Mary Berry's Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake

Mary Berry's Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake
I'm sharing a Mary Berry recipe with you for an important reason. There are exactly TWO MONTHS left to reserve your spot for the London Baking Adventure, inspired by the Great British Baking Show. Y'all. It's going to be BRILLIANT. :) Read all of the customized for Bake at 350, baking-themed itinerary details here.

Mary Berry's Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake
Merry Berry Fast Cakes is filled with, you guessed it, quick-to-make cakes. There are also a few other recipes included, like quick biscuits (cookies), scones, and quick breads. There are lots of recipes for "traybakes" which always intrigued me when watching the GBBO. A traybake is a cake baked in a rectangular pan, what I might have referred to as a "snacking cake."

Mary Berry's Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake
This lemon poppy seed traybake might not look super special, but oh my's incredible. The cake is fluffy with a large, soft crumb. The glaze adds flavor - a big hit of lemon - and moisture.

Now, I did modify the recipe just a bit. Most of the recipes in this book call for margarine - mainly because it doesn't need to be softened. I used butter. Get the butter out of the fridge while you gather all of the other ingredients and prepare the pan for baking. It'll be ready when you make the batter.

The other little change is that I made this in a 13x9" pan. The book calls for 12x9." Must be a British-sized pan.

The cake recipe calls for superfine sugar. You might find it in the store labeled as "caster sugar." If you can't find it...or don't want to buy it...give granulated sugar a whir in your food processor until the granules are smaller, but not powdery. Then, measure for the recipe.

Mary also uses self-rising flour in almost all of the recipes in the book.

microplane lemon zest
You'll use lemon zest and juice in the recipe. A microplane is the perfect tool for zesting the lemons.

poppy seeds

Here's where you'll think Mary is crazy. All of the ingredients (except the poppy seeds) get mixed together all at once! No creaming the butter and sugar, no adding the eggs one at a time, no flour in a few additions - ALL AT ONCE. It works! Mary knows her stuff.

While the cake bakes, you'll make the glaze. The glaze is: lemon juice and granulated sugar. What? Not a typo...granulated, not powdered.

Mary Berry's Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake
Once the cake is baked (you're going to swoon over how fluffy it is)...

Mary Berry's Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake
...pour the glaze over the hot cake. Let the cake cool before lifting it from the pan.

Mary Berry's Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake
The glaze makes a little bit of a sugary crust. A sugary, lemony, delectable crust.

Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake
{24 servings, modified from Mary Berry Fast Cakes}

1 cup salted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup superfine sugar (see note above)
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
finely grated zest of two large or three small lemons
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

for the glaze:
juice of 2 large or 3 small lemons
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Remove the butter from the fridge while you gather the ingredients and line the pan. Grease a 13x9" pan. Line with a sheet of parchment (bottom and sides). Preheat oven to 350.

Place all of the cake ingredients except the poppy seeds in a bowl. Beat on low to combine, then increase speed to medium and mix until light and fluffy. Fold in the poppy seeds.

Pout into the prepared pan, spread evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when pressed in the center.

While the cake is baking, mix the glaze together. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the glaze over the top, spreading evenly. Let cool before cutting. Use the parchment to lift the cake out of the pan, if desired.

Mary Berry's Lemon Poppy Seed Traybake

I think you'll love Mary Berry Fast Cakes. To see other cookbooks in my collection (that should be in yours, too), visit my Amazon shop!

Are you coming with us to London????? 



  1. It looks perfect and I am pinning:) I am going to email you:)

  2. im drooling... what a perfect summer treat!! :) it looks like it has the perfect amount of lemon and looks nice, and crumbly but soft and fluffy and buttery. I can just go on and on about how your cake looks delicious ;) thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m trying this tomorrow!!!! Nice and amazing recipe shared by you, thank you so much for that.

  4. This cake is delicious and comes out beautifully--thank you Bridget! I don't normally have "self-rising flour" in the house so I looked up how to substitute for it. When I did the calculations, the amount of baking powder and salt needed seemed like a lot--so I used less of those 2 ingredients. The cake still came out wonderfully. After glazing it, I even added a vanilla-lemony frosting to dress it up for a birthday cake--and that came out great, too! This is a keeper of a cake! Thanks Bridget!

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