Fifteen minute buns

This is one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. I was asked to bring some buns to a weekend away, and whilst I would have loved to sit down and make a proper cake, I simply didn't have the time. 
My thoughts flew to this. Fifteens are a traditional Irish traybake; they require no time in the oven, merely a bit of chilling in the fridge. I've eaten many fifteens over my time as they are such a staple part of church teas! 

It's incredibly simple and is made using mostly store-cupboard ingredients, so you'll always have them at your fingertips. Plus, the quantities are so easy to remember - the clue's in the name. 

Basically, it is a big bowl of sugar. Admittedly not the healthiest of recipes, but an incredibly delicious one - just eat a little of the mixture before it is chilled and try to stop yourself from scraping out the whole bowl! I have to admit that some of the mixture mysteriously disappeared whilst I was making this…

First you begin by bashing up digestive biscuits until they are like fine sand. (You can use a blender if you wish, but hitting them in a bag with a mallet is more satisfying, I find.)

Next, you take glacé cherries and marshmallows and chop them into pieces with a pair of kitchen scissors. Add this to the crushed biscuits. 

Pour over about half a medium tin of condensed milk. (Oops, dropped a bit on the counter. Better not let that go to waste….)

Stir it all together and place onto some cling film. Shape it into a long golden sausage, roll it in the cling film and refrigerate for a few hours. Cut it into rounds and voilà! 

This works really well if you make it in the evening and then remove it from the fridge in the morning. Virtually no hassle whatsoever for a delicious teatime treat! 

  • 15 digestive biscuits
  • 15 glacé cherries
  • 15 marshmallows
  • Half a medium tin (375g) of condensed milk
  • Desiccated coconut to finish (optional)

  1. Place the digestive biscuits in a strong plastic bag. Crush them with a rolling pin until they are fine and crumbly. 
  2. Put the biscuit crumbs in a bowl, and add the cherries (chopped) and marshmallows (chopped). Pour over the condensed milk until it binds everything together (you need the mixture to be quite sticky so that it won't fall apart when you try to eat the fifteens).
  3. Shape into a long sausage on a sheet of cling film. Scatter the cling film with the coconut beforehand, if you like, then tightly roll up the mixture, pressing firmly into shape as you go.
  4. Place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. (Be careful, the mixture will still be quite soft before it is chilled.)
  5. Remove from the fridge and slice into rounds. Enjoy with a cup of milky tea and a book!