CATCH THE BAKING BUG
PUBLISHED: 13:02 03 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:01 30 August 2017
Unless you've been stranded on a dessert island somewhere you can't have failed to notice that in just a few years, we've all gone baking mad.
From primetime TV shows to baking books that hog the best-sellers' lists for weeks on end, it seems we can't get enough of cakes and bakes.
And it doesn't seem to matter much whether we're just watching others bake and eat or doing it ourselves.
Last year, BBC Good Food launched a brand new food show in London called Cakes & Bakes which this year will run 13-15 November.
And in the South West, the organisers of The Big Cake Show - which pulled a crowd of over 18.000 visitors over just three days when it launched in 2014 - are busy signing up baking's biggest names to stage an even bigger and better show next year.
We've even got our own National Cake Week (5 – 11 October) and a National Baking Week (sponsored by Pyrex) which also helps raise money for Great Ormond Street hospital by getting people to hold a charity bake sale.
Start-up cake-making businesses have increased by a whopping 325 per cent since 2009. Bakeware too is flying off the shelves with kitchenware specialist, Lakeland, reporting the sale of over 3.4 million disposable piping bags in the first half of 2012.
And in 2012, we bought - and ate - over 100 million cupcakes.
Matthew Canwell is High Street bakeware company, Lakeland's Buying Director.
He says: "TV shows like Great British Bake Off have inspired a new generation to bake but there's also another key trend underpinning the rise in home baking which is that home-made is best. These two together have led to soaring sales in bakeware and year on year, we've increased our own bakeware range by a third just to keep up with the growing demand.
Attitudes are changing too, with more men cooking now than ever before. We discovered that in one survey, 44.8% of men between 18 and 24 said they were experienced bakers. Whilst only 30.4% of those aged 55 to 64 claimed the same thing."
Matthew, whose own favourite bake is shortbread, says bread making is another big trend this year and adds: "We are seeing increasing sales of bread-making machines for the home baker, as well as more interest in cakes with secret centres."
Sales of Lakeland piping bags are already in their millions each year but other popular items include the Mary Berry 12-Hole Pushpan for cupcakes; the Lakeland Cake Pop Maker and the Kitchen Mini Sandwich pan which allows you to make twelve perfectly-formed and straight-sided mini Victoria sponge or other sandwich cakes. Mini cakes tune into another growing trend namely making your favourite cakes and bakes in mini, treat-size.