Written by Chetna Makan


Recipe: A Great British Summer Bake

A picnic pudding to be proud of has landed. It comes courtesy of GBBO 2014 semi-finalist Chetna Makan, who serves up a rhubarb, almond and custard tray bake to live for (dying for it would be silly; you’d completely miss out on seconds).

the finished cakeI love summertime, not just for the hot weather but also for the variety of fruits and vegetables that come with it. It makes baking a lot more fun and colourful. It’s a great time to bake light summery cakes, perfect for picnics and barbecues. Something that is not only delicious but also quick and easy to make.

This tray bake is exactly that, a Great British Summer Bake.

Rhubarb is a suitably great vegetable and you can get fresh rhubarb throughout summer. It is beautifully sour and very sharp in taste, which is why I have baked it with a sprinkling of sugar before adding it into the cake mix.

The flavour of rhubarb is a good match for quite a few things but I love the classic combination of rhubarb and custard. The creamy sweet custard balances the sharp rhubarb in this bake. By adding the custard on top, it deepens the flavour and the addition of flaked almonds gives it the perfect finish.

Serve it warm as a pudding with more custard on top or cold for an afternoon tea. The addition of ground almonds keeps it moist for a few days. Store in an airtight box.

the cake before bakingIngredients:

200g rhubarb cut into 1cm pieces
25g golden caster sugar
175g unsalted softened butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
150g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
50g custard powder
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
zest of 1 orange
75g custard
50g flaked almonds


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the rhubarb on a baking tray and sprinkle the sugar on top. Give it a good mix and bake for 15-20 minutes until the rhubarb has softened and caramelised a little.

the cake topped with flaked almondsLower the temperature of the oven to 180°C. Butter and line a rectangular shallow cake tin 30cm x 23cm x 4cm in size.

In a bowl whisk the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add one egg at a time and whisk well after each addition. Add the vanilla bean paste and zest of the orange. Mix well.

To this add the flour, ground almonds, custard powder and fold it all in. Now add all the cooked rhubarb and fold it in. Spoon the mix into the prepared tin. Taking a spoonful of custard at a time, dot it all over the cake. Sprinkle the flaked almonds on top.

Bake for 30–35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave it to cool in the tray for 10 minutes before removing it and cutting into slices. Serve warm or cold. And repeat.


To find more of Chetna’s recipes – and to see her making them – visit her YouTube channel here.

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Written by Chetna Makan

I am a fashion designer, who after becoming a mum discovered the world of baking. Also seen in the Great British Bake Off 2014. @chetnamakan