Rising cake stars: The top baking trends of 2013

  • By Natalie Hardwick - Senior writer - bbcgoodfood.com

Forget the cupcake, BBC's Great British Bake Off has shown there's a whole new world of sweet treats out there. So we asked the BBC Good Food team to predict what will be the biggest baking trends of 2013.

It's taken a while, but the cupcake has been nudged off its perch. BBC2's Great British Bake Off has shown there's a whole raft of sweet treats out there, waiting in the wings for a renaissance. Like Nostradamus but with a pair of floury hands, the BBC Good Food team has predicted what will be the biggest baking trends this year. Pop on a pinny and get ready to impress.

Peek-a-boo battenberg cakeThe trend: Peek-a-boo cakes

Deceptively simple from the outside, it's only when you cut into these cakes that the magic is revealed - so sit back and wait for the gasps. From multi-layered cakes in vibrant colours, to hidden hearts embedded in an outwardly plain sponge, keep the decoration to a minimum to make the most of what lies inside. Sarah Cook's dazzling take is a thoroughly British cake that combines the best of these American trends - edible colour-coding plus some clever jigsaw work.

Peek-a-boo Battenberg cake

Coconut ice marshmallowsThe trend: Marshmallows

Soon you won't be able to find a farmers market without a stand selling these moreish treats. So, take the lead among your friends and be the first to experiment with homemade marshmallows. Flavours can be as grown up as you like, from saffron to strawberry, blackcurrant to beetroot - marshmallows are without a doubt the current after-dinner favourite in all the smartest restaurants. Try Sarah Cook's sweet shop version first, then let your imagination run wild.

Coconut-ice marshmallows

Chocolate and raspberry zebra cakeThe trend: Zebra cakes

Remember marble cakes? These are a 21st Century version, where a little precision results in a uniformly stripy sponge. The key is all in the batters: they have to be as similar in consistency as possible, so if too much colouring loosens one, either thicken it with a tablespoon more flour or add a splash of milk to the other to compensate. Stick to the rules, work quickly and confidently and there are endless colour and flavour possibilities.

Chocolate & raspberry zebra cake

Mini eclairsThe trend: Eclairs

These gorgeous delights are the cupcake of Paris right now, and it won't be long before they cross the Channel in abundance. The prettier and more jewel-like the decoration, the better. Experiment with fondant icing transformed with natural food colouring, then tailor the flavour to the hue - a drop of blackcurrant Cassis works with a purple icing, while framboise works with pink. Once you've cracked your technique, get experimenting with the cream filling, by adding hazelnut or almond extract, coffee or cocoa.

Mini eclairs

Afternoon tea churrosThe trend: Doughnuts

Following a vast trail of baked goods before them, the doughnut has turned artisan. Restaurants serving flavours such as chicken liver, black pudding and bacon, and fennel salt have turned the traditional variant on its head. Making them in the traditional ball-shape allows you to play around with fillings such as chocolate, custard, marmalade or fruit, but we like them served Spanish-style as piped fingers with an English country garden spin.

Afternoon-tea churros

What's your cake of 2013? If you need a little inspiration, check out our expansive cakes & baking hub