RECIPE: Vanilla and Berry Crunch Bars and Iced Lemon and Poppyseed Cakes

Created by Great British Bake Off finalist Miranda Gore Browne for children's charity Dreams Come True, these sweet treats are perfect for any summer picnic.


by Kimberley Bond |
Published on

Dreams Come True is a charity that does exactly what it says on the tin – fulfilling the dreams of children and young people with life threatening or limiting conditions.

The charity is behind a national fundraising campaign 'Dream Tea', which encourages people to get a group of friends or family together to sit down, have a cuppa and a slice of cake – all for a good cause.

Miranda Gore Browne, who you may recognise from series one of The Great British Bake Off, is brand ambassador of the charity and has donated two simple and gorgeous recipes for the cause that are ideal for any occasion.

Why not give them a try?

Buttery Vanilla and Berry Crunch Bars



(makes about 15 bars)

  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened

  • 175 g caster sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 75 g ground almonds

  • 125 g self-raising flour

  • 200 g berries (I use frozen mixed berries)

For the shortbread topping

  • 80 g self-raising flour

  • 40 g chilled unsalted butter, diced

  • 50 g light soft brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and line a 20 x 30-cm tray bake tin with non-stick baking paper.

  2. First make the shortbread topping. Whizz together the flour, butter and sugar in the food processor or rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Set aside.

  3. Whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in an electric mixer. Gently mix in the ground almonds and flour.

  4. Scrape into the prepared tin and place in the preheated oven. After 10 minutes, remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle the frozen berries on top.

  5. Roughly spread the shortbread mixture over the top and return to the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes until the crumble topping is golden and crisp.

  6. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into portions. Alternatively, serve while still warm with ice cream for a delicious pudding.

Iced Lemon and Poppyseed Cakes



(Makes at least 12 cakes)

  • 180 g unsalted butter, softened

  • 180 g caster sugar

  • grated zest of 1 lemon

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 250 g ground almonds

  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder

For the icing

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 150 g icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°/Gas 3) and line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.

  2. Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest.

  3. Beat in the eggs and then fold in the almonds, poppy seeds and baking powder.

  4. Spoon into the prepared cases, smooth the tops with a palette knife and then bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

  5. Mix the icing ingredients together in a bowl and spoon over the cakes once they are completely cold.

** Extra Tip!**

To make crystallised lemon zest, use a zester to remove thin strips of rind from the lemon, toss in caster sugar and leave to firm up a little before sprinkling over the top of the cakes.

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