Tonka Bean Sponge Cake

May 26, 2017

This cake highlights the wonderful flavour of the tonka bean, out Spice of the Month, and is given a little punch by the addition of rum. It is a basic sponge, so will be easy to make for pretty much anyone, and is wonderful served alongside a nice cup of tea on a summer afternoon in the garden.


1Preheat the oven to 180c (160 if you have a fan oven). Grease two 18cm sponge tins and line the bases with greaseproof paper.

2For the sponge; in a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy.

3Gradually whisk in the eggs, in small amounts, until smooth and creamy.

4Mix in the grated tonka beans and the rum.

5Sieve half the flour into the mixture and fold gently.

6Once the flour is incorporated, sieve in the remaining flour and fold until smooth and well combined.

7Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins, until lightly golden brown and

8cooked through.

9Remove the sponge from the oven and set aside to cool for 5-10 mins then remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

10For the buttercream; beat all of the ingredients together until smooth and creamy, adding more or less icing sugar and tonka bean to taste.

11For the glaze; heat the sugar, tonka beans (whole and grated) and water in a pan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has a syrupy consistency.

12Strain to remove the whole tonka beans, then set aside to cool slightly.

13Place one of the cakes, top down, onto a plate and brush generously with the glaze.

14Spread the buttercream over the cake, then place the second cake on top.

15Brush the top of the cake generously with the remaining glaze.


For the Sponge;

220g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

220g caster sugar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tonka beans, finely grated, available from our online shop

4tbs dark rum

110g self-raising flour

For the Buttercream;

150g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

75g icing sugar

1 tonka bean, finely grate

For the Tonka Bean Glaze;

200ml water

100g caster sugar

2 tonka beans, 1 whole, 1 grated