Robbie Keane and Benoit Assou-Ekotto returned. There were also starts for Anthony Gardner and Didier Zokora. Jermain Defoe, Young-Pyo Lee and Teemu Tainio all dropped to the bench.
The opening ten minutes were largely uneventful. Zokora tried from distance and Michael Dawson attempted a header that went a yard wide.
Spurs upped their game more and more as they scored three times in total in the first half. That mood continued after the interval and Pascal Chimbonda was on the end of a Tom Huddlestone free-kick.
Steed Malbranque was replaced by Hossam Ghaly, then the final two changes in a second half that hardly lived up to the first.
Spurs went four up and almost five but for the Cardiff keeper who denied Keane with an excellent save.
Martin Jol: "We were a bit worried after the last two home games (defeats to Liverpool and Newcastle) and we knew we had to win this one because we wanted to stay in the FA Cup. So I didn't want to make too many changes."
"Jermain was flying, doing well, and I thought it was probably one of his best games for us against Newcastle. But Robbie Keane came in and played so well. Robbie worked for the team and tried his best to play well, then Jermain came on and proved to us again that he is in fine form."
"Cardiff gave us a tough game away from home so we knew we had to start at a high tempo, try to be creative and score some goals.
"We didn't do it at the start but then we scored the goals and that was a good spell. We played well in the first half and picked up where we left off against Newcastle, playing good football.
Steed Malbranque: "Maybe it was one of the best for me and it ended with a very good result for the team. We took our chances, scored four and didn't concede any so it was very good for our spirits.