Delicious moist oaty coconut cake topped with blackberries and a coconut crumble, this blackberry and coconut tray bake is a brilliant recipe for lunchboxes, desserts or snacks.
I love berry season and there is nothing better than going out foraging for berries and coming home to bake something delicious with them. Like this blackberry and coconut tray bake for example!
The recipe for this comforting late summer/autumnal tray bake comes from the book, Foraging with Kids by Adele Nozedar, published by Nourish. I was delighted to receive a copy of this book as foraging is something I've wanted to do with my kids for a long time.
But first more about this delicious traybake cake. As soon as I saw the recipe I knew I wanted to try it. My children love coconut but can be a little bit picky about fresh fruit including berries in cakes. I hoped that the coconut as well as the crumble topping would tempt them enough to enjoy the blackberries in the cake too!
I served it warm with ice cream and Master Spice loved it. He wouldn't eat the blackberries raw but he loved them in this cake. Little Miss Spice was the opposite. She loved the uncooked blackberries and she loved the cake but picked out all the berries! Even so, she was asking me to make it again as soon as it was finished. In fact, this blackberry coconut tray bake was so popular that I ended up making it again just a week later.
When I first received my copy of Foraging with Kids I really wanted to go out and find some of the more unusual plants and make something with them. However, despite the apparent growing interest in foraging it seems as if so many people are afraid of it and don't even pick things they recognise.
Just in our local park there are lots of blackberry bushes but you hardly ever see anyone picking the berries. Or maybe they just don't arrive armed with empty containers like we do! Whatever the reason, blackberries are the perfect fruit to start foraging with as almost everyone knows where to find some locally at the right time of year.
Little Miss Spice and I only needed to go round the corner from our house and we picked two large punnets. We had enough to make this and some to spare! I definitely plan to make some more recipes from the book soon and I am looking forward to trying some of the plants which most people don't know you can eat.
Foraging with Kids by Adele Nozedar
Foraging with kids focuses on 52 wild edible plants which are all relatively easy to find. The book has detailed hand drawings as well as descriptions of each plant including how to recognise it and where to find it. There are recipes for all of the plants, often more than one. Most of the them are recipes you can eat but there are also recipes for soap and bath mix.
I have to admit that I read the book from cover to cover when I first got it as I wanted to know what to look for. It'll be a great book to take with me when I next go out foraging. Although the pictures are hand drawings, they are very detailed and will really help when trying to find a specific plant and identify it.
Is it just a kid's book?
Not at all. I'd say it's a beginner's foraging book, suitable for older children who can read well or adults. It's great for anyone who wants to make a start on foraging.
One thing that had always put me off foraging was the fear that I might misidentify something and poison myself. Or even worse, my children! Luckily this book doesn't contain any plants that could be mistaken for anything that could be poisonous. Just knowing that gives me a lot of confidence.
Could you adapt this blackberry and coconut tray bake?
I often adapt recipes if I don't have exactly the right ingredients. I also adapt them for fun and to experiment with flavours.
The easiest way to adapt this blackberry tray bake this would be to use a different fruit. If you're lucky enough to be able to find bilberries or wild raspberries they would work beautifully in this traybake. Of course, if you haven't even managed to go foraging but fancy the coconut and oats in this cake then almost any fruit would work. I think apple would work well with the oats and the coconut. Plums would also be very tasty.
If you want to make it healthier and lower in sugar then you can easily cut out 50g and it will still be delicious and sweet.
More Sweet Berry Recipes
Do check out one of these recipes made with berries:
Blackberry and Coconut Tray Bake
- 250 g self-raising flour
- 250 g light soft brown sugar
- 30 g porridge oats
- Pinch salt
- 200 g butter cold, diced
- 80 g dessicated coconut
- 2 eggs
- 350 g blackberries fresh or frozen
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a square loose bottomed tin with baking parper.
- Put the first 5 ingredients (flour, sugar, oats, salt and butter) into a bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the coconut.
- Remove about three tablespoons of the mixture and set aside.
- Stir the eggs into the remaining mixture and then spoon it into the baking tin. Then cover it evenly with a layer of berries. Sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes then turn the tin round and continue to bake for another 20-35 minutes.
- Let them cool a little in the tin. They are delicious warm with ice cream as well as cold.
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