Ah, football. The beautiful game has inspired dozens of beautiful games through the ages, and none have taken away as much of the life of Gamerbake co-founder George than Football Manager.

The management game has dominated his life, turning his university notes on the French economy into musings on the 4-4-2 diamond and inspiring him to talk about it weekly on a relatively popular podcast.

So it was natural that at some point Football Manager and Gamerbake would come together. At the GamesAid Bake Sale in June, it finally did when George created an iced ginger traybake cake that took on the appearance of the team management screen.

How did he do it though? Here’s the recipe that he used and which you can steal to make this cake again (or to use as a basis for a non-FM inspired bake).

Football Manager Traybake Cake Recipe

First things first, yes I know that I got the numbering wrong when I took the photo of the cake. Brexit had happened literally four hours before and my brain wasn’t functioning, but you can correct it when you do your own version.

Next, the recipe I used is heavily based on this recipe from Mary Berry for BBC Good Food. I removed the uncrushed ginger from the recipe as I didn’t have any at home and then decorated with home made royal icing instead because it came out thicker (like your average Premier League footballer).

Anyway, here’s how I made the FM traybake cake.

For the cake

225g butter, softened
175g light muscovado sugar
200g black treacle
300g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
4 free-range eggs
4 tbsp milk
2 teaspoons of ground ginger

For the icing

550g icing sugar
Three large egg whites
A handful of drops of green food colouring.

For decoration

Two packs of Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate
Piped white icing for lines on the pitch
Coloured food writing pens for the shirt numbers


First off, grab your traybake tin (30x23x4cm is recommended) and line it with a rectangle of non stick baking parchment. Then give the tin a good old greasing, before pre-heating the oven to 160 degrees (Gas Mark 3 for old school people out there).

Then put literally all your ingredients in a mixing bowl together and give it a blend with an electric mixer for two minutes.

Once it is all nicely mixed, whack the mixture in the tin and use a spatula to create a nice even pitch.

Then bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Be particularly vigilant if you’re using a fan oven, as those things can really get motoring.

While that’s going down, get your icing ready. Now I’m using Delia Smith’s recipe for it, but I’ve added a bit more sugar so that when the food colouring goes in things don’t get too gooey.

But the main thing to do is crack the eggs into a bowl, add the food colouring and slowly add the icing in, mixing after every addition until you get some stiff peaks going on.

Then once the cake is cooked, out of the oven and has been left to cool down, shove the icing on top of it and smooth it out.

Draw the pitch using the piped icing, before placing the Lindt chocolate squares upside down in the formation you desire.

Whack the squad numbers on using the icing writing pen, stick in the fridge for a few hours to let the icing set and then boom – job done.