Home » The UK attraction where you can pretend you’re on Bake Off for just £44

The UK attraction where you can pretend you’re on Bake Off for just £44

COVERED head to toe in flour and dancing around to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You. . . 

That’s where I found myself ten minutes after stepping through a fridge door and into a tent that looked like the one on The Great British Bake Off.

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Big Bake is a 90-minute competition that lets you live out your Bake Off dreamsCredit: Supplied
Just like the TV bakers, guests take their places at a mini-kitchen station equipped with an oven and all of the kit they need

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Just like the TV bakers, guests take their places at a mini-kitchen station equipped with an oven and all of the kit they needCredit: Supplied

This is the Big Bake, a 90-minute competition that lets you live out your Bake Off dreams. And yes, you even get judged at the end of it.

If you are a fan of the hit show, or just love a spot of cake-making, then this is the ultimate activity for you.

It takes place in three locations – two in London and one in Birmingham –  all year long.

Just like the TV bakers, guests take their places at a mini-kitchen station equipped with an oven and all of the kit needed to whip up four perfect sponges.

In teams of two, you then go head to head with other punters to decorate your tiers and create a show-stopping masterpiece.

The theme changes throughout the year and each year there is a special Christmas bake.

For the festive season my challenge was to craft an igloo cake, which required building the igloo out of white chocolate.

You have to patiently stir the melted chocolate over a hot plate – a challenge in itself while foot tapping along to Slade and sipping prosecco.

Competition inside the tent was friendly but fierce as I learned – when I asked another baker how they sculpted their beautiful fondant Christmas tree.

They shot back: “Look at the instructions, use the scissors.”

Yes, help is on hand in the form of detailed printed instructions and the staff will answer any questions you have, such as: What are the best toppings to replicate snow? (The answer, I learned, is coconut shavings).

All the essences and decorative edibles you can think of are on hand in a huge cupboard and are there to be experimented with.

But don’t get too distracted, like I did.

I wasted time deciding whether to use chocolate vegan stars or rainbow sprinkles on my tree.

In the end I opted for flaked almonds, cinnamon spice, cocoa powder and vanilla essence to flavour my sponge, and a squeeze of almond essence for my buttercream.

An insider tip: You are asked why you picked those flavours, and what was the inspiration behind your decoration, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

A final 15-minute countdown – just like on Bake Off – saw me frantically chucking coconut shavings around my tiers and moulding a beak for my penguin right up to the last ten seconds.

And when it was time for the bakers to gather at the top table, the head baker cut a slice out of each to check for soggy bottoms and other imperfections.

Mine made it past the taste test with flying colours, but the bake didn’t win first, second or third place.

It was still the best cake I had ever made or decorated, and I was proud of my winter wonderland scene, which featured a donkey in a forest, playing with shimmering gold snowballs.

The best bit was that I walked away with an impressive edible masterpiece and a fail-safe recipe that I will be baking every year at Christmas.

Staff really help to make this a truly immersive experience so you feel like you're on the show

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Staff really help to make this a truly immersive experience so you feel like you’re on the showCredit: SUPPLIED

GO: BIG BAKE

Tickets from £43.90pp, including all ingredients and a recipe e-book.

See thebigbakes.com.