave to cool in the tin.

When cool mark the top into squares to be cut later or cut into squares of the required size straight away.

To decorate, cut a thin sliver from the flat end of each raspberry - this makes sure they stand pointy end up and don't wobble over.  Place one in the middle of each square and gently push it into the jam slightly so that it stays put.

Serves as many as you like, depending on the size of squares you want.


  1. We had a cuppa&cake somewhere recently [in Essex] and they had school cake [sans custard] It was the first time I'd ever seen it on sale in a shop - although I've often come across it at church teas

    1. Angela, I can't say I have ever seen it anywhere other than in school so that was well over fifty years ago!
      It would never have occurred to me to make it as a cake as it was always a pudding to me..........until recipes for it started turning up all over the place.
      In some ways it is similar to the old fashioned English madeleines - sponge coated in jam and coconut. I haven't had one of those for years either but.........last year when we were on holiday in Norfolk, I stumbled across that wonderful hardware store in Sheringham, and I treated myself to a set of dariole moulds, the right kind for madeleines with that classical conical shape.
      You will know the shop I mean - the name of it now escapes me but it was a real joy!

  2. I do remember English madeleines in the shops when I was but a young thing. But as for having cake of any kind at school meals, all I can say is you were living the dream. We got a sort of inedible ship's biscuit with lukewarm, grey, lumpy stuff pretending to be custard or a plate of unidentifiable, brown stodge. This recipe is making me hungrily nostalgic for food I've never eaten, if you see what I mean.

    1. I do know exactly what you mean!
      My school also served a pudding which was a kind of slab of dense biscuity cake studded with currants and sprinkled with sugar. A bit like shortbread but not as nice! It was not that popular and we referred to it as "millstone grit", which was a stone used locally for building! I think of it quite fondly nowadays.