August 8, 2023



We joined a walking group when we first came to France this year, back in March.  After each walk (called a randonée) most people retire to the bar in the village, or sometimes to someone's house, for a debriefing - liquid refreshment and a slice of cake!

A traybake is ideal for this as it can easily be cut into squares and passed along the table for people to help themselves.  The resulting chunk of cake tends to look a bit tidier and is easier to handle than a slice from a round cake.  (Loaf cakes are equally good in this respect too.)

I had it in mind to make Mary Berry's lemon drizzle traybake but on reorganising my pantry and kitchen cupboards (what a joy it is to have a pantry!) I found several packets of coconut which, I know, is not everyone's favourite in a cake but needed using up.  

To make the cake I adapted a recipe from a charity shop find - a book called "Cakes, regional and traditional" by Julie Duff which, as the title implies, is full of lovely old fashioned and traditional recipes from all over Britain.  I based this recipe on the one for coconut pound cake and will be delving into the pages of this book again!

The cake was lovely, a nice moist and soft texture with not too much coconut and a delicate lemon flavour. 

For another coconut and lemon cake see here.

For the cake

225g self raising flour

225g caster sugar

225g baking spread or softened butter

3 eggs, lightly beaten

115g desiccated coconut

1 tsp coconut essence (or Malibu)

zest of 1 lemon

For the icing

3 tblsp icing sugar, sifted

lemon juice


Butter and line the base of a large roasting tin or traybake tin that measures roughly 30 x 23 cm (or 12" x 9").  Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° fan / gas mk 4.

Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat well until thoroughly combined.  I managed this with a wooden spoon but a hand held mixer would have been easier!

Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out and level the top.

Bake for about an hour or until done.  Mine was ready in 55 minutes.

Cool in the tin for about ten minutes then turn out carefully onto a wire rack.

To make the topping, mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make a runny but creamy consistency and drizzle any way you like over the cooled cake.

Cuts into 24 squares.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of a coconut traybake as a solution for a group of people and it does look inviting. I latched on to a few walks with a group down in the south of France but we did seem to run into la chasse barring the way too often for my liking. But the walks always ended with a cheap and very cheerful repas, usually with too much Armagnac. I was initially impressed with the effort someone had made to produce the desserts, until I saw the Auchan boxes spilling out of the bins.