CupCakes and Tray-Bakes

When it comes to fêtes and school fairs everyone knows the rule: the wickeder, the better. Here is a selection of the most saleable bakes we know. From the ethereally fluffy Lemon Cakes to sticky gingerbread, these cakes will be the talk of the fête. Strictly one at a time, please!

Jammy Cupcakes

Here’s an easy-to-make, cupcake version of the much-loved doughnut.

Makes 12.

You will need:

  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 30ml (2tbsp) milk


Put the self-raising flour into a food processor with the caster sugar butter and 3 eggs. Next add the baking powder, and 30ml (2tbsp) milk and whiz to form a thick batter.

Place small spoonfuls of the batter into 12 cake cases. Place 1tsp of strawberry jam on each cake, then another spoonful of batter to cover.

Bake at 190°C for 15 minutes, dust with icing sugar, and store in an airtight container. (Best made as close to eating as possible.) Be inspired! Swap the Strawberry Jam for lemon curd (and the milk for lemon juice), or gooey splodges of chocolate-nut spread!

Lemon-Frosted Cupcakes

This is an exceptionally easy, all-in-one recipe that produces feather-light cakes – just add some sharp icing.

Makes 12-18.

You will need:

  • 110g (4oz) margarine
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 75ml (5tbsp) milk


Whiz the margarine and caster sugar in a food processor; add the self-raising flour, half a teaspoon of baking powder, the zest of a lemon, the eggs, and the milk and continue to whizz until you have a thick batter.

Spoon into paper cake cases, and bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes. Top with a sharp, lemony icing: squeeze the zested lemon and slowly add sifted icing sugar until you reach a thick consistency for spreading. Decorate with sugar lemon slices for a retro look!

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Dark, homely and traditional: re-introduce the children to this old-fashioned treat!

Makes 24 pieces.

You will need:

  • 150ml (5floz) milk
  • 75g (3oz) treacle
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg


Warm the milk with the treacle in a saucepan. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the warm milk into the butter in a steady trickle.

Now sift the plain flour, 1tsp ground ginger, and ½ tsp of baking powder into the mixture. Add the egg and beat everything together. Pour into a greased 20x30cm baking tin and bake at 160°C for 20-30 minutes.

Cappuccino Tray-Bake

This sophisticated tray-bake is aimed at the grown-ups. Coffee-coloured squares are topped with a creamy Vanilla Icing and a dusting of cocoa.

Makes 18 squares.

You will need:

  • Very strong espresso (equivalent to 45ml or 3tbsp)
  • 60ml (4tbsp) milk
  • 110g (4oz) margarine
  • 175g (6oz) caster
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs


Add 60ml (4tbsp) of milk to the espresso coffee and leave to cool.

Cream the margarine with the caster sugar in a large bowl, sift over 175g (6oz) self-raising flour and fold it in gently with a metal spoon. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then fold this into the mixture.

Finally, add the coffee. Pour the batter into a buttered 20x30cm tray, and bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes.

While it cools, make the vanilla icing. Measure 3tbsp milk into a bowl and add 2 drops of pure vanilla extract. Add sifted icing sugar slowly, until you reach a drizzling consistency.

Drizzle thickly over the cooled cake, dust with cocoa powder, and leave to set before cutting into square pieces.

Buttery Shortbread Tarts

This inspired combination of buttery Shortbread and sharp, sweet jam is perfect for an English summer tea!

Makes 12.

You will need:

  • 175g (6oz) soft butter
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 225g (8oz) sifted, plain flour
  • 2 drops of vanilla extract


First, make the shortbread base: cream 175g (6oz) soft butter with 2tbsp caster sugar. Fold in 225g (8oz) sifted, plain flour, and add a couple of drops of vanilla extract. Pat this mixture into tartlet tins to form the cases, prick all over with a fork, and bake for about 20 minutes.

Once cool, fill the tarts with lemon curd, jam, or fruit compote (simmer your favourite berries with a little sugar until they become thick and pulpy). If you like, top with whipped cream, fresh fruit slices or whole berries.

Seasonal Ideas

Depending on the time of year, you could sell miniature Christmas cakes, cornflake Easter nests, tiny Pavlovas filled with pecans or strawberries, scones, or even little cones of sorbet (stored in a cool-box). Browse the site for more ideas, and good luck with your fundraising!

Leave a comment

Cake Baker