Tray bakes are great to have on hand. It makes the perfect treat when you get unexpected guests, or if you need to get something ready for an event. You can even pop them into your lunchbox! Not only are they easy to bake, but it’s also easy to portion, making sharing convenient. There are so many variations of tray bakes, there are literally one for every taste. Whether you like lemon bars or chocolate brownies, make sure you read these tips before starting.

1. Line your baking tray

If you ever made a perfect-looking tray bake, only to find out the cake is stuck to your baking tray, you’ll know why this is important. Make sure you line your baking tray with parchment paper to avoid the cake sticking to the bottom. You can add a small amount of butter to the tin’s surface to ensure the paper will stick.

2. Be patient

We know this isn’t easy. Your tray bake just came out of the oven, and you likely want to take it out of the pan immediately and have a taste. But wait! By letting the cake cool in the baking tin first, it will be easier to remove and less likely to break. You should also avoid icing the cake while it’s still hot, it will cause the icing to melt and run off the cake.

3. Bake the best brownies

Even though they’re pretty easy to make, many of us end up with dry brownies, instead of cakey or fudgy ones. This is because we were taught that your testing skewer should come out clean when baking a cake. This is not true with brownies. For perfectly fudgy or cakey brownies, your skewer should be slightly sticky with batter. If it’s completely covered with batter, it’s still raw. But if it’s completely clean, your brownies are overbaked and will be dry.

What is your favorite tray bake? Are you a fan of healthy oat bars, citrus bakes, or chocolate brownies?