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Retro School Tray Bake


For the cake

  • 330 g caster or granulated sugar
  • 200 g softened salted butter or margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 180 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 350 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda

For the icing

  • 350 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • water
  • sugar strand sprinkles


To make the cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 180c/160c fan oven and grease and line a 12 inch by 10 inch baking tray.

  2. In your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar until well combined.

  3. Then add in the eggs, vanilla, milk, flour, baking powder and baking soda, mixing again on a slow speed until fully combined.

  4. Pour the batter into the baking tray and spread it out evenly. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely.

To make the icing

  1. In a bowl add your icing sugar and your vanilla extract. Slowly add water 1 tbsp at a time mixing well between each addition until you have the desired consistency. You want the icing to be spreadable not runny. The finished icing will run down the sides a little but you don't want to add so much water that it all runs straight off. If you do add too much water you can save the icing by adding a little more icing sugar.

  2. Remove your cake from the pan and turn it out onto a cooling rack with the bottom facing up. You want to add the icing to the flat surface.

  3. Pour your icing onto the top of the cake and spread it out evenly over the top, up to the sides so the whole surface is covered. I like to place some parchment paper underneath the cooling rack to collect any drips that might fall from the edges.

  4. Finish off your cake by sprinkling sugar strands across the surface. Leave the icing to set for an hour or so before slicing into squares. Enjoy!