Who doesn’t have childhood memories of Manchester Tart!

The arguments still rage fiercely in our house about banana or no banana! Lemon custard or plain? Either way, always a school dinner staple from way back, until its sad demise in the ’80s. 

What you may not know, is that the original Manchester Tart is based on the original Manchester Pudding (not quite as famous as the Bakewell’s) which was first recorded by Mrs Beeton – maybe the first Delia Smith

It’s also so true that Robinson’s bakers based still In Failsworth claims to be it’s home. 

Anyway, I thought a homage was due, so whether you’re going to pop it in a red case or a blue… I hope it brings back some memories & reminds us that we’re all Mancunians! Honorary or otherwise lol! 


Cupcake sponge

  • three eggs
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g butter/stork sb
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract muffin tin
  • 12 red or blue foil cupcake cases or both!
  • Mixer or large bowl spatula/wooden spoon measuring spoons teaspoons/dessert spoons 
  • Decoration/filling 
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 300g butter
  • 12 tsps raspberry jam
  • 2 tsps of powdered custard mix
  • 12 x tsps desiccated coconut
  • 12 x glace cherries (I know under the current climate icing sugar is as rare as hen’s teeth! So in desperation use a ready-mixed buttercream!) mixer or large bowl spatula/wooden spoon measuring spoons piping bag/smooth nozzle 


Here’s my straightforward method for you! 

  1. Preheat your oven & pop your desired colour of muffin cases into your muffin tin. 
  2. Throw all of your cake ingredients into your mixer or bowl. 
  3. Beat until smooth & lighter in colour. 
  4. Using spoons divide the mixture equally between the 12 cases & get them in the oven. Middle shelf probably best! 
  5. So……now to the buttercream! Combine the butter, sugar & custard powder in your bowl or mixer until smooth. Beware if you’re using a mixer!!! Icing sugar puffs up like a bad genie lol! My quick trick, I cover my mixer with a damp tea towel until it starts to mix in properly. 
  6. Fill a piping bag with your buttercream & keep cool in the fridge. 
  7. Your sponges should be ready by now… next, pop them onto a cooling rack until cold or your buttercreams is going to melt and slide off and make a bid for the floor. 
  8.  Once cold, use a teaspoon to carve out a hole in the top of each bun. Fill the hole with raspberry jam & gently secure the cakey plug back in. You may need to just skinny it down a little to fit. 
  9. Carefully pipe your buttercream onto the top of each cake, firstly starting on the outside edge pipe, inwards in a circle towards the middle, ending in a little peak. If you need to gain confidence, you can practice this just on a plate. 
  10. Top with a glace cherry 
  11. Gently toast the coconut in a frying pan until it just starts to colour. And decorate each cake with its distinctive coconut collar! 

Et voila! 

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