Injury-hit Villa made their exit from the Capital One Cup on a night when they simply could not match Barclays Premier League high-fliers Tottenham.
After Saturday's excellent win at Norwich, Paul Lambert's men were hopeful of reaching the fourth round but badly missed the striking power of Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor.
Young keeper Jed Steer made three fine first-half saves to keep Villa in contention, but Jermain Defoe headed Spurs ahead in first-half stoppage time.
Paulinho doubled the lead three minutes after the interval, with sub Nacer Chadli making it 3-0 before Defoe grabbed his second right at the end.
Despite the generally low-key start, though, the game suddenly came to life when Marc Albrighton's sheer determination saw him gain possession from Kyle Walker before unleashing a fierce left-foot drive which the diving Brad Friedel pushed away at full stretch.
That prompted a swift response from Spurs - and an equally fine save from Steer, who palmed away Defoe's powerful right-footer from the edge of the penalty area.
But there was almost an embarrassing moment for the young Villa keeper when his attempted clearance was blocked by Defoe. Fortunately the ball went behind for a goal-kick.
If Albrighton's first shot had almost brought a goal, his second was a wayward shot symptomatic of a player who has been out of action since January.
But Aleksandar Tonev deserved better when he moved on to Leandro Bacuna's pass to deliver an inviting low cross from the left which was just too far ahead of Libor Kozak.
Once again, the visitors responded with a good chance of their own, Steer brilliantly tipping over Erik Lamela's shot as after midfielder had burst purposefully through the middle.
Then, as Spurs maintained the momentum, the keeper did well to tip away Defoe's low side-foot effort.
As the first half went into stoppage time, though, Steer was beaten when Holtby hoisted the ball forward from just outside the area and Defoe got there just ahead of the keeper to head home from eight yards.
The introduction of Nicklas Helenius and Jordan Bowery gave Villa a lift at the start of the second half, although the Danish striker will be disappointed to have sliced wide a minute after the break after getting away from the stumbling Jan Vertonghen.
To be fair, Helenius was handicapped as he shot, having had his shorts pulled down by the defender's clumsy challenge.
But two minutes later the visitors increased their lead. Lamela whipped in a free-kick which took a deflection for a corner, and when Holtby delivered his flag kick from the left, Paulinho caught Villa unawares as he sneaked in at the near post to stab the ball into the bottom corner.
Steer then saved a long-range Paulinho shot before Albrighton's superb control enabled him to produce a dangerous right-wing cross which Walker was happy to put out for a corner.
Tonev was unlucky not to score in the 77th minute, his angled 30-yarder proving too hot for Friedel to handle as the American just managed to divert the ball for a corner.
But any hope of a late revival was destroyed when Chadri beat Steer with a low shot inside the near post in the 86th minute.
And in stoppage time Defoe went around the keeper to slot home number four.
Villa: Steer; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett; El Ahmadi (Bowery HT), Sylla, Bacuna; Albrighton, Kozak (Helenius HT), Tonev (Robinson 82). Unused subs: Guzan, Clark, Weimann, Johnson.
Tottenham: Friedel; Walker (Dawson 80), Chiriches, Vertonghen, Fryers; Lamela, Paulinho (Dembele 64), Sandro, Kane (Chadli 73); Holtby, Defoe. Unused subs: Gomes, Soldado, Naughton, Townsend.