Indulge in Sweet Perfection with Mary Berry’s Vanilla Tray Bake

Mary Berry, a beloved British baking icon, brought this delightful Vanilla Tray Bake into the spotlight through her illustrious career in the culinary world. Known for her warm personality and culinary expertise, Mary Berry’s recipes have been cherished by home bakers for decades. Her Vanilla Tray Bake, in particular, has stood the test of time, becoming a classic go-to for its simplicity and unbeatable taste. So, let’s dive into history as we recreate this timeless treat in our own kitchens.

Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake Overview:

This Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake is a breeze to whip up, making it perfect for those times when you need a quick and delicious treat. It yields approximately 12 servings and takes just about 35-40 minutes in the oven. The soft, buttery sponge cake combined with a luscious vanilla buttercream is a match made in dessert heaven.


For the Cake:

  • softened butter (I prefer salted for a hint of richness) – 225 g 
  • caster sugar – 225 g 
  • self-raising flour ( sifted ) – 275 g 
  • baking powder ( sifted ) – 2 level teaspoons
  • Eggs – 4 large
  • Milk – 4 tablespoons 
  • vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon 

For the Buttercream:

  • Butter at room temperature (I use unsalted for precise control) – 110 g 
  • Icing sugar – 500 g 
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp 
  • Boiled water ( cooled ) – 2-3 tbsp


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and generously grease a 12 x 9-inch tray bake or roasting tin. Line the base with baking parchment for easy removal later.
  2. Mix the Cake Batter: In a large bowl, combine the softened butter and caster sugar. Beat them together until the mixture is light and creamy. Gradually add the sifted self-raising flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, thick batter.
  3. Baking Time: Pour your cake batter into the prepared tin and use a spatula to level it out evenly. Pop it into the preheated oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the cake has slightly shrunk away from the sides of the tin and springs back when lightly touched.
  4. Cool and Frost: Once baked, allow the cake to cool in the tin for a bit. Then, gently turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Prepare the Buttercream: While the cake cools, make the vanilla buttercream. In another bowl, beat the room-temperature butter until soft and smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and vanilla extract. If the mixture feels a bit too stiff, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of cooled boiled water to achieve your desired consistency.
  6. Frost the Cake: Once the cake is completely cool, spread the vanilla buttercream generously over the top. You can get creative with decorative patterns or keep it simple – it’s your traybake masterpiece!

Nutritional Value (per serving):

Calories: approximately 400 kcal

Fat: 16g

Carbohydrates: 62g

Protein: 4g

Fiber: 1g

Sugars: 45g


Can I use unsalted butter in the cake batter instead of salted?

Absolutely! You can use unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt to control the saltiness.

Can I make the buttercream in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the buttercream a day ahead and store it in the fridge. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before using.

What if I don’t have self-raising flour?

You can make your own by adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder to every 150g of all-purpose flour.

Can I add flavorings to the buttercream, like chocolate or lemon?

Definitely! Experiment with your favorite flavors by adding cocoa powder, lemon zest, or other extracts.

Can I freeze this traybake?

Yes, you can freeze it, but I recommend doing so without the buttercream. Wrap the unfrosted cake tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing.


There you have it, my personal take on the Mary Berry Vanilla Tray Bake. This simple yet delectable recipe is a surefire crowd-pleaser, and I hope you enjoy baking and sharing it as much as I do. Whether it’s for special occasions or just a sweet craving, this traybake will always have your back. Happy baking!

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