May 2, 2023


Over the last six months I have only made two cakes.  This is the second and I made it for the meeting of a walking group we have joined in France.  After each weekly walk most walkers retire to the bar for refreshments, some bringing a cake to share. Traybakes are ideal for large groups.

This is a Mary Berry recipe and although it tasted good I was disappointed that all of the fruit sank into a layer at the bottom.  

The recipe is an easy all-in-one mixture with two tablespoons of milk.  I thought as I was turning the mixture into the tin that it was a bit runny which is probably why the fruit sank.  I would use less milk and make it stiffer next time.

The recipe also requires you to sprinkle demerara sugar over the cake part way through cooking.  Opening the oven door before the cake was set is what produced the uneven top I think so next time I would drizzle some orange flavoured icing over the finished cake instead.

Still, it went down well with the crowd.  It was soft and light and I would make it again.  A crowd pleaser, easy to make and easy to eat.


For the cake

225g butter, softened, or baking spread

225g caster sugar

275g self raising flour

2 level teaspoons baking powder

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons milk*

275g sultanas

grated rind of 2 oranges

For the topping

demerara sugar, to sprinkle* (about 2 tablespoons)


Preheat the oven to 180C / 160 fan / gas mk 4.

Grease or butter a large oblong roasting tin or traybake tin measuring roughly 30 x 23cm  (12" x 9").  Line the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

Measure all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat until well blended.  A food mixer or hand held electric whisk will make quick work of this but a wooden spoon will do just as well.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.

Bake for 25 minutes then remove from the oven, sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top.  Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until done.

Cool in the tin.

Remove carefully from the tin and cut into 20-24 squares.

*See the text for my notes on the milk and demerara sugar.


  1. Ah, I think I've baked this cake before. I remember thinking it tasted like a lovely old fashioned bake, like something I'd find in my granny's cake tin. Although I don't remember the demerera sugar topping. I wouldn't have thought adding that half way through baking was a good idea either.

  2. Cake does go down so well after a walk. This sounds ideal (despite any fruit sinkage) - traybakes are definitely a good idea for a group.