Nigel Slater's Icing on the Cake

Nigel Slater's Icing on the Cake


A historical and cultural analysis of cake: why hasn't anyone thought of this before? And who better to present it than Nigel Slater: user of words like "unctuous" and "dollop" and a man who, you sense, appreciates cake on a deeper level than most humans.

This is, of course, pure comfort TV. But while it is educational, it's also quite funny. There's just something inherently comical about a cake. Presumably because it's considered a bit naughty, in a very British nudge-wink Carry On way. See, for example, the glint in Nigel's eye when he asks a cake historian (yes, there is such a thing) "Are you suggesting that [during the 17th century] buns were banned?" "Yes, frivolous buns; sexy buns," comes the reply.

This sticky, creamy indulgence is not one to enjoy on an empty stomach.


Food writer and chef Nigel Slater explores the earliest origins of cake in Britain, including how Elizabethan cooks discovered egg whites as a raising agent. He uncovers the ancient rituals surrounding the baking and eating of sweet treats, and reveals how buns were once banned for being too risque for the general public. Nigel also examines the popularity of the cupcake, and meets bakers hoping to revolutionise the concept of the cake.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Nigel Slater
Director Mark Adderley
Executive Producer Jane Merkin