traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

Author: CJ (page 1 of 10)

Coffee and Walnut Loaf Cake

Straying from my no-bake traybake territory this week with an easy Coffee and Walnut Loaf Cake. This cake is soft and moist in the center, filled with walnuts and smothered with a coffee flavored buttercream.

If you can get hold of Camp Coffee Essence, then you can use that to flavor your cake. If you can’t, then dissolve 1 tbsp of instant coffee in 1 tbsp of warm water and use that instead. Or, if you prefer a stronger coffee taste, you can use 2 tbsp coffee to 1 tbsp water.

It’s a simple loaf cake to make, just keep an eye on it when it’s in the oven in case it’s starting to get too brown on top – all ovens are a bit different, so timings and temperatures can vary. If it looks like it’s browning too much before it’s fully cooked, you can always cover the top with a piece of baking parchment.

This Coffee and Walnut Loaf Cake can also be made as a sandwich cake, but sometimes, it’s just easier to deal with one cake tin and this just keeps things simpler! If you choose to make a sandwich cake instead, divide the mixture between two greased and lined 7″ round tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. Then use the buttercream to sandwich the cakes together and decorate on top.



6oz/175g butter, softened

6oz/175g dark brown sugar

3 eggs, beaten

6oz/175g self-raising flour, sifted

2oz/55g walnuts, chopped

1 tbsp coffee essence (or 1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water)


6oz/175g icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted

3oz/85g butter, softened

1 tbsp milk

1 tbsp coffee essence

walnuts, to decorate

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Then add the coffee essence and mix until well distributed.
  4. Add the eggs, gradually, beating well between each addition.
  5. Fold in the flour and then the walnuts.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly before lifting out onto a wire rack to cool.
  8. For the buttercream, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the milk and coffee. Spread over the top of the cake and scatter with walnuts.
  9. Slice and enjoy!
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Raspberry Ruffle Bars

These Raspberry Ruffle Bars are another classic from my childhood. I made something similar (OK, almost identical) on the blog when I started, but because I wasn’t able to get raspberry jelly powder – and I have no idea why I couldn’t find here in the US, I have no problems now – I made it with cherry jelly instead. So, similar, but just not the same.

Anyway, I digress. Now to get back to the proper Raspberry Ruffle Bars. I know I say this a lot, but these are really easy. No baking required, just a bit of mixing and then melting some chocolate. A simple list of ingredients which is quite sticky to work with, but the stickiness is worth it in the end. They probably deserve one more warning, in that they are very sweet. Sugar, condensed milk and the jelly are all pretty sweet, so I wouldn’t use sweetened coconut if you can help it! But, cut them into small squares instead of larger bars and everything in moderation!

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Coconut Squares

These Coconut Squares are kind of like the baked equivalent of the no-bake Chocolate Coconut Bars from a couple of weeks ago. Very similar ingredients, although with a little less chocolate and a few more sultanas.

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Date and Wheaten Scones

Date and Wheaten Scones are probably my favorite. While a fresh-out-of-the-oven Plain Scone has it’s place (especially if you can get proper clotted cream to go with it) and I do also like Treacle Scones, Date and Wheaten scones will win every time as far as I’m concerned. And it’s not a lot more effort to bake either.

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Shortbread Krispies

These Shortbread Krispies join the ranks of the many traybakes that either have a shortbread base or are made with Rice Krispies. (If you’re looking for a classic Northern Irish traybake made with Rice Krispies, then the Mars Bar Traybake would be a good place to start!)

It’s a straightforward, classic shortbread base topped with a classic chocolate Rice Krispie treat. I was a little concerned that the two layers wouldn’t actually stick together, but they do! That doesn’t stop Little Miss Traybakes from dissecting the traybake into separate layers, but her food quirks are her own business!

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No-Bake Peanut Slice

Easy, no-bake traybakes really are one of the staples of Northern Irish baking and this No-Bake Peanut Slice is no exception. Similar to the classic Mars Bar Traybake, this traybake uses Snickers bars to help bind together the ingredients and add some extra peanut flavor.

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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.

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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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