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.
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.
Another successful traybake from my stash of retro recipe books, Salted Peanut Fudge Squares are a sugary, crunchy, salty treat.
The base is essentially shortbread with the addition of peanut butter. The top is a sugary, fudgey layer, filled with salted peanuts.
I typically make shortbread with white sugar, but in the midst of our time at home, I have thrown caution to the wind and went with this recipe for Brown Sugar Shortbread.
And, it turns out, brown sugar adds a treacle-y, molasses-y flavor to the shortbread that works well.
Such a simple recipe – just flour, butter and sugar. Brown, obviously.
Queen Cakes are a simple, straightforward bake, essentially a fairy cake/wee bun with raisins. If you don’t have raisins, then any dried fruit will do. Or even chocolate chips, which was the addition of choice for Little Miss Traybakes.
Now, as you can see from the photographs, my bun cases are a little larger than I needed for these Queen Cakes. I guess they are US cupcake sized. The recipe makes 12 traditional sized cakes and my bun cases were about half-full before they went into the oven. You probably want to aim for three-quarters full if you have larger cases and want the buns to fill them completely. But, hey, no one complained in our house!
I have fond memories of making this Yogurt Cake as a child. In fact, the old recipe I found for this in the kitchen cabinet at Mummy Traybakes’ house was handwritten (very carefully) in my writing. It’s a great cake to bake with children and they can easily help with the measuring and mixing.
I used to make this in a 2lb loaf tin and tried that again with Little Miss Traybakes when we made it together. Now, either my loaf tin is smaller than the one I used to use, or yogurt pots have grown. Personally, I think that the yogurts in my fridge are probably larger than what we had when I was younger, so I decided to remake the cake in a round 8″ cake tin and that worked perfectly. If your yogurt pot is on the smaller size (4oz or thereabouts) then the loaf tin will work. For anything larger, like the 5.3oz/150g pots we had in our fridge, then a larger tin is the way forward.
You can use plain yogurt or flavored yogurt, it really doesn’t matter. And some of those ‘fruit on the bottom’ yogurts will add a nice bit of interest to the finished cake. However, I’m quite partial to a plain yogurt cake. It has a subtle tang, moist texture and it keeps really well.
My Wheaten Bead recipe has evolved over the years. There was a time when I couldn’t get coarse wholemeal flour and I had to improvise by adding wheat bran. There have been times when I’ve wanted to bake and discover I have no buttermilk in the house, so I’ve used yogurt or milk+lemon juice. And after moving to the US, I started to add maple syrup and molasses to my recipe to get a darker, denser loaf. So what it has become today, is some sort of Ulster-American Wheaten Bread.
It’s definitely Fall here in New England. The leaves are turning a beautiful range of autumnal colors, we’ve continued our family tradition of going apple picking at a local orchard and we’ve been baking appropriate treats like these Crunch & Crumble Bars.
A rich, buttery shortbread base, topped with your choice of jam and then sprinkled with a nutty, crunchy, crumble topping.
Interestingly, I have several variations on this Cherry Cookies recipe in the pages of my retro recipe books, so I thought I’d give it a go as it has two classic traybake ingredients – cherries and cornflakes.
Then, when I got my Cornflakes box out to weigh and crush the flakes, there was a very similar recipe on the back of the box! A little research later and it turns out the original recipe was a winner in the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1950. This recipe isn’t exactly the same, as the original contained pecans and dates but it’s certainly close.
This is about as simple as it gets. Chocolate & Apricot Wedges.
OK, so the wedges are purely an aesthetic thing, you can cut these into any shape you want. And the apricot is purely a suggestion, you can use any dried fruit that you want. But it’s as simple as melting some chocolate and butter, crushing some biscuits and mixing it all together. Then waiting long enough for it to set so you can eat it.
It’s definitely a useful recipe to have for those times you need a quick and easy no-bake traybake.