The first lockdown that started on 23 March 2020 saw the nation pick up their whisks and don their chef hats in their droves, with more of us taking to the kitchen than ever before. It was no wonder – with more spare time on our hands and outdoor exercise limited to one hour a day, picking up a new skill (or refining an existing one) such as baking seemed a good idea to many of us.
In fact, research commissioned by KitchenAid discovered that time spent baking has increased since the announcement of the first lockdown, with Brits now spending an average 67 minutes a week whipping up sweet treats in the kitchen, compared to 41 minutes before. Additionally, of those polled, one fifth had tried baking for the first time ever during lockdown, while 23 per cent of already-competent bakers reported using the time to increase their repertoire.
And we can all remember what was baked the most: with internet searches up 535 per cent and an increase of 45,000 posts on Instagram, banana bread took over all of our lives.
When lockdown 2.0 rolled around in November, cinnamon rolls took centre stage as the bake du jour, but now, as we enter the UK’s third national lockdown within a year, there are all new lockdown baking trends to go with it.
And newly released data from Waitrose predicts what those lockdown baking trends might be. The supermarket has reported a 1,835 per cent increase in online searches for Victoria sponge recipes on their website since last year, and a 64 per cent rise on just before the third lockdown was announced by Boris Johnson last week.
The growing number of plant-based Brits don’t want to miss out either, it seems, with views of the vegan version of the recipe also up 200 per cent on last week.
Searches for pancake recipes predictably peak around Shrove Tuesday in February every year, but a premature rise in searches – a 148 per cent increase on the same time last year – suggests we’re getting in the mood early.
Additionally, the Waitrose website has also experienced a 25 per cent increase in views of Great British Bake Off contestant Martha Collinson’s rhubarb and custard tartlets since the beginning of last week – with Valentine’s Day around the corner, perhaps the suggested decorative piped red hearts are influencing people to use their newfound baking skills to make it as a V-Day treat for their loved one.