As picnic season arrives, we round up the best traybake recipes to make with and for the kids – or, indeed, just for yourself.

There is something gloriously simple and honest about a traybake. They are sturdy enough to be portable for those longed-for summer picnics and can also make great weekend bakes to pack into lunchboxes throughout the week. And whilst they have none of the finesse of a fine French patisserie, their rusticity is kind of why we like them so much. Each traybake recipe that makes our top twelve is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser this spring – from rich chocolatey slices to fragrant fruit squares filled with seasonal flavours.

Cookie S’Mores Traybake

Delicious Magazine

All the scorched marshmallow-y deliciousness of the campfire classic, but in mess-free traybake form. This nostalgic bake will take you back to star-filled summer nights under canvas in one bite. Heaven. Get the recipe here.

Gluten Free Rocky Road

Baking Mad

This no-bake, gluten-free rocky road features a classic mix of glace cherries, mini marshmallows and chocolate. An easy recipe that cookery-mad kids will love to try their hands at – and then devour straight after. Get the recipe here.

Peanut Butter Jelly Blondies

Olive Magazine

The American lunchbox classic has been reimagined into an altogether grown-up blondie traybake. The salted peanuts, married with the tart raspberries and sweet white chocolate, make for a toothsome combo. Get the recipe here.

Plum and Almond Traybake


Offering a tantalising hint of the summer months ahead, this plum and almond sponge traybake is best baked with seasonal, ripe British plums. Serve warm with custard as a pud; alternatively, it’s just as delicious cut into delicate squares as a teatime treat. Get the recipe here.

Chocolate Orange Shortbread

Jamie Oliver

This super simple, five-ingredient recipe cooks in just 30 mins. Featuring a buttery shortbread base drizzled with melted chocolate and zesty orange, it’s a great one to have up your sleeve if a sweet craving hits! Get the recipe here.

Spelt and Forest Fruit Traybake

Doves Farm

This traybake is packed with summer berries that balance the sweet spelt sponge perfectly. A real comfort cake that feels light and full of promise of the sun-filled months ahead… Get the recipe here.

Vegan Strawberry Traybake

All Plants

As we move into British strawberry season, this simple vegan traybake allows the fragrant fruit to take centre stage. Serve with a dollop of cream and feel free to switch out the berries for nectarines, blueberries or cherries as your mood takes you. Get the recipe here.

Bakewell Ripple Slice


The stodgy school dinner classic has been brought up to date as an elegant ‘slice’; rather than layered, the raspberries and almond sponge are rippled together on a buttery biscuit base. Get the recipe here.

Spiced Coconut Matcha Bars


These spring green bars are packed with flavour: earthy matcha, fragrant cardamom and nutmeg and tropical coconut, all singing together to create delicious mini bars to pop in school or work lunchboxes for a bite of sunshine in the middle of the day. Get the recipe here.

Apricot Oat Slices


With their chewy oat layers with a sweet apricot filling, these slices are a substantial snack and thus ideal for refuelling at weekend sports fixtures. The slow-release energy from the oats is sure to give them a spurt of energy for the second half. Get the recipe here.

Vegan Carrot Cake

Good Housekeeping

Banana bread is soooo 2020. Upgrade this year to a vegan carrot cake: moist yet light, the spiced sponge is studded with tart cranberries and topped with an almond butter icing and a sprinkling of walnuts. Great for those who don’t like their cakes too sweet yet don’t want to compromise on flavour. Get the recipe here.

Pimm’s Traybake

Red Online

Summer in a cake, this easy-peasy citrus sponge is topped with Pimm’s-laced fruit just before serving. Take to a picnic and assemble just before devouring for a truly British bite. This one is just for the grown-ups. Get the recipe here.

By Lydia Mansi
April 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.