Looking back on a year of dessert trends

As the end of another successful year draws closer, we take a look at what desserts have put the icing on the cake over the past 12 months.

The Great British Bake Off, now in its fifth series, once again captured the nation’s attention and continued to revolutionize our attitude to home baking. The popularity of the show has encouraged the sale of desserts, with major supermarkets reporting a peak in sales of items that have featured on the weekly episodes. The infamous ‘baked Alaska-gate’ episode, lead to Waitrose reporting a 5.8% increase in sales for the ingredients used in the recipe.

The country’s renewed interest of baked goods and cakes has also helped strengthen the afternoon tea market. As a result, mini desserts and cakes and have been thrust firmly into the spotlight as operators compete to develop miniature versions of beloved classics, as well as innovative, delectable creations.

New flavours have also made their mark, with spices and salts becoming increasingly commonplace in the patisserie kitchen. Although adding savoury flavours to traditionally sweet desserts might seem highly unconventional, people have come to appreciate the merit of combining sweet and savoury tastes to decadent effect and are snapping up salted caramel puddings, peppered scones and chilli chocolate bars.

Similarly breaking with convention was the birth of the gourmet doughnut. In 2014, we said goodbye to traditional filling such as custard and jam and welcomed pistachio glazed sourdough and Sicilian lemon curd with open arms. The creation of these flavours have elevated doughnuts from fast food snack to foodie favourite and with luxury department store, Selfridges, filling its selves with a range of flavours, the trend looks to continue long into the New Year.

The trend for hybrid desserts kick-started in 2013 with the New York born, ‘cronut’.  The light and sugary snack found international fame when reports of hungry foodies, spending hours queuing for a taste, circulated around the world. Keen to jump on the back of the cronut’s widespread popularity, pastry chefs spent hours in the kitchen whipping up the next hybrid sensation and in 2014, the duffin, the scuffin and the wonut were born. Every indecisive eaters dream, sales of hybrid desserts witnessed a 148% increase in sales over the past 12 months in the US alone.

Finally, 2014 taught us that desserts don’t always have to be considered unhealthy. One of the most popular diets of the year was the paleo diet, which encourages followers to return to a diet that mirrors that of a prehistoric caveman by removing modern, refined and processed foods. However, this hasn’t stopped followers of the diet from recreating their favourite contemporary desserts using purely raw ingredients such as making chocolate mousse by blending avocado, figs and cocao powder to create a smooth and rich dessert, good enough to rival the original.

To see what we think will take the dessert market by storm in 2015, check out our other blog here.