London Cheesecake

London CheesecakeWhat exactly is a “London Cheesecake”?

Well, it’s not a cheesecake, it contains no cheese whatsoever, and it’s not specific to London as I’ve seen it in branches as foreign as Leeds. It appears also to be one of those controversial dishes that has any number of variations. Some report London Cheesecakes filled with jam-like stuffing while others state that a “true” London Cheesecake does not include the coconut on top, but is instead a dollop of icing that sits atop a simple 4″ portion of pastry.

It is in fact a slab of flaky pastry, about 2cm tall, topped with icing and covered in coconut shavings. This makes it a Bounty in reverse, without the chocolate.

I’ll be honest; before grabbing one of these as a puddin’ I’d never heard of this delicacy. I’d certainly had never eaten one. Cursory online research informs me that it was at one time a staple of school dinners and factory tea rooms but sadly has diminished in popularity since the 1970s. Greggs on Portobello Road however seem to have them in stock by the bucketload. I approve.

The only thing this product needs to do is not fall to pieces in your hands. The pastry does a sturdy job of this and has a sweet taste that makes you crave more. The icing is sweet enough (and fortunately sticky enough to keep its shredded cargo in place) while not TOO sweet. While I’ve never been a fan of coconut (Bounty? EUGH) it actually works OK in this context. It also represents excellent value for money at 60p.

It’s not filling, but then it’s a cake and you generally don’t expect a pudding to fill you up. I can consider myself won around by the London Cheesecake.

Verdict: A new experience turns into a decent treat. I would however be interested in trying a jammed up version of this.

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  • Gideon Rigal

    London Cheesecake was in fact invented by sir Walter Raleigh shortly before his exectution. He was inspired to create a ‘city’ cake that would be remembered for years to come. The original recipe had custard and potatoes in.

  • John Trotter

    Not quite like the London cheesecake I knew and loved.  They were round, may be 4 inch’s accross. they had a pastry base with a almond cake like filling, the top was covered in white icing and topped with thread coconut, not shredded coconut.  do not remember them having jam inside.  Best ones I ever had was made by a bake known as Bob Freestone bakers in Borehamwood, Herts. Unfortunately he closed about 1962. He had brown and cream electric delivery vans.  Great doughnuts too.

  • elizabeth northcote

    nope a REAL one has jam in it, with vanilla and almond filling inside and thick icing and the coconut has to be in threads and fall off everywhere so its very messy eating.  Check out Yellow swordfish – he found a recipe

  • Sue Rowley

    The cheese cakes that Caves Bakers in Tottenham sold had a ‘tart’ made of either puff or sweet shortcrust pastry, with jam on it, and then a filling of a light sponge on top of which was the icing and coconut. They were always circular and looked much nicer than your puff pastry version.

  • Kevin Walker

    But WHY are they called Cheese cakes when there is NO cheese in em !??

  • Cats34

    they are tasty

  • Sfsmith123

    Could it be that the shredded coconut on top resembles grated cheese?