Lesson idea: Great British Bake Off

It’s the penultimate week of term. State schools are on holiday, so the students have already requested something ‘fun’ and ‘light’ for lessons this week. The current topic is food. It’s lacked a creative task so far, and I don’t want to go over old ground (designing a themed restaurant, menus, crazy recipes, and so on). It’s time (I think) for the Bake Off…

Note: this lesson does not involve baking!

Lead in

Some general questions to set the scene…

  • Are you good at cooking? What can you cook? Do you have a ‘signature dish’?
  • Can you bake? Have you ever tried baking?
  • How many baked products can you name?
  • Are cookery/baking shows popular in [your country]? Do you watch them? Why/why not?
  • Etc


Then introduce the Great British Bake Off. Describe the concept of the show. Find a few clips of the judging online. I like this older one, where the challenge was to create a cake with a hidden pattern inside.

Note: I’ll be skipping part of the video in class as it’s not culturally appropriate in my context. It’s always best to watch a video all the way through to check appropriacy!

Some general questions… (for me, based on first 2 minutes)

  • Which cake design did you like the best, why?
  • Which design do you think the judges liked the best?
  • If you made a cake with a hidden pattern in it, what pattern would you choose?


Students brainstorm vocabulary related to cakes and cake design. Display some images of cakes to help with ideas. If ideas are still not forthcoming, this Quizlet study set (I’m still working on) might help.

Now, display images of interesting cakes from the web. This link from boredpanda has loads of good examples. Here is one:

Students describe the cake. Provide question prompts and process language if needed. Or model a description of one cake…

What do you think it tastes like?

It (probably) tastes sweet. It might taste of cheese. Actually, as it’s yellow, it might be banana flavoured.

What type of cake is it?

It looks like a cheesecake. Maybe it’s a sponge though.

What’s the concept?

It’s a fun concept. It’s like a cartoon. It’s designed/made to look like a ball of cheese with mice on it.

Can you describe it in more detail?

It’s round. It’s covered with/in yellow icing. It’s got orange circles on top. It’s got yellow sprinkles on it. There are lots of mice around the cheese. They are very detailed.


Explain that a recent Bake Off challenge was this:

‘Design your ideal birthday cake as a child’

So, it’s like the cake you never had, but would have LOVED.

Show some screenshots of the actual cakes from the episode. Student’s describe the cakes and discuss…

Image copyright bakeryinfo.co.uk, used for educational purposes

Example process language:

He chose that design because when he was a child, he wanted to be/he used to love/etc…

Students then design their ideal cake as a child. They should think about…

  • flavours
  • concept
  • design (interior/exterior)
  • anything else you or the learners want to add

They write a description of their cake using some of the language from class. Then they display their cakes and classmates judge them based on flavours/concept/whatever they think is relevant.


Basically, repeat the task. But this time, work with a partner. Choose a different theme. You can either elicit themes from the students, or provide examples:

  • Design a cake that celebrates the culture of your country
  • Design a cake that represents ‘life as a teenager in [your country/city]’
  • Design a cake that celebrates the local wildlife in your area
  • Etc


If (like in our coursebook) part of your food module is a text on food waste, students can research what happens to Bake Off cakes after the show…

Feature image copyright boredpanda – used for educational purposes only

Categories: Lesson Ideas, other, videos

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