New research by the food company Dr. Oetker has revealed Britain’s favourite nostalgic cakes, and as indicated by the title, the classic Victoria Sponge took the top spot. In this feature, we look at which other cakes brought back the happiest memories and what people’s attitudes to home baking are in 2023.
Many Brits will fondly recall the days gone by when they would be in the kitchen eagerly licking cake mixture off a spoon. Sadly, the days when people rolled up their sleeves having fun with family members whilst making cakes seem to be far fewer.
Nowadays, ready-made and convenient trumps all. A walk around any major supermarket will reveal rows of ready-made cakes in brightly coloured boxes, many of which contain all manner of chemicals and ingredients that do little more than harm all the good bacteria in your body that keeps you healthy.
However, a few years ago, something did happen that caused enthusiasm for home baking to shoot through the roof and push convenience to one side. That something was, of course, the pandemic.
With newly found time on their hands, many budding home cooks grabbed the chance to brush up on their baking skills, and it seems that this enthusiasm hasn’t waned, as proven by the Google search term ‘Baking with Granny’, which is up by an incredible +1,550%!
What are Britain’s most nostalgic cakes?
To find out which cake brought back the best memories, Dr. Oetker surveyed 2,000 Brits, and as revealed in the title of this piece, the classic Victoria sponge took the top spot.
The Victoria Sponge was the cake the nation has the most memories of making with family and friends, and it landed over a quarter (26%) of the overall vote. Making up the top three was the Apple Crumble at 22%, followed by iced fairy cakes at 20%. The list of the top ten nostalgic cakes can be seen in the graphic below:
The survey also revealed that 3 out of 5 Brits (59%) have fond memories of baking with loved ones as a child. When unhappy, 51% of Brits bake, with another 31% claiming that it brings back happy childhood memories, and 1 in 4 of the survey respondents (25%) stated that they wanted to pass on the great memories they had baking as kids to their own children.
Geography didn’t seem to have too much of a bearing on the result, as the Victoria Sponge was pretty much the preference in most of the country. The only places where it didn’t come out top were in the North East, where Iced Fairy Cakes was the preference, Great London, which voted cupcakes top, and Northern Ireland and Yorkshire, who plumped for Apple Crumble. You can see the full geographic breakdown below.
Dr. Oetker’s baking expert, Beth Stevenson, said, “Cooking is a fantastic skill for kids to learn, but it can also be a great way to build some real, lasting memories. What the survey shows above all else is the power that baking can have.
It’s very telling that a quarter of those surveyed are keen to pass their own happy childhood memories of baking down to their kids, and even making something as relatively simple as a Victoria sponge cake creates lasting memories. Baking is something shared down generations and within families, and it’s clearly an activity Brits are drawn to. It’s wonderful to see so many differences across the UK too!
It’s heart-warming to see that 51% of Brits turn to baking to cheer themselves up when feeling low. That’s literally joy in the making, and it’s what we’re all about. Baking itself has been known to have calming properties, and turning to bakes of our childhood is a surefire way to make us feel warm and put us back into a happy place – just what people need right now.”
The full study, which also highlights the most popular cake split by region, can be found here: https://www.oetker.co.uk/inspiration/nostalgic-bakes.
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