Cherry Bakewell traybake

Cherry Bakewell traybake

Traybakes are easy to portion and transport to picnics and parties. Martha Collison's almond and cherry version will get everyone talking.

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  • Serves20
  • CourseCake
  • Prepare45 mins
  • Cook45 mins
  • Total time1 hr 30 mins
  • Pluschilling

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For the base

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 125g butter, cold and cubed

For the filling

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs large
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp almond extract, to taste
  • ½ x 340g jar morello cherry preserve

For the topping

  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10 Cooks’ Ingredients Glacé Cherries, halved
  • 50g toasted flaked almonds


  1. Make the base. Put the flour into a large bowl with the butter. Use your fingertips to rub them together until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 3-5 tbsp cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, stirring well with a round-bladed knife after each addition until the mixture begins to clump together. Squeeze into a ball.

  2. Lightly flour the work surface and roll the pastry into a rectangle large enough to line the base and sides of a 23x33x3cm baking tin Press in the pastry, making sure there are no holes. Chill for 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, then line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans (or uncooked rice or lentils). Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and baking beans and bake for 5 minutes more, until pale golden.

  4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and almond extract before giving everything a final beat until smooth.

  5. Turn the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Spread the jam over the pastry base in an even layer, then top with dollops of cake mixture and spread out with a palette knife. Don’t worry if the cake mixture doesn’t completely cover the sides of the pastry. It will amalgamate in the oven.

  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Run a palette knife around the edge to stop any of the sponge from sticking, then cool completely in the tin.

  7. Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and 2-3 tbsp cold water to make a thick icing. Don’t be tempted to make it too runny – you want it to set as a thick opaque layer. Invert the cooled cake onto a board, then turn the right way up and spread with the icing.

  8. Space the cherries evenly on top, allowing for 1 cherry per slice when cut into 20 pieces later. Sprinkle with flaked almonds, then leave to set for at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Cook’s tip

The pastry base makes this traybake robust and easy to transport, but if you don’t have time to make it from scratch, use 375g from a 500g Jus-Rol Shortcrust Pastry Block instead.

Cherry has a natural affinity with almond, as they both carry a linked flavour compound that means they blend together beautifully. Raspberry also pairs well with almond, so substitute the cherry jam for raspberry if you prefer.

This recipe can easily be made gluten free. Use a 400g pack of frozen glutenfree shortcrust pastry, defrosted (I used Sue’s Gluten-Free Kitchen Pastry Block) instead of the shortcrust pastry, and replace the flour with FreeFrom Self Raising Flour. Make sure you use a gluten-free baking powder too – it is very short, making it trickier to roll, so you may need to do more patching. Don’t worry if holes appear during the blind baking, as the filling will hold it all together during cooking.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


1,623kJ/ 388kcals



Saturated Fat












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