Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Recipes

Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Recipes
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 35 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins

Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake is a delightful and simple dessert that brings together the classic flavors of vanilla and a light, airy sponge cake. It’s perfect for family gatherings, casual get-togethers, or as a comforting treat with your afternoon tea.

In this article, I’ll walk through the steps of creating Mary Berry’s Vanilla Tray Bake, complete with practical advice and suggestions to ensure your bake is as flawless as it is flavorful.

What is Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Recipe?

Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Recipe is a simple and delicious dessert that consists of a moist and fluffy vanilla cake topped with creamy vanilla icing and sprinkles. It’s baked in a large rectangular tin and cut into squares or bars. It’s perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday, a picnic, or a tea party.

This recipe serves 8-10 people and can be prepared in about an hour, making it both convenient and delicious.

Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Recipes

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Why You Love this Recipe

  • Ease of Preparation: The recipe involves straightforward steps and common ingredients.
  • Versatility: Customize the cake with various flavors and toppings.
  • Convenience: Easily transportable, it can be cut to any desired size.
  • Crowd-Pleasing: Satisfies many with its rich, sweet taste.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake?

To make a vanilla tray bake, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 225 g (8 oz) of butter, softened
  • 225 g (8 oz) of caster sugar
  • 275 g (10 oz) of self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the icing, you’ll need:

  • 175 g (6 oz) of butter, softened
  • 350 g (12 oz) of icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons of milk
  • Sprinkles or edible decorations of your choice

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake

To make a vanilla tray bake, follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the tin

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4). Grease a 30 x 23 cm (12 x 9 in) tray bake tin and line it with baking paper.

Step 2: Make the cake batter

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, baking powder, milk, and vanilla extract and mix well until you have a smooth and creamy batter.

Prepration of Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Recipe

Butter prepration of Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake

Step 3: Bake the cake

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and spread it evenly with a spatula. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 4: Make the icing

In a medium bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until soft. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and enough milk to make a spreadable consistency.

Step 5: Decorate the cake

Spread the icing over the top of the cooled cake and sprinkle with your favorite decorations. Cut the cake into 16 or 24 pieces and enjoy!

Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Recipes

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake?

You can serve Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake with a variety of accompaniments, such as:

  • Fresh Fruit: Elevate the cake with a colorful array of fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. This not only infuses a burst of freshness but also adds a vibrant visual appeal.
  • Creamy Elements: Introduce a creamy dimension with options like whipped cream, custard, or ice cream. These choices offer a delightful contrast to the cake’s texture.
  • Texture and Flavor Boosters: Enhance the cake with nuts for a crunchy twist, chocolate chips for a hint of indulgence, or a drizzle of caramel sauce for a rich, flavorful finish.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake

Here are some pro tips to help you make a perfect Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake every time:

  • Butter Consistency: Start with room-temperature butter to ensure a light, airy cake and smooth icing.
  • Vanilla Quality: Opt for premium vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, or vanilla seeds for a more profound and authentic flavor.
  • Batter Care: Avoid overmixing to maintain a tender cake structure. Blend until just combined, ensuring no dry flour is visible.
  • Baking Precision: Prevent a dry cake by not overbaking. Begin checking at 25 minutes with a skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is perfectly baked.
  • Cooling Process: Allow the cake to cool completely before applying icing to prevent melting and sliding.
  • Storage Tips: Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or refrigerate for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw at room temperature before serving.

Variations of Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake

You can easily customize your vanilla tray bake by adding different flavors and toppings.

Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Chocolate Twist: For chocolate lovers, substitute 25 g of flour with cocoa powder and mix in chocolate chips. In the icing, blend melted chocolate and cocoa powder for a chocolaty glaze.
  • Lemon Infusion: Brighten the cake with the zest and juice of a lemon in both batter and icing. Garnish with lemon slices or candied lemon peel for an extra zing.
  • Carrot Cake Variation: Combine 150 g of grated carrot, 50 g of chopped walnuts, and a teaspoon of mixed spice into the batter. Switch the butter in the icing with cream cheese, adding a dash of lemon juice for a tangy twist.
  • Fruity Delight: Incorporate 150 g of fresh or dried fruits like blueberries, raspberries, or apricots into the batter. Enhance the icing with fruit jam or puree and top with additional fruit for a burst of natural sweetness.
  • Coconut Flavor: Introduce 50 g of desiccated coconut into both the batter and icing for a tropical touch. Finish with a sprinkle of extra coconut or toasted coconut flakes for texture and taste.

How do I store Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Leftovers?

To store Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake leftovers, follow these steps:

Step 1: Let the cake cool completely

Before you store the cake, make sure it is completely cool. If you store it while it is still warm, it will become soggy and moldy.

Step 2: Cut the cake into pieces

Cut the cake into the desired size and shape. You can cut it into squares, bars, or triangles. You can also use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.

Step 3: Wrap the cake pieces individually

Wrap each cake piece tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This will prevent them from drying out or sticking together.

Step 4: Store the cake pieces in an airtight container

Place the wrapped cake pieces in an airtight container, such as a plastic box or a ziplock bag. Make sure there is no air inside the container.

Step 5: Label and date the container

Write the name and date of the cake on the container with a marker or a sticker. This will help you remember what it is and how long it will last.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Leftovers?

To reheat Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake leftovers, follow these steps:

Step 1: Thaw the cake pieces if frozen

If you stored the cake pieces in the freezer, you need to thaw them before reheating. You can do this by leaving them at room temperature for about an hour or by microwaving them on low power for a few seconds.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan, gas mark 3)

Preheat the oven to a low temperature to avoid burning the cake or melting the icing.

Step 3: Place the cake pieces on a baking sheet

Unwrap the cake pieces and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray. Leave some space between them to allow the heat to circulate.

Step 4: Reheat the cake pieces for 5-10 minutes

Reheat the cake pieces in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until they are warm and soft. Don’t overheat them or they will become dry and hard.

Step 5: Enjoy your warm cake

Enjoy your warm and delicious cake with your favorite accompaniments. You can also drizzle some extra icing or sauce over the cake if you like.

Nutrition value (per serving):

  • Calories: approximately 400 kcal
  • Fat: 16g
  • Carbohydrates: 62g
  • Protein: 4g


What is a tray bake?

A tray bake is a type of cake that is baked in a shallow rectangular tin and cut into squares or bars. It’s also called a sheet cake or a slab cake in some regions. A tray bake can have different flavors and toppings, such as chocolate, lemon, carrot, or fruit. It’s a convenient and versatile dessert that can serve many people at once.

Can I make Mary Berry’s Vanilla Tray Bake gluten-free?

Yes, you can make this cake gluten-free by substituting the self-raising flour with a gluten-free self-raising flour blend. Ensure that the baking powder you use is also gluten-free. Keep in mind that the texture might be slightly different from the original recipe.

How can I ensure my tray bake is moist and doesn’t dry out?

To keep the cake moist, avoid overbaking it. Start checking for doneness around the 25-minute mark. Additionally, make sure your ingredients, especially butter and eggs, are at room temperature before mixing. This helps to incorporate air and moisture evenly.

Is it possible to make this tray bake vegan?

Yes, you can veganize this recipe. Replace each egg with an alternative like a flax egg, mashed banana, or a commercial egg replacer. Use vegan butter and plant-based milk in both the cake and icing. However, the texture and taste may vary slightly from the original recipe.

How far in advance can I make this cake, and how should I store it?

You can bake the cake up to 2 days in advance. Once cooled, wrap it tightly in cling film and store it at room temperature. If you’ve already iced the cake, store it in an airtight container in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before serving. Unfrosted, the cake can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Can I use regular flour instead of self-raising flour?

Yes, if you don’t have self-raising flour, use the same amount of all-purpose flour and add 2 extra teaspoons of baking powder to the recipe. This adjustment will help the cake rise properly.

Final Words

A vanilla tray bake is a simple and delicious dessert that can feed a crowd. It’s easy to make with basic ingredients and a few simple steps. You can also customize it with different flavors and toppings to suit your taste and occasion. Try this recipe by Mary Berry and enjoy a moist, fluffy, and full of vanilla flavor cake that everyone will love.

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