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Birthday Bake Off – the Idiot’s Guide to having a virtual bake off.

Have you had to celebrate your birthday during lockdown? Well, I’m about to, as it is my birthday this week, and I’m wondering how much of a celebration it will actually be.


I might get some cards. I may even get a present from Matt, but only if he was able to buy something before lockdown or something has caught his eye on the internet (I can’t complain, we got engaged last year and he treated me like a Queen).


Of course, the best birthday present is that we are both well and safe at the moment and we hope that continues. So  how can you celebrate when you are not allowed out, or to mix with anyone else?


You have to make the day special in other ways.


How can you help to celebrate their birthday in lockdown?


  • Making birthday cards is an easy option for most of us. Use up those leftover scraps hidden in drawers around the house!


  • Prepare breakfast in bed – maybe with Bucks fizz, or something a bit different.


  • Decorate the house – if you have balloons or any other decorations that could double up for birthdays.


  • Ordering a delivery of their favourite food from a local artisan food business would be both a lovely surprise, and means you are also supporting local business through a difficult time. (think of us for this if you are allergic or sensitive to any foods!)


  • Create and print out a menu; go the extra mile to decorate the table and cook a special meal.


  • Bake a celebratory cake.


  • Why not create a virtual ‘bake off’, so that other members of the family and friends, who can’t be there with you this year, can still celebrate in their own homes, and eat cake too?


  • Focus on the desires of the birthday girl or boy – their choice of place to walk; what to watch on TV, it is all about them for a day!


How to create a virtual ‘bake off’


  1. Choose your theme: Celebratory birthday cake; or have a themed cake that suits the character of the birthday person.
  2. Work out how long you are allowed to work on the item.


  1. Ensure everyone knows what is expected of him or her i.e. The type of cake to be baked, such as a Victoria sandwich; what type of decoration is to be used – or is that left to each person’s own creative choice?



  1. Agree the start, and end time, including the time that you have to show the finished item. The baker must take selfies whilst preparing and baking; also take an image of the finished cake. Or even a time lapse or little video.


  1. Who is going to do the judging? (Possibly it could be the birthday- person, although if their partner is baking personal bias could become an issue).



  1. Create a scorecard – so that everyone knows exactly the criteria on which he or she is going to be judged. Obviously, unlike the TV Bake-off, a virtual version can only be judged on;


  1. a) Presentation: Does the cake look edible; is it burnt, does it look soft and spongy? Has the baker managed to execute their creative ideas well?
  2. b) Creativity: Has the baker used their imagination? Have they thought about the personality of the birthday person when considering their design?
  3. c) You might also like to add extra criteria for the marking, which would be how well you dress, and photograph your finished cake.


  1. What is the prize? In lieu of the Paul Hollywood handshake, either a handshake or a gold cup emoji would work for the winner.


Sadly, taste and smell are not shared over the Internet!


This idea could work well with many different baked goods, so if this is successful, you could set up further family and friends Virtual Bake-offs.


If you don’t have the ingredients for different types of recipes, due to lack of access to shops, then using our baking mixes would be perfect for this activity.


In this case, focus the competition on the style and choice of decoration, and presentation rather than the baking activity.


If you and your family decide to have a Virtual Bake-off, particularly using our Baking Mixes, we’d love to see pictures of the winning bakes. Tag @creativenature on instagram, or email info@creative-nature.uk.com

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