Make this vanilla sponge traybake for an afternoon treat, then try our vanilla cake, angel cake, easy pound cake, tottenham cake and more sweet traybake recipes.


  • 200g salted butter, softened
  • 200g golden or regular caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp sprinkles


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line a traybake tin, about 20cm x 30cm x 5cm (give or take 5cm on the length and width), with baking paper.

  • STEP 2

    Whisk the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric whisk for a few minutes until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking in between, followed by the vanilla or almond extract. Add a pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter.

  • STEP 3

    Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, and whisk briefly to combine, or fold in with a spatula until you get a pale, thick batter. Don’t over-whisk once the flour has been incorporated as this will result in a tougher cake – you want to just combine at this stage.

  • STEP 4

    Spoon the mixture into the tin, and smooth over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it's lightly golden and springs back when pressed. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • STEP 5

    Mix the icing sugar with enough water, 1 tsp at a time, until you make a thick, glossy icing that reluctantly drops off the spoon. Spoon over the top of the cake and smooth out to the sides, letting it drip down the sides, if you like. Scatter with sprinkles and leave to set for 15-20 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve with thick custard, ice cream or just on its own with a cup of tea. The cake will keep for four to five days in an airtight container.

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Anna GloverSenior food editor

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