Spurs moved up to third place as headers from Dele Alli either side of half-time made the difference to leave Chelsea five points ahead of Liverpool in second place.
Alli rose to meet Christian Eriksen's cross in first-half stoppage time and the same pair combined to put the game out of Chelsea's reach in the 54th minute.
Eden Hazard had Chelsea's two best chances in each half but Spurs closed out the victory in comfort to put north London rivals Arsenal out of the top four and leave themselves seven points off the top after their fifth successive league win.
Spurs on the march
Tottenham's season was at a tipping point after a disappointing Champions League exit at the group stage and the poor performance in defeat at Manchester United in early December - but they have responded magnificently.
Mauricio Pochettino's side are gathering impressive momentum, illustrated by the manner in which they overcame a Chelsea side that was starting to carry an air of impregnability.
The 4-1 wins at Southampton and Watford served as a warning that Spurs were approaching the sort of form that carried them close to the title last season and this performance confirmed their growing confidence and stature.
Spurs have recaptured their intensity and energy and when this is bolted on to the quality provided here by the likes of Alli and Eriksen, it makes them a formidable prospect.
Manchester City had already found Spurs too hot to handle at White Hart Lane this season - and Chelsea suffered a similar fate.