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Would you like to make an impressive chocolate tray bake that's perfect for any party? Try my exceptionally good tray bake sponge with curd cheese filling and feathered icing effect.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Czech
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 48 pieces
Calories 161kcal
Author Lea



  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 200 g margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 buttermilk 284ml
  • 30 g cocoa
  • 1.5 tsp soda


  • 250 grams Polish half fat curd cheese Tesco sells them. It can be replaced with quark but quark is runnier and the filling might not set.
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 200 ml double cream
  • pinch of xantham gum optional but it will help the cream holds its shape

Chocolate feathered effect decoration

  • 100 g dark chocolate chips
  • 50 g milk chocolate chips
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 20 g lard
  • 30 g white chocolate chips



  • Leave all your refrigerated ingredients at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.
  • Heat up the oven to 160 C and line the tray with a baking paper (my tray has 39 x 27 cm).
  • Beat margarine, eggs and sugar together until smooth.
  • Continue mixing while adding gradually buttermilk.
  • Sif dry ingredients – flour, soda and cocoa all into a separate bowl.
  • Add the dry mix into the wet mixture and gently fold together. (I was impatient and used a hand mixer on low speed for a moment to get rid of lumps and didn’t see any negative effect on the sponge.)
  • Spread evenly onto the tray.
  • Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the edges begin to shrink and the sponge springs back or your testing tool is clean when you insert it into the sponge.
  • Let the sponge completely cool down before decorating.

Curd Cheese Filling

  • Whisk the butter and sugar together first.
  • Beat the curd cheese in a separate bowl (Polish curd cheese is a bit lumpy, whisking it helps to break the lumps).
  • Add the butter mix to the curd cheese in a few steps, whisk properly each time (it works better for me in this order and the mix doesn’t curdle).
  • Whip the double cream.
  • If you are adding xantham gum (for the firmer hold), whisk less than 1/8 tsp xantham gum with 1/2 tsp of caster sugar and a splash of double cream first. Once it starts thickening up add the additional double cream and continue whisking until light and fluffy. Don’t over whisk otherwise you will make butter instead of whipped cream.
  • Gently fold the whipped cream to the curd cheese/butter mixture.
  • Spread the filling over the sponge and leave in a cool place while you are preparing the chocolate icing.

Chocolate Icing and Feathered decoration

  • For the chocolate icing, melt the dark and milk chocolate with double cream and lard over a gentle heat (water bath works great for melting chocolate). Stir occasionally until smooth.
  • Spread over the curd cheese filling to cover the whole surface in an even layer.
  • If you want to make the feathered icing decoration at the top as you can see in the pictures you need to melt the white chocolate chips in a separate pot.
  • Once melted spoon it into a paper piping bag, cut off the tip and pipe evenly in lines over the dark chocolate base. Before the chocolate sets draw across the lines in one direction and then the other. Here is a nice example “How to do feather icing” by Baked Club.


Tip: Cutting the cake can be tricky once the chocolate icing sets as the chocolate often crack under the knife. Cutting thought chocolate with a warm knife makes a big difference. I put my knife under hot tap water, dry it and quickly make a few cuts. I don’t rush and repeat this step quite a few times if I want to have a clean, immaculate looking portions.


Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 344IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg