The Great British Bake Off has been around since 2010, making cakes and baking bakes, and inspiring amateur bakers around the world.
Each year 12 contestants battle it out to gain the title of Britain’s Best Amateur Baker in a huge marquee set in idyllic grounds of an English country house. The show is quintessentially British, complete with Carry On style innuendo about ‘soggy bottoms’ and ‘sweet tarts’, and although it received a few complaints about its occasionally on-the-mark saucy jokes, it is seen as a perfect example of British culture.
A few contestants, including winners and runners up, have released cook books after their time on Bake Off and we have gathered 10 of the best available, including some expert advice from baking professionals Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
Edd Kimber won the first Great British Bake Off in 2010 and released three cookbooks- including this guide to creating gorgeous pastries.
“With step-by-step photographs for basic pastry and icings, Edd guides you through the techniques, taking the fear out of a Genoise sponge and simplifying a croissant dough. Chapters include: * Sweet Treats featuring Classic Financiers, Canneles and Eclairs * Desserts & Cakes such as Cherry Clafoutis and Buche de Noel * Pastry including basic recipes for pate sablee and pate sucree and recipes for delicious tarts to use them in * Basics – the essential icings and creams, such as Mousseline and Creme Chantilly Edd’s mouthwatering recipes use bakeware found in home kitchens (no need for expensive or complex equipment) so you too can create perfect patisserie.”
Jo Wheatley won The Great British Bake Off in 2011 and brought out a couple of baking books based on her family-orientated baking style.
“All of the 100 recipes featured have been taste tested and enjoyed by generations of Jo’s family, and are now ready to be enjoyed by yours. Easy recipes for little ones, tasty pies and tarts, delicious pastries and sumptuous cakes all fill the pages of Family Baking, and all will make you want to roll up your sleeves and turn on the oven. Jo’s recipes are refreshingly simple and honest, and all made regularly for her family. From a classic focaccia, to delicious chocolate and honeycomb bars, perfect American pancakes and a spectacular croquembouche, Family Baking will fill your home with fantastic homemade food all year round.”
John Whaite won the 2012 Great British Bake Off and has since been authoring cookery books and judging a cooking show on ITV.
“John Whaite celebrates simple, stunning recipes that can be prepared and cooked on the stove in under 45 minutes. Speedy food can’t be complicated – just a flash in the pan – so no trickery, just delicious but achievable recipes. Pans and a stove are all you need to feed you, your friends and family convenience food, with class.
The Bake Off winner, who runs his own cookery school, show his innovative style, with inspirational combinations – from Marmalade Brulée French Toast and Bloody Mary Prawn Tacos to Saag Halloumi and Apricot, Whisky & Honey Cheesecake. The Frying Pan Lasagne is sure to become a classic!”
Frances Quinn won in 2013 and as well as attending baking shows and TV appearances, she runs her own children’s clothing business.
“Frances’ combination of ideas and ingredients will provide you with straightforward master recipes or ‘building blocks’, and she explains how to apply a little magic to turn them into beautiful bakes. She’ll show you how to take a basic flapjack recipe and create honey bee bites; transform shortbread into a giant jammy dodger; and turn chocolate sponge into hidden bulb cakes. Frances will give you the foundation to create distinctive and different bakes – and it’s easy once you know how.
Whether you’re a baking novice or an extraordinaire, you’ll find achievable bakes for all occasions. With striking, graphic design and photography and Frances’ own illustrations sprinkled throughout, this book will capture your imagination and become the classic you turn to for definitive cake recipes, original designs and quintessential baking ideas.”
Paul Hollywood has been a GBBO judge since the start and is an expert bread baker and has written 6 books on simple but effective baking.
“TV’s Paul Hollywood conveys his love of bread-making in this collection of fantastic recipes. He reveals all the simple techniques you need to make this staple food and shows you that baking bread is far easier than you could possibly have imagined. 100 Great Breads features a wide range of recipes, from a basic brown and white loaf to savoury and sweet, Mediterranean, traditional and ancient breads.”
Nadiya Hussain is one of Bake Off’s most successful children. Her time after winning the 2015 competition has been spent as an author of 11 books (2 of which are fiction), and a television presenter.
“Feeding a family and juggling a busy work load can be really tricky so Nadiya has crafted over 100 recipes that will teach you how to be time-smart in the kitchen.
Featuring recipes that are both quick and easy to make, as well as those that have shortcuts to creating second – and even third – delicious meals without any additional preparation, Nadiya will share with you all her tips and hacks for making meal prep as simple as possible.
You’ll be able to make all the delicious recipes from Nadiya’s BBC2 show Time to Eat.”
Candice Brown stole the show with her amazing bakes and strong lipstick game in the Bake Off tent in 2016 and after her win she left her teaching job to pursue her baking career.
“The Sunday Times columnist will be bringing out her first cookbook – all about home comforts. These are the recipes Candice learned to bake from her nan and mum, recipes close to her heart, that should be served up as a big generous slice – and preferably on a vintage plate if you have one.
Candice’s recipes are easy to make, no nonsense and hearty. She has a recipe up her sleeve for every occasion – for baking with kids, birthday parties for all ages, Christmas, afternoon tea, quick savoury bakes for weeknights and fancier recipes for weekends.”
Mary Berry was the judge of GBBO from 2010 to 2016 when the show moved to Channel 4 for the 2017 series. She has written over 70 cook books during her lifetime.
“Mary makes cooking for gatherings of family and friends easy, with over 160 recipes that work well for both small and large numbers of guests.
Lavish new photography and bonus festive recipes make this edition a precious self-purchase or an ideal gift for any Mary fan. You’ll discover how Mary cooks for her family and friends during the Christmas party season, and for other occasions and celebrations throughout the year. Timeless guidance and expert tips will help you cater successfully on a small scale for dinners and lunches around a table, or on a larger scale for drinks parties, buffets and teatime.
Adapting quantities is made easy. Recipes provide two sets of ingredients for serving either 6 or 12 guests, plus there is new advice on how to scale up recipes for any number.
Discover tips for preparing in advance, simple shortcuts and stylish presentation ideas – and cook up a feast the stress-free way with Mary.”
Chetna didn’t manage to win Bake Off in 2014 but she came very close, and became a successful cook book author after the series ended. The former fashion designer did well, and earned Star Baker for her European Cakes that week.
“Chetna Makan is known for her unique recipes, which introduce colourful spices, aromatic herbs and other Indian ingredients into traditional Western baked favourites.
Whether it’s a sponge cake with a cardamom and coffee filling; puff pastry bites filled with fenugreek paneer; a swirly bread rolled with citrusy coriander, mint and green mango chutney; or a steamed strawberry pudding flavoured with cinnamon, Chetna’s Indian influences will transform your baking from the familiar to the exotic, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Discover rare but precious traditional bakes from India, as well as new spice-infused recipes. Delve into the history of Indian herbs and spices and learn how to match foods and flavours.”
Martha was the youngest ever contestant on GBBO at the young age of 17 years old in 2014. She has released two baking books and writes a weekly column for Waitrose Weekly magazine.
“Crave is the second book from Sunday Times bestselling author and Great British Bake Off contestant, Martha Collison. Using brilliant food science and delicious flavour combinations, she provides go-to recipes incorporating 8 of those things we so often hanker for: citrus, fruit, nut, spice, chocolate, caramel, cheese – and alcohol! There are ‘Instant’ recipes such as Lemon Cheesecake Pots – your super quick treats to be rustled up in next to no time. There are ‘Soon’ recipes that are ready to snaffle in under an hour, like Chilli Chocolate Churros. And you’ll find ‘Worth the Wait’ recipes, too. Think Olive & Preserved Lemon Focaccia and Caramelised White Chocolate Cake – a collection of bakes where patience yields intense flavours and sumptuous textures.”