The BEST Episodes of The Great British Bake Off
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Jan 4, 2020
Network: Channel 4
The Great British Bake Off sees passionate home bakers take part in an elimination competition to test every aspect of their baking skills. Each week the surviving bakers are put through three challenges in a particular baking discipline, such as cake, pastry, pies, bread, or biscuits. Round One is the Signature Challenge, which contestants will have had a chance to practice. However Round Two, the Technical Challenge, is unknown to them until filming, and they are given identical ingredients and a vague recipe to follow. Finally, the Showstopper Round tests their ability to impress the judges with outstanding workmanship, decoration, and design. Judging the baking are professional baker Paul Hollywood and food writer Mary Berry, who was replaced by restaurateur Prue Leith after the show's move from the BBC to Channel 4.
#1 - The Final
Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 16, 2012
After weeks of pastries, cakes and bread, three bakers have made it to the final. They now must face the most demanding of challenges yet as every aspect of their baking skill is scrutinised. To prove themselves to judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, they must create pastry perfection with a signature pithivier. Then on to one of the most intricate technical challenges ever devised - fondant fancies. Finally, it all comes down to their last ever showstopper, creating a masterpiece with a notoriously difficult chiffon sponge. After two days of baking, only one of the finalists can claim the title, winner of The Great British Bake Off.
#2 - The Final
Season 10 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 29, 2019
Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig host the final of the culinary competition. As family and friends gather on the lawn outside, the last three bakers enter the tent to prepare a chocolate cake as their signature bake. For the technical challenge, they must master that most delicate of dishes, the souffle, and finally for their showstopper, they must create an edible illusion using only cake, sweet bread and biscuits. Last in the series.
#3 - The Final
Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 26, 2016
It is the final, and with just three of the original twelve bakers remaining. The theme for the final is a Royal Bake Off, as the tent plays host to three challenges to impress the Queen.
#4 - The Final
Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 8, 2014
The three finalists face a Signature Challenge in which they have just three hours to prove they have mastered a pastry technique that usually takes a whole day. They then have to tackle a Technical Challenge without the aid of a recipe, before rustling up a Showstopper that turns sponge, caramel, choux pastry and petits fours into a winning combination.
#5 - Tea Party
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Sep 21, 2010
It's the Grand Final and the last three surviving contestants face their biggest challenge yet - baking for the Bake Off's Afternoon Tea Party. In order to be crowned the victor, they will need to bring together all of their skills, making cakes, bread and pastry.
#6 - The Final
Season 9 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 30, 2018
Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig present the 2018 grand final, as the three remaining bakers compete to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith and take home the trophy. For the final three challenges, they must prepare and decorate doughnuts, followed by a deceptively simple technical, and climaxing with an intricate, multi-layered, edible landscape showstopper. Last in the series.
#7 - Tarts
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Aug 23, 2011
The second round of The Great British Bake Off, hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, continues in the search for Britain's best amateur baker. Eleven bakers remain and this time their pastry skills are scrutinised as the bakers tackle tarts. Over two days the bakers will face three increasingly complicated challenges whilst trying to avoid a soggy bottom. Judged by acclaimed master baker Paul Hollywood and legendary cookery writer and baker Mary Berry, the bakers start with a signature bake: a quiche that says something about them. Next is the dreaded technical challenge where they are faced with baking a classic tarte au citron. Finally, our bakers have to deliver in bulk as they are asked to deliver 24 show-stopping sweet miniature tarts. The pressure of pastry proves too much for some. Who will be named Star Baker and whose Bake Off journey will be over?
#8 - Pies and Tarts
Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Sep 10, 2013
It's week four in the tent and the baking is getting serious, as the remaining bakers put on their pinnies to pimp up pies and tarts. From the country's oldest known cookbook, we discover the almost 700 year old history of the English custard tart. It might once have been popular at the decadent court of King Richard II but it is now a technical challenge in the Bake Off tent, one which causes more than the intended wobble for the bakers. Starting with what should be a home baker staple, their signature double-crusted fruit pies present a challenge to even the most experienced bakers, let alone the one baker who has a deep-hatred of all things fruit, and the showstopper sorts the bakers from the boys, as they set about making a filo pie centrepiece. Mel and Sue come to their aid as the bakers' nerves are stretched tighter than the filo pastry they are making from scratch.
#9 - Chocolate
Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired Sep 30, 2015
The pressure is on, as the remaining bakers must get to grips with one of the most difficult ingredients, chocolate.
#10 - Tudor
Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Oct 12, 2016
For the first ever Tudor Week, the bakers face pies, biscuits and a marzipan showstopper.
#11 - The Final
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Oct 4, 2011
It’s the grand final for the contestants and after seven tough weeks the three finalists face their biggest challenge yet – baking for The Great British Bake Off’s street party. They will be baking for judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, but also friends, family and former Bake Off contestants. Our finalists will reach new height of baking. They will be making a selection of petits fours and puff pastry, a first for The Great British Bake Off. They also be baking mille-feuille, mini Victoria sponges, strawberry and cream meringue nests and miniature strawberry and rhubarb cheesecakes. Who will be crowned as Britain’s best amateur baker on Great British Bake Off 2011? If sonly it could be all of of them…
#12 - Bread
Season 6 - Episode 3 - Aired Aug 19, 2015
The ten remaining bakers tackle quick breads, baguettes and 3D bread sculptures. Starting with the signature challenge, the bakers must tackle a Bake Off first and make quick breads - with no proving necessary, the bakers have an hour and a half to get creative with their flavours. Ranging from sweet chocolate loaves to manchego and prosciutto stuffed bread, the finished loaves are a delight, and one even earns a handshake from Paul. In another Bake Off first, Paul sets baguettes as the technical challenge. A seemingly simple recipe, everyone knows what a baguette looks like... or do they? The pressure of the tent gets to a few of the bakers, and the finished baguettes result in one of Paul's most brutal judgings. For their show-stopper, the bakers must make edible 3-D bread sculptures. As one baker says, 'it's doughverload', with another making enough bread to start up his own bakery. Mary and Paul have to work their way through a bicycle, a snake, an array of flowers, a lion and even the Brighton Pavilion, all made of bread. The results are impressive - so much so that one baker renders Paul speechless by making the best bread sculpture he's ever seen.
#13 - Botanical
Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Sep 28, 2016
Mary and Paul set three challenges inspired by nature for Botanical Week.
#14 - Desserts
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 3, 2013
It's week three, and the heat in the kitchen is already too much for some, as the remaining 11 bakers get ready to deal with desserts. Mary and Paul are upping the ante. Having survived cake and bread, this is the first week we see the bakers having to multi-task across several different baking skills at the same time; a signature trifle combining biscuit, cake, jelly or custard in perfectly distinct layers; a technically difficult task of making floating islands, which result in various forms of unrecognisable landmass by the end of the bake and a showstopper that pulls out all the stops, getting the bakers to juggle 24 petit fours that the judges might finally deem acceptable. They are taking no prisoners, and for the first time ever, there's a baking burglary in the Bake Off tent and it becomes a crime scene. Mel explores the origins of the trifle and discovers how it was transformed in the Georgian era from an elitist dessert for the aristocracy to a dish that was accessible to the masses.
#15 - Pastry
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Sep 14, 2010
It’s the penultimate round and as the travelling marquee pitches up in the Cornish village of Mousehole, it’s time for the bakers to get to grips with the most difficult of all baking skills – pastry. They bake their own versions of hearty British pies, get down to details with exquisite pastry canapés, and take a crash-course in crimping for this week’s surprise bake. While they’re rubbing-in and rolling-out, Mel and Sue will be finding out that Britain’s earliest pies really were humble, how pastry became an art form and how pies used to have a more sinister side. Then judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood will decide who will be the final three to go through to the final.
#16 - Patisserie
Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Oct 9, 2012
There are only four bakers left vying for a place in the much sought-after final of the Great British Bake off. The weight of the occasion is getting to the most unflappable of the bakers as they frantically work against the clock to deliver petits fours to Paul and Mary's exacting standards. The hardest technical bake ever seen on Bake Off finds two of the bakers left wanting as their fraisier cakes collapse. It's possible to hear a pin drop in the kitchen as the bakers pull out the stops for their showstopping choux gateaus. Paul and Mary think they have seen it all until they are presented with a tribute to the Tour de France..
#17 - French
Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Oct 15, 2013
It is the semi-final and there are just four bakers left. This round is the French round and the all-female semi-finalists have just three French bakes standing between them and a place in the final. The signature challenge raises the stakes, tasking the bakers to make three different types of savoury canapé in just two and a half hours. One type must be choux, the second another type of pastry such as shortcrust or rough puff, and the third can be anything of their choice, from biscuits to scones to dim sum. Mary and Paul will be looking for a professional finish and with so many techniques to cram into such a short time frame, there will be no room for mistakes. The technical challenge requires the bakers to combine techniques they have shown throughout the series, this time all packaged into a recipe for the complex Charlotte Royal, which combines the perfect swiss roll surrounding a delicate bavarois, set with gelatin to firm a firm dome once turned out - hopefully. The final challenge is a truly iconic French patisserie, the opera cake. Whilst Mel travels to the Paris Opera House to discover where the dessert originated, the semi-finalists battle to create the distinctive layers in their own take on the classic that will hit the right note with the judges.
#18 - Bread
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Aug 27, 2013
One week down and the remaining 12 bakers have 9 weeks and 27 gruelling challenges to get through before they can be crowned Winner of the Great British Bake Off. But having survived cake, now they battle bread. Knowing that Paul will be watching their every move and prove, they must bake 36 perfectly thin and crispy signature bread sticks, a technically tricky English muffin, and the most outrageous showstopping loaves of bread ever seen on television... from a Christmas wreath to a proud peacock and a psychic octopus. As the bakers try to perfect their breakfast muffins, we explore their rise in popularity in Georgian England, initially distributed by a network of muffin men, now immortalised in the famous nursery rhyme. Mel and Sue try to help but instead leave chaos in their wake, as Mary and Paul use the challenges to find out what type of bakers they are and exactly how far they can push their baking skills. They are looking for real talent and natural instinct, creativity and baking brilliance. At any time, two bakers might be asked to leave, making this year tougher than ever before... nobody is safe.
#19 - European Cakes
Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Sep 10, 2014
Past halfway in their baking marathon and the remaining six bakers face three European cakes. For their signature challenge the bakers are asked to bake yeast-leavened cakes; a tricky cross between cake and bread that sees some of the bakers opting out of Europe... Mary sets the bakers their most demanding technical challenge yet in which they must make a Swedish princess torte. With 24 different stages and only two-and-a-quarter hours to do it in, the bakers have their work cut out for them, while Sue explores the events that led to the huge array of Danish cakes and pastries in the Danish cake table tradition. And finally, a showstopping finale that puts the hungry into Hungary... The bakers must make their own contemporary version of the dobos torte. Traditionally a multi-layered Hungarian cake, the bakers must go one step further and make a two-tiered dobos torte with an emphasis on all things caramel in every way they can imagine... but whose Bake Off will come to a sweet but sticky end? On your marks, get set... bake!
#20 - The Final
Season 6 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 7, 2015
Only three of the original twelve bakers remain. They've made it to the final. Over 27 challenges, they've worked their way through every baking discipline Mary and Paul have thrown at them - from cakes to bread, pastry to puddings, and biscuits to chocolate. Along the way they have tackled recipes from the 70s and 80s, they've gone back to the Victorian era, they've made gluten-free bread, strange meringue concoctions, incredible constructions out of biscuits, bread and choux... They have all survived, and now they face their last three challenges. The signature challenge sees the finalists tackle enriched dough to create delicious filled iced buns. The technical requires them to conquer something they have all struggled with, and finally, for their last ever showstopper, they must make a classic British cake. Mary and Paul expect nothing short of perfection. So who will hold their nerve? Who will be crowned winner of The Great British Bake Off 2015? On your marks, get set... bake!
#21 - Desserts
Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired Aug 26, 2015
For the nine bakers left, it's time to tackle the sweet ending to every meal - desserts. The signature challenge comes in the form of a French classic - creme brulees. The bakers need to achieve the perfect wobble of the creme and an audible crack of the brulee. It's not easy though, as they have to brulee under the grill, not with a blow torch. While some will reach perfection, others will serve up scrambled egg and custard soup. Mary picks the technical challenge, and it's a European medley - the spanische windtorte from Austria, with a nod to Spain and some Swiss and French meringue thrown in. It maybe only be meringue, cream and soft fruit, but it's tricky to construct and needs to be decorated with delicate fondant violets - if only the bakers knew what a violet looked like! Not one, not two, but three baked cheesecakes make up the show-stopper. Mary and Paul are looking for faultless baked cheesecakes, beautifully flavoured and stacked in a show-stopping way - easy? The bakers don't disappoint with their inventive ingredient combinations, but not all of the tiered cheesecakes are structurally sound.
#22 - Biscuits
Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Oct 2, 2012
It is the biscuit based quarter-final, and Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are taking the challenges to another level. The signature bake sees the bakers' organisational and baking skills put to the test, as they attempt to deliver a huge batch of perfectly baked crispbreads. Then the bakers have to throw away the baking rule book as time and temperature work against them to produce six perfectly tempered chocolate tea cakes for the technical challenge. A place in the semi-final will be hard earned as the final challenge tests not only the quality of the bake, but how well it works as a building material.
#23 - The Final
Season 8 - Episode 10 - Aired Oct 31, 2017
Twelve bakers started, just three remain. Who will succeed with the demanding final challenges, including a high-end patisserie showstopper, to be crowned winner of The Great British Bake Off 2017?
#24 - Tarts
Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Aug 28, 2012
Things are hotting up in the Bake Off tent as the remaining ten bakers do their best to wow Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry with some unusual flavour combinations for their tartes tatin. Baking know-how is the all important ingredient for coming through the technical challenge unscathed. Mary's treacle tart seems simple enough, but its lattice top proves to be the undoing of some of the bakers. So the pressure is on - a showstopping tart is no easy task when baked under the gaze of Paul and Mary, but it is the bakers' best chance to achieve the accolade of Star Baker, and more importantly to avoid going home.
#25 - Semi-final - Patisserie
Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Oct 1, 2014
It's Patisserie Week, and the remaining four bakers will need to demonstrate that they have skills worthy enough to see them through to this year's final. The bakers are challenged to make a signature baklava - two types of any flavour they like, before the technical challenge demands they knock up a German Schichttorte, a cake cooked in stages under the grill to create 20 layers of different coloured sponge. Finally, the showstopper sees the semi-finalists baking non-stop to create two entremets in which they should demonstrate as many personal skills and techniques as they can.