It’s the most wonderful time of the year… with a new series of the UK’s favourite TV baking show starting next week.
The Great British Bake-off has a place in everyone’s heart. From the envy we feel towards the judges for eating everyone’s delicious creations to the genuine compassion for the fallen, crumbling bakes of the unlucky contestants – it’s a TV show that brings us all together for 12 or so weeks through the dark autumn evenings.
The series has brought many talented bakers onto our screens over the years; we only wish we were half as talented as they are. To celebrate the start of the latest series of GBBO, here are some of our favourite recipes from former bake-off contestants for you to try at home.
Kim-Joy was a finalist in series 9 of the Great British Bake Off and is known for her cute and quirky bakes. She has written several cookbooks centred around her colourful creations, including a festive collection. Her recipe for soft and fluffy Tangzhong cat buns are almost too cute to eat!
Winning Bake Off in its first-ever series 11 years ago, Edd Kimber has since written multiple cookbooks and runs his popular food blog The Boy Who Bakes. He also regularly contributes his expertise to food magazines, including BBC Food and Waitrose Kitchen. His zesty grapefruit meringue pie is a classic recipe with a twist.
Winner of series 7 and former PE teacher, Candice Brown, has taken her love and talent for food into opening her own pub with her brother, Ben. The Green Man pub in Eversholt, Bedfordshire features traditional British food, all made by Candice. She has also written cookbooks based on homely, comforting meals and her black pudding sausage rolls are definitely that!
The Scottish baker may have been runner-up in series 3 but has since had several successes. Finishing his medical studies, James is now a junior doctor but also works as a food writer for a variety of columns and blogs. James’ first book Brilliant Bread, won the 2014 Guild of Food Writers Award. His passion for breadmaking is evident through his carefully crafted Sourdough loaf recipe, which you won’t be able to live without.
Series 10 of the show featured gothic and witchy creations from Spanish baker, Helena Garcia. Her passion for Halloween was definitely a running theme throughout her bakes, leading to her publishing her own cookbook, The Wicked Baker: Cakes and treats to die for. Her mystical recipe for Moon Witch blackberry pie can be found in the book, along with many other wonderfully spooky bakes.
Incorporating traditional Indian flavours with British food was Chetna’s speciality when she appeared on GBBO 2014. Her interest in baking grew as she used it as a way of relaxing while looking after her children. Since the show, Chetna has written five cookbooks all based on her love for Indian food. Her coconut chicken curry has just the right amount of spice to balance the delicate flavour of coconut.
After winning season three, John continued with his love for cooking and baking, opening his own cookery school, John Whaite’s Kitchen and writing several books. He is also a regular on the TV shows Steph’s Packed Lunch and Lorraine where he showcases his recipes. John is also forming one half of the second same-sex pairing on Strictly Come Dancing 2021 which he is currently training for. His toffee apple and salted pretzel rocky road is the perfect sweet treat.
Liam Charles of series 8 could not get away from Bake Off and is now a presenter on Bake Off: The Professionals and a judge on Junior Bake Off. His cheeky persona won the hearts of many, and using that to his advantage, has since written a cookbook entitled Liam Charles Cheeky Treats. His toffee apple crumble layer cake is just as sweet as he is.
Nadiya’s popularity grew as we followed her journey on series six and she proved her impressive baking talent when she hoisted the glass trophy at the end of the show. Since her win, Nadiya has written countless books and has become a regular on a variety of TV shows, displaying her foodie talents. Her recipe for mango and yoghurt cake with German buttercream shows the exotic side to her home cooking.
Series 10 winner, David, has pursued his love for baking by writing a children’s book, My First Cookbook, to help the younger generation get into baking. He is also an advocate for healthy eating and has written his book Good to Eat to educate readers on how to nourish and sustain through good food. His banana chocolate muffins are a sure way to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way.
And not forgetting the presenters…
Mary Berry is the epitome of British baking. Loved by all ages, her recipes are staples in most households. As a presenter of Bake Off, she never strayed far a cheeky innuendo or comment aimed at Paul Hollywood, which made her the nation’s favourite to watch. Her recipe for double-baked mushroom souffles is quintessential Mary – classy and indulgent.
A dame, restaurateur, chef, caterer, television presenter and broadcaster, the highly talented Prue Leith is the current co-host of Bake Off alongside Paul Hollywood. Prue has brought vibrant clothing, statement necklaces and colourful glasses onto our screens with each episode of the show. She makes no secret of loving a bit of tipple in her bakes and is thrilled when a contestant bakes an alcohol-soaked sponge. Her braised duck salad is every bit as fun as herself.