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Coconut tray bake

Two of my favourite flavours – cinnamon and coconut – combine in this easy-to-make tray bake that should delight everyone. Wholesome rolled oats provide the body of the cake which can be ready for serving within a couple of hours of starting.

 

Ingredients

Cake
Topping

Method

Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 175°C / 350°F / gas mark 4.

Line a baking tin of around 9 x 13 inches / 23 x 32cm in size with non-stick baking parchment.

Put the oats in a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Give the mix a good stir and set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy using an electric whisk on medium speed. (See Tips below.)

Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue whisking on a lower speed. Make sure you keep scraping down the sides to keep everything under the whisk.

Add the molasses and continue whisking until that is incorporated.

Add the contents of the bowl of sifted flour and other dry ingredients. Continue whisking on the lowest speed until thoroughly mixed in. Do not overdo this step.

Turn off the mixer and stir in by hand the oats and water.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you can insert a skewer and it comes out clean.

Take out of the oven and allow it to cool for around one hour.

Topping

While the cake is cooling, make the topping.

Heat the butter, brown sugar, and cream gently in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.

Take off the heat and add the coconut and chopped pecans and mix together well.

Once the cake has cooled, spread the topping over it and put the tray under a hot grill for a couple of minutes until the topping is bubbly and brown. Do not take your eyes off the tray during this step as it can burn very easily.

Remove from the grill, carefully lift out the cake and cut up into your choice of slices.

Tips

To cream the butter and sugar, you can use a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Alternatively, try a hand-held electric whisk. Cream the butter and sugar together on a medium speed for about five minutes.

Trivia

The phrase “tray bake” is very much a description used in the United Kingdom to describe this type of cookie or biscuit, when the mixture is poured into a tray and then divided up afterwards rather than baked individually. In the USA and other regions this would be more generally described as a “bar cookie”.