traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

No-Bake Coconut Delights

Chocolate, coconut and caramel. Put them together and you get these No-Bake Coconut Delights. There’s a white chocolate base layer, then a coconut and condensed milk layer, finally topped with caramel sprinkled with toasted coconut.

No-Bake Coconut Delights are quick and easy to make. I popped the tin in the fridge between layers so it would set faster. And just make sure the caramel is on a gentle heat and that you stir it regularly, otherwise it will catch on the bottom of the pan.

These are sweet and can get a little sticky. I’ve mostly kept these in the fridge to prevent them melting in Little Miss Traybakes hands as she devoured them, but there’s something nice about a more gooey caramel layer that only comes from sitting at room temperature. Storage decisions are up to you!

Ingredients

Base

4oz/110g white chocolate

8oz/225g desiccated coconut

3oz/75g icing sugar (powdered sugar)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

half a 14oz/396g can of condensed milk

Caramel Topping

4oz/110g butter

4oz/110g sugar

1 tbsp golden syrup (or use honey/maple syrup/corn syrup)

half a 14oz/396g can of condensed milk

toasted coconut, to sprinkle on top

Method

  1. Line a 8″/20cm square tin with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the white chocolate and spread over the base of the tin. Put to one side – or into the fridge – to set.
  3. Mix together the condensed milk (half a regular sized can – you’ll use the rest for the caramel!), vanilla, coconut and icing sugar until well combined. Then spread over the chocolate base.
  4. Combine the rest of the condensed milk with the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Place over a gentle heat and stir frequently until melted and thickened. It should be a light golden color.
  5. Spread the caramel over the coconut base and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  6. Leave to set, then cut into squares and enjoy!

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Mandarin Creams

I don’t remember eating these Mandarin Creams as a child, but there are some handwritten notes by Mummy Traybakes on the recipe, so maybe my memory is failing me!

It’s a simple digestive biscuit base, topped with a creamy, marshmallow and mandarin orange layer. I feel it’s a bit similar to a Pineapple Delight (which frankly is up there with Fifteens as one of the classic Northern Irish traybakes) especially because of the fruit and digestive biscuits.

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Chocolate Coconut Bars

It was still a little too hot here to be turning on the oven more than necessary, so these Chocolate Coconut Bars were the perfect no-bake traybake to make. They are also quite sticky and liable to melting, so are probably best kept in the fridge, which makes them perfect for hot days. Or cold days. Or any day.

And it couldn’t be easier. Melt chocolate. Let it set. Melt butter and condensed milk, add cherries and coconut. Cover with more chocolate!

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Banana Nugget Cookies

Imagine a soft oatmeal, chocolate-chip cookie with added spice and bananas and that pretty much sums up these Banana Nugget Cookies.

Not content with limiting myself to my Northern Irish retro recipe books, this is from an American community cookbook that I picked up at a used book stall last year. It’s a very similar format to my other community books, with recipes contributed by a variety of people. And there are several traybake recipes, as well as cookies, pies and cakes, so you can expect to see occasional American influences on the blog in the future.

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Date and Orange Bread

Is it a bread? Is it a cake? Either way, this simple Date and Orange Bread is soft, crumbly and sweet. This time it doesn’t come from one of my many retro recipe books, it’s from a small newspaper clipping (although I can’t remember which newspaper) submitted by my childhood next-door neighbor.

It’s a straightforward method, just rub butter into the flour and then mix in the remaining ingredients and bake. The smell coming from this bread when I took it out of the oven took me back a year or two. And judging by the response from Mr Traybake and Little Miss Traybakes, I will have to make this more often! Best eaten fresh from the oven while still warm (it does dry out a little after a day or two) but it’s also good with a smear of butter.

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Coffee Caramel Squares

This Coffee Caramel Squares traybake is essentially a regular Caramel Square/Millionaire’s Shortbread with the addition of coffee and some plain chocolate, which makes a darker, richer traybake with a subtle taste of coffee.

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Treacle Farls

I already have a recipe for Traditional Soda Farls on the blog, and this Treacle Farls recipe is very similar. A little bit sweeter, richer and darker with the addition of treacle. These are super quick and easy to make, and we enjoyed them simply buttered or with jam. Delicious when still warm and perfect for an afternoon snack.

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Jelly Squares

I’ve also seen this Jelly Squares recipe referred to as Marshmallow Fingers, which makes sense as the topping is pretty much just a simplified marshmallow recipe. Shortbread base, marshmallowy topping and coconut. Really simple and very tasty.

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Sydney Specials

Sydney Specials (or possibly Sidney Specials, there are some discrepancies in the spelling) tick a lot of the classic traybake boxes. Coconut? Check! Cornflakes? Check! Chocolate? Check!

This traybake is very simple and quick to make. Just mix the dry ingredients and add melted butter. Then bake and top with chocolate icing. It would only be simpler if it were no-bake. But there’s flour in this and as my flour packet keeps telling me, you shouldn’t eat raw flour (hasn’t stopped me licking the bowl when I bake a cake though…)

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Homemade Custard Creams

Why would you want to make Custard Creams at home, I hear you ask? Well, not all of live somewhere you can buy them easily at the grocery store and also, it turns out that they are very easy to make and really tasty.

It’s a shortbread recipe with added custard powder and buttercream filling. And as custard powder is essentially flavored cornflour, it helps give the cookies a nice snap and light texture.

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