The most searched for recipes reveal what we were all cooking during lockdown

·4-min read
Banana bread was this year's most searched for recipe. (Getty Images)
Banana bread was this year's most searched for recipe. (Getty Images)

Whether you’re a total kitchen-phobe or a dab hand with a whisk, this year has seen many of us seek to expand our recipe repertoire, thanks to all that extra time we’ve spent at home.

From the flour shortage, which saw us improvising with ingredients, to a new found obsession with making a sourdough starter, 2020 will go down for many as the year they learned new culinary skills.

But which recipes proved to be the most popular?

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, Yahoo UK‘s list of the most searched-for recipes was banana bread, as many hopeful bakers looked to perfect their skills and ease boredom during the first coronavirus lockdown.

As well as not wanting to miss out on jumping on the banana bread bandwagon, there’s actually something pretty satisfying about creating something delicious out of brown and overripe bananas that would otherwise be confined to the bin.

From cooking it in the slow cooker, to trying to find healthier versions, if you didn’t bake a banana loaf in lockdown, did lockdown even happen?

Since 23 March, when the UK entered the first lockdown, Instagram feeds and Twitter timelines have been awash with shares of delicious looking banana bakes, as well as celebrity, and even royal, takes on the humble recipe.

Read more: Lola's Cupcakes reveals how to make sought-after Red Velvet cupcakes

People turned to baking sweet treats like brownies during lockdown 2020. (Getty Images)
People turned to baking sweet treats like brownies during lockdown 2020. (Getty Images)

But it wasn’t just banana bread that had us reaching for the mixing bowl, in fact, 12 out of the top 20 of Yahoo UK’s most searched for recipes fell into the cakes, biscuits or desserts category, as the nation looked to sweet treats to boost our mood during a tough year.

Coming in fourth place was the humble Victoria sponge, as people rediscovered a love for comforting classics with all the whipped cream and jammy trimmings.

Nothing says quintessentially British quite like the classic Victoria, and in 2020 the sponge cake regularly featuring in the top ten lists of best lockdown bakes.

So much so, that even the Queen’s bakers dropped their very own Victoria sponge recipe earlier this year.

The Buckingham Palace bakers’ creation, aptly named the ‘Queen Victoria’ was shared on the Royal family’s official Instagram account back in May.

Searches for all kinds of different baked treats have skyrocketed this year, with recipes for scones, carrot cake, apple crumble, flapjacks and chocolate cake all appearing in the top ten of Yahoo’s most-searched.

Read more: Cookies, banana bread and pizza bases among top lockdown treats Britons are enjoying

So what’s caused so many of us to want to channel Mary Berry this year? According to BBC Good Food’s Lily Barclay, it could be to do with the impact the pandemic has on us emotionally.

“Baking is such a calming activity which can help you focus and take away the stresses of the day,” she explains.

Barclay says many people have used baking as a coping mechanism to escape the stresses and strains of everything going on this year.

“The motion of stirring, beating, and kneading can be meditative and the results are very rewarding,” she adds.

Watch: Recipe for delicious Romanesco Cauliflower.

As well as brownies, cakes and cheesecakes, people were also searching for everyday comfort food.

The most popular recipes included quiche, lasagne and cottage or fish pie, as many of us rediscovered a love for home comforts.

“An increase in the importance of food and its power to bring us together has pushed many of us back to old fashioned meal planning and recipes,” explains Waitrose executive chef Martyn Lee.

“Comfort and nostalgia are back.”

And in lieu of not being able to go to a pub for a Sunday roast, it seems people instead decided to perfect their own at-home versions with searches for Yorkshire pudding recipes coming in second in the most-searched for list.

Who doesn’t love a good Yorkshire after all?

Other popular recipe searches included comfort foods, like lasagne. (Getty Images)
Other popular recipe searches included comfort foods, like lasagne. (Getty Images)

Read more: Warburtons reveals top secret crumpet recipe

Other recipes with search-worthy credentials include pizza dough and pancakes, as dinners and brunches out were replaced by making and flipping your own at home.

And while we’re not saying we’re going to be giving Dominoes a run for it’s money any time soon, our dough-making skills are definitely on the up.

Well, if there’s one good thing to come out of 2020, its that we’ve all increased our kitchen know-how.

Now, where did we see that recipe for a sourdough starter?

Yahoo UK‘s top 20 list of the most searched-for recipes of 2020:

Banana bread

Yorkshire pudding


Victoria sponge


Carrot cake

Apple crumble


Chocolate cake


Fish pie

Pizza dough


Cottage pie

Chocolate brownies



Bread pudding



Watch: Chef Sandra Lee makes festive hot chocolate three ways.

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