Branded leather aprons - cake

It’s the time of the year when British audiences snuggle down in front of the TV to watch amateur bakers put on the famous branded aprons to be crowned winner of the Great British Bake Off. 

GBBO, as it is known to fans, sees 12 contestants stress about soggy bottoms, a dull ganache, curdled buttercream, and bread that hasn't risen, and work their hardest to be given the much-coveted Paul Hollywood handshake, let alone the winning prize. 

Each week, the bakers complete three tasks, which means there were as many as 36 baked creations being produced in the first week! 

As judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith only ever taste a small mouthful of their bake, the question most people ask when drooling over the show is what happens to the rest of the cake?

The crew tuck in

According to former GBBO finalist Kim-Joy, the remaining bakes go to the crew.

“They’d know the best ones, so they all descend on the bake,” she told Jimmy Carr on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year in 2018. 

Faenia Moore, chief home economist on the show, agreed, telling BBC Good Food the leftovers are added to the crew’s lunch.

“Everyone gets quite excited,” she stated. 

The other contestants 

The other bakers also get a chance to test out the competition by sampling the rest of the cakes. 

Another contestant Chetna Makan told Digital Spy: “It’s not just the cameramen who swarm over the food, we [the other contestants] definitely do it too.”

It’s a good way to hone their skills by finding out how good the other bakers are, as well as reward themselves after several hours slaving in the kitchen. 

Ms Moore also noted the bakers get to see what their cakes, pastries, bread or biscuit are like too: “It’s important for the bakers to eat what they’ve slaved over, so after each challenge I make up a ‘baker’s basket’ to go to their lunchroom.”

They can’t improve on their flavours or techniques if they don’t know what their creations taste like, after all.

More bakes than you think 

Although the contestants and crew get to tuck into the bakes, there could still be an abundance of sugary produce left over, as more goods are baked than the television audience sees.

In fact, former contestant Ali Imdad told the Birmingham Mail the technical team bake a Victoria sponge in each oven every day just to check they are working properly. 

“They do that to make sure that all the ovens are working properly and no-one can blame a bad bake on a technical malfunction,” he stated.

Just to add to the kilos and kilos of cake created in the Bake Off tent every week, Ali said: “And on the first day, everyone gets an hour practice run-through so they know where everything is.”

Although there seems to be an abundance of baked goods, it is good to know none of it goes to waste, with Ali adding: “The cameramen literally stand there with forks in the back pockets, waiting to swoop as soon as filming stops.”

Given the popularity of the show, now in its thirteenth series, it would be disappointing if all those ingredients - kilos of butter, sugar and flour, and countless eggs - simply ended up in the bin. 

October 16, 2023 — Jake Blakey