Recipe for the easiest traybake of all time – Northern Irish sweetly simple Fifteens

I recently had a chat with a friend from my hometown and she’d never heard of Fifteens, which shocked my previously held assumption that everyone in Norn Iron knew what they were.

I have always thought that they originated in our little land – I’d love to hear from anyone who knows the full story. Every bake sale or coffee morning I ever went to, there they were, alongside glorious home made scones, scotch pancakes and chocolately treats.

Fifteens – named because you need 15 of each of its main ingredients (marshmallows, digestive biscuits, glace cherries) – must be the simplest traybake to make. There’s not any chocolate to melt (a process which can go wrong) and you really do just throw it all together in one big bowl.

This time, I had some Rich Teas which needed using up, so, for the first time in my life, I made a change to the recipe. Obviously Rich Teas are a more resistant biscuit, so I blitzed them to a fine sand in the Magimix.

They obviously don’t absorb liquid in the way that digestives do, but I had only a larger can of condensed milk, the glue that binds Fifteens.  Anyway. I thought I’d go gently and add it slowly to see how much was needed.


They took less milk, but still combined into just the right sort of mixture. The aim is to combine everything to the point where it’s a mixture which you can roll into a log. Even if it’s a little bit wet, just tip it out onto your waiting foil, and scatter it liberally with your waiting desicated coconut, which you place all round the outside of the roll.

After the shaping and rolling and coconut-ing, refrigerate for an hour or more, before you cut it into inch thick pieces. They’ll be sticky so you need place them in individual cake cases. And that’s it! Piece of cake 🙂



Ingredients: 15 digestive biscuits, 15 glace cherries, 15 marshmallows, one can of condensed milk, 50g or so desicated coconut.

Blitz the biscuits in a processor or bash them with a rolling pin in a bag. Put them into a bowl, along with the cherries and marshmallows, which you have cut into pieces (it helps to dip the knife in hot water to cut the marshmallows). Pour in the condensed milk and stir to combine. Lay out some tin foil, scatter some coconut on it and tip the mixture out onto it. Shape into a roll, scattering more coconut all around. Refrigerate for an hour or more, then cut into individual servings.  

Makes 15-20.




One thought on “Recipe for the easiest traybake of all time – Northern Irish sweetly simple Fifteens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s