By News Team
Last Updated: 17th November 2020
The Great British Bake Off is the ultimate culinary battle, where talented amateur bakers from the length and breadth of this great nation compete to be crowned Britain’s best amateur baker.
Over the past 10 years, 132 contestants have tackled hundreds of different baking challenges for the entertainment of the show’s millions of fans. But just who are they, what have they cooked over the years, and what have they gone on to do after the show? We rolled up our sleeves, pulled on our aprons, sieved through the stats and here’s what we found.
Faced with the challenge of whipping up everything from scones to mille-feuille, tiered cakes to viennoiseries, contestants ranging from the brilliant to the frankly hapless, have fought for the Bake Off crown over 94 episodes, with the first airing on 17th August 2010.
In each episode, the signature, technical and showstopper challenges call for a display of creative flair and baking ability. So, just imagine how many tasty treats have been created over the past decade!
Crunch the numbers and digest the stats with Bake Off in Numbers to commemorate 10 years of the nation’s favourite baking show.
The Bake Off contestants
Did you know that the average age of a GBBO contestant is 37?
That’s right, it takes years of practice, and plenty of kitchen catastrophes, to prepare most contestants for the bright lights of the Bake Off tent and the steely-eyed scrutiny of those judges.
It also turns out that Southerners have a sweet tooth, with our stats showing that over one in five contestants came from the South East of England.
We also discovered that contestants are most likely to work in health and social care, when they aren’t practising their pithiviers or mastering meringues. Which makes a lot of sense when you see the compassion they show to fellow contestants at the sight of a soggy bottom or a dropped bake!
Ingredients and recipes
Hundreds of cakes, breads and bakes are churned out during every series of the show. In 10 years of finals alone, contestants have used 606 eggs, 44,922g of flour, 32,870g of butter and 73,975g of sugar. Think of the Victoria sponge you could make with all that!
Every season we’ve watched the bakers take on bread week, under the discerning eye of master baker Paul Hollywood. All that kneading, proving and baking sees the bakers crouched by their ovens for hours on end. In fact, we’ve worked out that the GBBO bakers have spent 106 hours and 15 minutes baking their bread over the past 10 years. Now that is dedication to the rise!
From gingernuts to shortbread, choc chip cookies to macaroons, the judges love to set the contestants a biscuit challenge. A whopping 3,640 biscuits have been baked in technical and signature challenges over the past 10 years. Could someone put the kettle on?
Ever since the contestants first tied up their apron strings and walked into the tent, GBBO alumni have gone on to find fame and success after the show. Even when they haven’t been able to beat off the stiff competition in the final, many of the bakers have found new culinary careers.
The winner of the first series of GBBO, Edd Kimber, has published four cookbooks, hosts a podcast, runs a website and writes columns. Nadiya Hussain, the winner of series six of GBBO, baked a cake for the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations and has written five cookbooks.
Between them, the contestants have written 61 cookbooks. While 29 contestants have landed regular food columns for national publications and 20 are now running culinary businesses, including a chocolate shop and a cookery school.