For the last few months, conversations around the proverbial water cooler have been all about group stages, tennis seeds and whether or not you knew there were so many nations in the commonwealth. (53? Really?)


But that's all about to change. Once the Bake Off returns to our screens, all anyone will be discussing (on Thursday mornings at least) is star bakers, showstoppers and soggy bottoms.

If GBBO has passed you by, never fear. We are here with a run down of all the phrases you need to know to get by in Bake Off land...

Star Baker

The amateur baker who has improved most or baked the best creations that week. The coveted title is handed out at the end of each episode, just before one baker is sent home. There is plenty of merchandise available if you would like to pretend to be Star Baker in the comfort of your own home. You'll find no judgement here.

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Soggy Bottom

Though it makes everyone giggle, the soggy bottom actually refers to the bottom of pies and tarts. In the baking world, a soggy bottom is very bad news and Paul Hollywood will most definitely not be impressed. The term is so popular that it trended on Twitter last summer. There has been no word on whether Paul Hollywood was impressed by that.

Even bake

This is a term Paul and Mary use a lot when describing a satisfactory creation, often when the bakers have been tasked with making 12 identical cakes. It means the bake has been cooked and has coloured evenly. If this starts being bandied around it means a contestant is earning Berry brownie points.

Signature bake

The first challenge the bakers face. The signature bake is a tried and tested recipe they cook for family and friends. Think squishy fudge brownies, stodgy scones and homely loaves.

Technical challenge

Arguably the toughest task. Paul or Mary give the bakers a very basic recipe (often with important details missing) and then stand back as most of them fail horribly. There is then a very tense session of blind tasting before the baker's efforts are ranked in order of (in)competence. Eek.


The final challenge of the week. The bakers are tasked with creating something detailed and extravagant to impress the judges. Past showstoppers have included a Dalek crafted out of biscuits and a choux pastry bicycle.

On your marks, get set... BAKE!

The phrase Mel and Sue yell at drastically different decibels at the start of each bake. Kind of like a war-cry.

Lovely sausage

A moment of Bake Off innuendo perfection. Soon-to-be Bake Off winner John Waite served up a pithivier stuffed with sausage, cheese and roasted vegetables in the final. And Mary complimented the young chap on his "lovely sausage". It happened back in 2012, but we're all still talking (i.e. sniggering) about it to this day.

Squirrel’s nuts

Refers to a rather well endowed squirrel who appeared in series two and stole the limelight in the final, causing something of a frenzy on social media. He is yet to reappear, but our fingers are permanently crossed.


The Great British Bake Off returns on Wednesday at 8:00pm on BBC1