traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

Category: Recipes (page 1 of 2)

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.

Sift the flours, rub in the butter, add the dates and sugar and then mix with buttermilk. Easy! Although be careful not to add too much buttermilk. You want the dough to be soft, not wet. Too-wet scones have a tendency to spread out as they bake. And try not to handle the dough too much either. A light hand makes for light scones. Other than that, it’s easy! I promise.

As with any scone, these are best while still warm from the oven. With butter. And jam.


2oz/55g plain flour/all-purpose flour

6oz/175g wholemeal flour/wholewheat four

2oz/55g butter

1.5oz/40g sugar

2oz/55g dates, chopped

0.5 tsp salt

1.5 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda

about 3 fl oz/80ml buttermilk (or as much as you need to make a soft dough)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a bowl.
  3. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the sugar and dates and stir.
  5. Pour in some of the buttermilk (don’t add it all at once) and mix until you have a soft dough, adding more of the buttermilk as you need it. Take care not to overmix.
  6. Roll out (until it’s about 1.5 inches thick) and cut into circles. I got 10 scones from my mix, each about 2 inches across.
  7. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Bear in mind that if yours are larger than my small scones, they will take longer to bake. Leave to cool on a wire rack for as long as you can resist!

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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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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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