Revealed: Britain’s favourite cakes

September marks the return of many of the UK’s favourite reality television programmes, including Strictly Come Dancing, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and the highly anticipated Great British Bake Off, which sifts back onto our screens this Tuesday for a delicious 13th series.

To mark the return of Great British Bake Off, we have issued new Google search data revealing the UK’s favourite cake, and the results are off the tarts.

Our report dives into data on the most popular cakes to consume and recipes to whip up in the kitchen, as well as the regions and origins of popular sweet treats.

Revealed… the UK’s top 10 favourite cakes:

  1. Banana bread
  2. Victoria sponge
  3. Chocolate cake
  4. Red velvet cake
  5. Sticky toffee pudding
  6. Carrot cake
  7. Cheesecake
  8. Flapjack
  9. Bakewell tart
  10. Coffee and walnut cake

When compared to 30 family favourites, the data revealed that banana bread is the most highly searched cake in the UK, as well as the most searched for recipe – reaching around 165,000 monthly searches.

The nation’s second favourite cake, the Victoria sponge, has seen a re-surge in popularity in the past year. Google searches spiked during the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend this year, as more and more Brits were dropping it like it was hot.

The UK’s favourite cakes in numbers: 

We analysed data from Google’s Keyword Planner to assess which is the most popular cake in the UK.

Rank Cake Monthly search volume
1 banana bread 74000
2 victoria sponge 74000
3 chocolate cake 49500
4 red velvet cake 40500
5 sticky toffee pudding 40500
6 carrot cake 27100
7 cheesecake 27100
8 flapjack 22200
9 bakewell tart 18100
10 coffee and walnut cake 18100
11 chocolate fudge cake 14800
12 madeira cake 14800
13 Black forest gateau 12100
14 apple pie 12100
15 christmas cake 12100
16 doughnuts 12100
17 brownie 9900
18 coffee cake 9900
19 fruit cake 9900
20 swiss roll 9900
21 chelsea bun 8100
22 angel cake 6600
23 Battenberg Cake 5400
24 lemon drizzle 5400
25 chocolate log 2900
26 fairy cake 2900
27 blueberry muffin 1600
28 traybake 1600
29 fondant fancy 880
30 chocolate muffin 480

Where do Britain’s favourite cakes come from?

British cakes account for 50% of the nation’s top 10 favourite bakes, including classics such as Victoria sponge, sticky toffee pudding, flapjack, Bakewell tart and coffee and walnut cake.

However, when it comes to cake and baking, it seems that Brits like to take inspiration from overseas, with the remaining 50% of the top ten bakes coming from countries outside the UK.

Bake Origin
Banana bread America
Victoria sponge UK
Chocolate cake America
Red velvet cake America
Sticky toffee pudding UK
Carrot cake France
Cheesecake Ancient Greece
Flapjack UK
Bakewell tart UK
Coffee and walnut cake UK

American-born banana bread tops the list as UK’s favourite

We became all too familiar with Britain’s most beloved cake during lockdown, with searches for reaching an all-time high back in April 2020. Yep, you guessed it!

According to Google Trends, banana bread is the most popular cake among Brits. Thought by many to be a UK staple, surprisingly, banana bread was first founded in America, making its debut in the 1933 cookery book ‘Balanced Recipes’.

The UK’s favourite baking recipes

1. Banana bread
2. Brownies
3. Flapjack
4. Carrot cake
5. Cheesecake
6. Chocolate cake
7. Victoria sponge
8. Christmas cake
9. Apple pie
10. Red velvet cake

The pie-opening data also reveals that more and more Brits are rising to the occasion, as search for cake recipes such as ‘Victoria sponge recipe’ succeed over searches for the cake itself, with 726,150 average monthly searches for recipes vs a modest 544,560 for cake.

Britain is a nation of cake lovers – but which cakes reign regionally? We crunched the numbers to see which of our top ten cakes is most popular in each region.

Bake Region
Banana bread South East
Victoria sponge South West
Chocolate cake South East and South West
Red velvet cake Greater London
Sticky toffee pudding Scotland
Carrot cake Not sufficient data
Cheesecake East of England
Flapjack South West
Bakewell tart East Midlands
Coffee and walnut cake Not sufficient data

We can also see the North-South divide remains prevalent, with Southerners beating Northerners to the pip in terms of search data. The data reveals that Southerners are searching for their favourite bakes more than Northerners, suggesting that they’re the bigger fan of cakes in the UK.

The Bake Off bug: how do British baking shows impact consumer behaviour online?

With millions of Brits expected to watch the return of Bake Off, it’s safe to assume more Brits will be catching the baking bug this year and monthly searches are set to increase.

While an average of 9.2 million people tuned in to watch each episode of GBBO last year, the UK saw a 157 per cent rise in the number of home baking businesses. It seems The Great British Bake Off is a mainstay of UK television and has already inspired thousands of bakers across the nation to rise up and start their own independent business.

Commenting on the data, Laura Rudd, Head of SEO at No Brainer Agency, said:

“Banana bread has officially been crowned the UK’s favourite cake, proving once and for all that it wasn’t just a lockdown fad – but it’s here to stay!

“I love seeing the impact current affairs can have on Google search trend data. While it may seem obvious, studying the data reveals the immediate cause and effect relationship between the two. The Queen’s jubilee shows more searches for a Victoria sponge, while the lead up to Christmas will naturally mean a higher search volume for Christmas cake recipes.

“It just goes to show how important it is to interact with current trends and topics as it will undoubtedly influence what Brits are searching for. Brands need to recognise and take advantage of these triggered peaks in search volume, adapting their strategies to reflect them.”


Data collected: 06/09/22

Data collected from SEMRush and Google Trends.

Alex Whiteside

Alex Whiteside

I have been working in digital marketing for the last four years, originally beginning in-house at an independent estate agent whilst completing my post graduate diploma in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics. I’ve worked with brands like Checkatrade, Eureka! and MBNA. Specialising in social media and influencer marketing, I love working collaboratively with clients on brand marketing – and I’m always nose deep in the latest social updates!

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