'It looks like a haunted waxwork': The Great British Bake Off bust cakes – ranked!

We never needed The Great British Bake Off more than we do now. This is partly because, in this age of frightening uncertainty, Bake Off’s spirit of good-natured fun feels like a warm tight hug. And also, based on last night’s episode, this year’s series is going to be flat-out barmy.

Because last night’s showstopper was like no other. Last night, the bakers had to pay tribute to their heroes via the medium of cake. Was this because the producers wanted something touching and heartfelt? Or, as I suspect, had they just seen Lionel Richie’s Hello video for the first time and decided to replicate it across 15 minutes of breathtaking television? We may never know. However, the cakes deserve to be remembered … and ranked:

1. Laura: Freddie Mercury

British Bake Off

Freddie Mercury’s head exploded… but the Dough Must Go On! #GBBO pic.twitter.com/hlEdJpbxKC

September 22, 2020

I have a real soft spot for this cake. Does it look like the real Freddie Mercury? No. But does it look like Freddie Mercury if Freddie Mercury was a Pokemon with breasts? Yes. And for that reason I’m in.

Likeness: 7
Cake appeal: 9
Fear factor: 3
Total: 19

2. Linda: Bob Marley


Bob Marley after a visit to cyberdog maybe? #GBBO pic.twitter.com/N7iFDs3xmH

September 22, 2020

On the plus side, Linda was smart to go deliberately abstract here, shunning the attempted photorealism of her peers for something with a little more artistic licence. On the downside, her cake ended up looking like a Doctor Who baddie from one of those episodes where they realise halfway through production that they don’t have any money. “I’d like to have seen a mouth on it,” said Paul Hollywood, the sex-obsessed deviant.

Likeness: 5
Cake appeal: 8
Fear factor: 5
Total: 18

3. Rowan: Marie Antoinette


GBBO: That’s not Marie Antoinette, thats’s @JimSterling ‘s Duke Du H’ardcore pic.twitter.com/uOKj7uIWFQ

September 22, 2020

It was very smart of Rowan to pick a historical figure. Nobody can really recall what Marie Antoinette looked like in real life, so he could have made his cake look like anything and the judges would be none the wiser. However, he made the mistake of making it look like a haunted waxwork. “You instantly recognise who it is,” said Paul Hollywood, the absolute liar.

Likeness: 4
Cake appeal: 5.5
Fear factor: 6
Total: 15.5

4. Peter: Sir Chris Hoy

A Gilded Eye 🌈

Chris Hoy Sex Doll #gbbo pic.twitter.com/tmg8L9O69O

September 22, 2020

I haven’t checked, but I think this one might be a case of mistaken identity. The Chris Hoy we all know is an Olympic cyclist. However, on the basis of Peter’s cake, I cannot rule out the possibility of there being a second Sir Chris Hoy, who is a sort of limbless robot mutant sex doll. If there is, Peter got this one bang on the money. “Very dramatic,” noted Prue, who appears to be legally prohibited from using the word “crap”.

Likeness: 4
Cake appeal: 4.5
Fear factor: 6.5
Total: 15

5. Dave: Tom DeLonge

Dom Peppiatt


AND IM SO SOGGY pic.twitter.com/OLc0OqE5LW

September 22, 2020

Dave committed a fatal error here. Had he done the smart thing and told the judges at the last minute that he was actually making a cake of Yoda reenacting Steve Buscemi’s “How do you do, fellow kids” meme, he probably would have won the series there and then. Honestly, it’s uncanny.

Likeness: 3
Cake appeal: 4.5
Fear factor: 7
Total: 14.5

6. Sura: David Attenborough

no context bake off


September 22, 2020

Officially this cake was called Ode to Attenborough. This felt like a loophole because it looked nothing like David Attenborough. It also looked nothing like Richard Attenborough. Was she trying to suggest that there was a secret third Attenborough brother, who had been locked away in a shed to avoid terrifying people with his monstrous resemblance to a prop from an unmade 1940s sci-fi movie entitled The Granny With the Obliterated Face? We may never know.

Likeness: 3
Cake appeal: 4
Fear factor: 7
Total: 14

7. Marc: Ziggy Stardust

British Bake Off

The David Bowie Showstopper – more Gobbling King than Goblin King. #GBBO pic.twitter.com/j43FmQbJG4

September 22, 2020

How best to capture the intangible, otherworldly sexuality of David Bowie in his 1970s pomp? That’s easy: make him look like a sort of wildly obese horse who has been banned from seeing sunlight by an evil Human Centipede-style surgeon.

Likeness: 2
Cake appeal: 3.5
Fear factor: 8
Total: 13.5

8. Loriea: Louise Bennett-Coverley


Why does Loriea’s cake look like the ice age baby 🤣😭 #GBBO #GreatBritishBakeOff pic.twitter.com/rbmvAmbX3y

September 22, 2020

It was clever to bake a cake of a relatively obscure Jamaican poet, because nobody would possibly question her appearance. But where Loriea fell down was by providing a photo of the real woman. And, since the real woman didn’t look anything like the radioactive market-stall ET that Loriea baked, she was doomed from the outset.

Likeness: 1
Cake appeal: 3
Fear factor: 9
Total: 13

9. Mark: Charles Darwin

Natural History Museum⁷

Who else thinks Mark’s Darwin cake is an eggcellent homage to our marble incarnation? #GBBO pic.twitter.com/9pIvic1xUp

September 23, 2020

Here’s my theory: Mark had originally set out to make a cake based on that comedian Andy Hamilton who sometimes appears on Have I Got News for You, but then forgot his name at the last minute, so called it Charles Darwin instead. Either way he messed up, because in reality the finished cake could only be described as “Albino Thanos”.

Likeness: 1
Cake appeal: 3
Fear factor: 8.5
Total: 12.5

10. Hermine: Lupita Nyong’o

robyn ♡

therapist: cake lupita can’t hurt you

cake lupita:#GBBO pic.twitter.com/NYC6jUH09M

September 22, 2020

Again, this is just speculation, but I think Hermine might hate Lupita Nyong’o with an intensity that could destroy planets. That can be the only possible explanation for her cake, which looked a bit like diarrhoea in a dress.

Likeness: 0
Cake appeal: 2
Fear factor: 10
Total: 12

11. Mak: Bill Bryson

British Bake Off

The stunning Bill Bryson Showstopper from Mak. 👏 #GBBO pic.twitter.com/rg0uYhjcPm

September 22, 2020

Big thanks to Mak for answering the question “What would Bill Bryson look like if he was born in a test tube and fed nothing but intravenous sewage until he was destroyed as an act of God after a fortnight?”

Likeness: 0
Cake appeal: 1
Fear factor: 10
Total: 11

12. Lottie: Louis Theroux

John Beck

Can you imagine Louis Theroux just casually turning over to Channel 4 right now #GBBO pic.twitter.com/gzFyYqvbRu

September 22, 2020

This cake was genuinely horrific. Hunchbacked and melted, this is a version of Louis Theroux who sits around feeling himself up on buses. “He is recognisable,” said Prue, who must have recently had a nightmare where Louis Theroux morphed into a sentient ball of vomit and attempted to eat her eyeballs.

Likeness: -10
Cake appeal: -10
Fear factor: 20
Total: 0


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