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Traybake Sponge for Cake Stalls and Birthdays

Sunday 15 April 2012
This Sponge Traybake recipe is fab for cake stalls, birthdays, coffee mornings and shared lunches.  I realised this morning in total panic that I needed to bring some cakes to Church for our shared lunch after the APCM.  I made two of these sponges, one chocolate and one plain vanilla.  You can also make other flavour vairations, I've put suggestions at the end of the post. 

This recipe uses a bung it all in and beat it together method that makes it really quick to make and idea for when you need a large cake at short notice.  You can either bake it as a large rectangle before icing the top and slicing it, or cut it in half and put one half on top of the other with buttercream in the middle and on the top.

175g really soft butter or baking spread
225g self raising flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
175g caster sugar
2 free range eggs
3 Tblsp/45ml milk

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas Mark 4.  Grease and line a roasting tin approximately 12 x 9 inches or 20 x 22cm.  Alternatively you can buy foil trays from the supermarket which are disposable and use those.  I normally use the foil trays if I am baking for a cake stall or shared lunch.  Spray the foil tray well with cake release spray. 

Put the butter/spread, flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs and milk in a large bowl.  I put the bowl of my stand mixer on my scales and zero it after adding each ingredient, so quick to get everything ready to mix.

Beat well for 2 minutes until completely combined and well beaten. 

Pour the mixture in to the prepared tin or foil tray and level the top. 

Bake the sponge for about 25 - 30 minutes until the cake has shrunk away from the sides of the tin slightly and springs back in the centre if you press it lightly with your fingertips.

Leave the sponge to cool in the tin and then ice as you like.  I usually use 225g of icing sugar and add enough water to make a pourable icing. 

Flavour variations:

Chocolate Sponge

Mix 3 Tblp of cocoa with 3 Tblsp of water and add this to the mixture instead of the milk.  If the mixture seems a bit too thick then add 1 Tblsp milk.  Make the recipe as above.

Chocolate Icing

Melt 75g butter and stir in 50g of cocoa until well combined.  Add 225g of icing sugar and 2 Tblsp/30ml milk.  Beat well and then spread over the cake.  Leave to set.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Add the zest of 2 lemons to the cake ingredients.  When the cake is cooked and just out of the oven mix the juice of the 2 lemons with 200g of caster sugar and pour it over the hot cake. 

Fruit Cake

Add 200g of currants to the other ingredients and beat together as normal.  Half way through the cooking time take the cake out of the oven, sprinkle 2 Tblsp of demerara sugar over the top of the cake, then put back into the oven for the rest of the cooking time.


  1. This also works if you sprinkle bits of fruit (eg. cherries, strawberries, peaches) or nuts on the top just before popping it in the oven.

    Super quick and easy. A very similar recipe helped me out last wedn, when I realised an hour before a meeting that I had promised to take cake. I made mine with dried cranberries and smashed Easter eggs.

  2. This is my favourite cake especially covered in butter cream

  3. Hi Sally, do you put the butter cream on the top or the bottom of the cake, please? When I made one recently the cream took off some of the crust, so I wondered whether you spread it on the rough edge, as you would in a Victoria sandwich cake.

    1. You can put the buttercream on either the top or the bottom of the cake. If the buttercream is too firm it can take off some of the top crust of the cake. I normally spread it on the top of the cake and sometimes layer one traybake on top of the other if I'm feeding a big crowd. Hope this helps, Michelle :)

  4. I have a 40 x 29 cm tin and hoped to do this for a birthday cake. Would it work if I doubled the recipe? Thanks in advance

  5. Can I use this traybake layered up for a rectangle birthday cake, as in use jam and buttercream then cover with fondant??

    1. You definitely can, I have before and it works really well :)

  6. yes this is awesome baking trays are awesome


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