One of the oddest things for an American watching British television competitions is how small some of the prizes are. U.S. shows tend to feature high-stakes drama and contestants battling over things like a Tesla full of diamonds or, at the very least, a novelty check for $100,000. The winners of The Great British Bake Off get a cake stand.
People enter The Great British Bake Off because they love to bake, not to win a huge pile of prize money. But that doesn't mean that all those weeks of grueling baking don't pay off in other ways. The Great British Bake Off is one of the most popular shows in Britain, and taking home that coveted cake stand can set a person up for a significant career change. Past winners have gone on to write books, bake for the queen, and start their own cooking schools.
Here's what all The Great British Bake Off winners have been up to. Spoiler alert if you haven't watched all the seasons yet!
Starting 2018 off on the sofa with a mug of tea, why do it any differently this year 😉 Looking back on 2017 it really was a brilliant year, I started to work with the wonderful team at @thebakefeed and guest edited an issue of the magazine (out now in the states, soon in the UK), interviewed some amazing people for Stir The Pot (back next week), visited Japan for first time, went back to Paris and Lisbon and even went to work in NYC, took part in Bake For Syria and even met Prince Charles! My book Patisserie Made Simple also came out in paperback! It really was a brilliant year and I cannot wait to see what 2018 holds, but I'm sure for one thing, it will include a lot of cake! #newyear #2017 #2018 #theboywhobakes #baking #food #patisseriemadesimple
Edd Kimber was the first-ever GBBO champion, and when he first appeared on the show in 2010, he was working as a debt collector. At the time he said he spent most of his free time looking at recipes online, and after his big win he built a new career in food. He's written three cookbooks, hosts a podcast called Stir the Pot, and was the "resident baker" on The Alan Titschmarsh Show. He also runs a food site called The Boy Who Bakes.
Joanne Wheatley's 2011 Bake Off win was life-changing. The mother of three was introduced to viewers as a housewife with a passion for baking, and she used the momentum of her victory to start her own cooking school. She's also written two successful cookbooks and has made other TV appearances, and she's also written for The Mirror and Hello magazine. In addition to her site, Jo's Blue Aga, She also has an Instagram account for her two French bulldogs.
The former law student who took his law exams while filming Bake Off won the series in 2012 has since published four cookbooks and become a presenter and judge on the UK cooking competition, Chopping Block. He also has a cooking school in Lancashire.
According to his Twitter, Whaite also applied for a Bar Professional Training Course, which lets people become barristers, but he says he plans to keep writing and running the cooking school.
Biscuit wooden spoons to play with and eat! Created especially for @spooncereals to showcase their addictively tasty collection of granolas. Delicious enjoyed straight from the box or straight off the spoon-biscuit ones especially! Full recipe can be found on the #spooncereals website and is an adaption of my basic gingerbread dough from #quinntessentialbaking But using maple syrup and cinnamon-two favourite ingredients of mine and Spoons! Big shout out to @clairemenary for the
Frances Quinn was a designer before Bake Off, and her aesthetic shows in her great-looking eponymous website. She won Bake Off in 2013 and published her first cookbook in 2015. She was known on the show for elaborate, eye-catching food, and now she makes her very fancy cakes for private clients and celebrities.
Nancy Birtwhistle applied to be on Bake Off in 2013 but was not accepted, then she came back and won the whole thing in 2014. She has a popular baking blog and leads cooking tours, and she's an active campaigner against food waste with Love Food Hate Waste. She also recently started sharing cooking videos on YouTube.
Nadiya Hussain is Bake Off's biggest success story. She won season six in 2015, and since then she's become a very famous author and TV personality. She went from winning Bake Off to replacing Mary Berry as the judge on Junior Bake Off, and she starred on several BBC series, The Chronicles of Nadiya, Nadiya's British Food Adventure, and Big Family Cooking Showdown. She has two more shows coming out this year.
She's written two best-selling cookbooks, and a series of children's books called Nadiya's Bake Me a Story that include recipes and stories. Her first novel, The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters, was published last year, and she has a children's book about childhood anxiety called My Monster and Me, which is due out in September.
Nadiya also baked Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday cake in 2016 and presented it to her in person.
Good things come to those who bake. Ahead of the #RoyalWedding I’ve whipped up some dainty jam tarts with an American twist by adding a dollop of creamy peanut butter. These tasty bite-sized treats are an ideal accompaniment to the big day. Head over to @Tescofood for the super simple recipe: //bit.ly/RealFoodC #PerfectMatch #ad
After winning Bake Off, Candice Brown quit her job as a P.E. teacher to devote herself to a career in baking. She's written for The Times and published a cookbook about comfort food last summer, and this year she even did another reality show and competed on Dancing on Ice. She was the first skater eliminated, but she got some great pictures out of it.
Candice is also getting married in September, and she says the bakers from her season will bake her wedding cake. She told The Daily Mail that each baker would do a tier. There are 11 of them, so it's going to be a pretty huge cake.
Happy Friday Everyone To all my fellow Suffolk People..the countdown is on! This weekend I will be making my way to the #SuffolkFoodFestival @trinityparkuk in Ipswich! I will be doing demos on both days and get the chance to meet you all at my Meet and Greet sessions! Really looking forward to seeing you all! #SuffolkFoodFestival #GBBO #bakerlife #Ipswich
The most recent Bake Off winner is former Army officer and competitive cyclist Sophie Faldo, who says she baked her very first cake just five years ago. After her victory she said she planned to write cookbooks and travel the world. The cookbooks are still to come, but she's already traveling all over doing cooking demonstrations and presentations, and she's also doing a lot of work for charity. She's an ambassador for Combat Stress, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of veterans' mental health, and she's also training to be a stuntwoman.