The best tray bake ever?

Yesterday I tasted something awesome.  I was at playgroup with my youngest, and one of the grandmas had decided to celebrate her last day there (she has been going for ten years) by bringing in cake.  She may have been celebrating but I was crying in the corner as I will miss her loads – Jean is one of my baking inspirations, plus she always has the best sprinkles.  She had brought in some adorable cupcakes and mini-cupcakes but I was drawn to the toffee chocolate covered cake bites.  I took one nibble and immediately rang my sister and told her if she was passing playgroup this morning it was worth popping in for a taste. Which she did.  We then pestered Jean for her recipe, and made her repeat it about 8 times til we had it committed to memory so here it is.


Jean’s toffee bars


½ lb brown sugar (I used soft dark brown sugar)

½ lb butter

½ lb plain flour

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract (I used a tsp of vanilla bean paste)

 Chocolate for the top.


Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan oven)

 Cream the softened butter and sugar then stir in the egg yolk, flour and vanilla.

Press the mixture into a tin and bake for about thirty minutes.  Don’t be concerned if you peep through the oven door half way through and see pools of buttery oiliness on the surface of the bake – it’s all as it should be.

 When you take it out of the oven, whilst it is still hot, decorate the top with some chocolate buttons or any of your favourite tasting chocolate or candy melts. Jean had used some toffee flavoured discs from Renshaws so I got some of these ( from my favourite cake decorating shop.  I used half the bag.  My little helper than insisted we add some chocolate crispie sprinkles too – so we did.


Let it cool before cutting into bite sized chunks or long fingers, or whatever takes your fancy.


I think this would also make an absolutely gorgeous base for a cheesecake, or as a base for my friend Kathryn’s legendary baileys cake.  You can get her recipe at


I think this is one of the best tray bakes I’ve ever tasted – I actually prefer it to brownies and flapjack. What do you think?  What is your favourite tray bake?


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