30 recipes that defined 2020
From stay-at-home baking projects (anybody else make too much banana bread?) to the whipped coffee trend and DIY cocktails, check out the 30 most iconic recipes of 2020.
No doubt about it, we all spent more time at home in 2020. And, for foodies at least, that's meant reconnecting with the kitchen, remembering old recipes and learning new skills. Everyone went bonkers for banana bread – check out our top-rated vegan banana bread – and the brave embarked on a sourdough journey, with help from our resident sourdough expert, Barney Desmazery. A nationwide shortage of flour turned our attention towards flourless recipes, including these golden syrup flapjacks, and coffee-shop closures meant becoming baristas and making fluffy dalgona coffees and iced lattes at home.
Budget-friendly pasta bakes were all the rage, while a shortage of dried pasta persuaded people to make it fresh at home instead. At a time when visiting supermarkets was difficult, the storecupboard became our best friend (it's amazing what you can do with tinned beans and a jar of roasted peppers) and homemade comfort food – including the likes of macaroni cheese lasagne and paneer curry pie – became more important than ever. As did cocktails, of course.
The 30 recipes below were chosen based on web traffic analysis, a lot of behind-the-scenes stats, trend reports, what featured on TV programmes, and the general fluctuating tastes of 2020. What did you make more of in 2020? And will you still be baking banana bread in 2021? Let us know in the comments below.
1) Banana bread
We all know how banana bread took the world by storm this year, with everyone on social media using up their over-ripe bananas to make this simple bake. Our vegan version was wildly popular as readers had trouble tracking down butter and eggs. Our healthy banana bread and this gluten-free version were popular as well.
See more banana bread recipes.
As flour became increasing difficult to come by, alternative bakes became more crucial. These chocolatey brownies use ground almonds instead of plain flour. Our rich flourless chocolate cake is also a great alternative.
Find more flourless bakes with our recipe ideas.
This genius recipe uses lemonade to make these scones light and fluffy. 2020 was definitely the year to get creative with ingredients and try out internet hacks.
See more scone recipes.
Our social media community went wild for these easy chocolate fudge crinkle biscuits. Biscuits became a great baking option as they typically don't involve too many ingredients, and are great with a cuppa. We even made three additional flavours – sprinkle-crinkle biscuits, chocolate orange and Christmas crinkle cookies.
Get inspired with more biscuit ideas.
Another flourless bake, these golden syrup flapjacks use a few ingredients that you probably have in your storecupboard. This recipe acts as a fantastic base to add whatever extras you have to hand, like chocolate chips, dried fruit or chopped nuts.
For more ideas, see our flapjack recipes.
Bread-making was by far one of the biggest trends of 2020, with sourdough leading the charge. This classic recipe includes plenty of expert tips for a foolproof bake every time. We added extra sourdough starter to just about everything this year – from pizza to cinnamon buns.
See our sourdough recipes for more ways to use up a starter.
We found plenty of unique ways to bake bread during lockdown, including this clever slow cooker bread recipe. We crafted more unique bread recipes this year including plain flour bread and einkorn soda bread.
Discover more ideas with our bread recipes.
Those looking for a weekend baking project enjoyed our showstopping chocolate orange babka recipe. After finding popularity on the Great British Bake Off, babka became the next must-try trend. Babka is an enriched bread dough usually made in a loaf tin, but we've shaped it as a wreath.
Dalgona coffee took over social media for several weeks during lockdown. The simple technique is incredibly effective, the end result is a whipped topping with a gorgeously fluffy texture.
10) Iced latte
We had to get crafty at home and recreate our favourite coffee shop drinks in our own kitchen. This iced latte recipe is simple enough for even the most amature barista. For more espresso based drinks, try our cold brew method or classics such as a flat white, a cappuccino or a macchiato.
Make more drinks at home with our coffee recipes.
Pasta bakes became an essential part of family routines, as they're filling and budget-friendly. This classic chicken pasta bake is highly-rated for a reason – it's simple to compile and makes for the ultimate weekday family dinner.
See more pasta bake recipes.
12) Fresh pasta
It became increasingly difficult to find dried pasta over lockdown, which resulted in more people attempting to make their own at home. This recipe is a great way to use up alternative flours such as '00' pasta flour and semolina flour.
On busy weeknights, the easier the recipe the better. This simple pasta dish calls for just four ingredients, so anyone could make it despite ingredient shortages. Use a packet of ready-made gnocchi, with butter, parmesan and black pepper.
While it was tough to get to a supermarket at times, we put our storecupboard ingredients to use. This thrifty double bean chilli is filling and budget friendly, using cans of beans and chopped tomatoes as the main ingredients.
For more budget-friendly ideas, see our storecupboard recipes.
Sometimes you just need a quick treat to satisfy that sweet tooth. One dessert our readers loved were chocolate mug cakes. For an alternative recipe, see our vegan version or these melt-in-the-middle mug cakes.
16) Espresso martini
Home cocktail mixing took off in 2020 as we spent more time at home instead of in bars and pubs. Classic drinks such as espresso martini were essential to recreating that bar experience at home.
For more drinks, see our classic cocktail recipes.
17) Negroni mocktail
If drinking isn't your thing, mocktails are a great option to experience mixology at home. This negroni mocktail makes clever substitutions to recreate the feel of a classic cocktail.
Try more non-alcoholic drinks.
18) Gooseberry gin
2020 was a year in which many people celebrated nature with long walks and foraging. We put those foraged fruits and vegetables to use with all kinds of recipes, including infusing spirits. This gooseberry gin is a unique way to flavour the spirit.
Infuse more drinks with our flavoured spirit recipes.
19) Katsu curry
Recreate more restaurant classics with our takeaway recipes.
Large restaurant chains began releasing their classic recipes for people to create at home. This led to an influx of home chefs making homemade versions of their favourite dishes. Swedish-inspired meatballs were a big trend, served with mashed potato and lingonberry sauce.
Pizza is a guaranteed hit with the family. Instead of ordering a delivery, try making it at home with this indulgent, stuffed crust version.
Kitchen gadget recipes
22) Air-fried chips
See more slow cooker recipes.
We took comfort food to the max with this indulgent macaroni cheese lasagne. We combined two incredible dishes for the ultimate comfort food on dreary evenings.
Discover more cozy dinners with our comfort food recipes.
We loved making this slow-cooked pork, cider & sage hotpot throughout 2020 as a comforting pick-me-up. It's the perfect solution for cold winter nights.
One-pot dishes were widely celebrated throughout the year and this paneer curry pie was no exception. This vegetarian dish is a little more effort, making for a great weekend project at home.
See more one-pot recipes for more dinner ideas.
During lockdown, we turned to retro bakes and nostalgic desserts. Flummery is a mix of jelly and evaporated milk, that we topped with whipped cream.
Find more old-school recipes with our retro desserts.
29) Empire biscuits
These classic biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea. Sandwich with raspberry jam and top with thick icing and a glacé cherry to finish.
30) Bakewell tart
Who doesn't love a bakewell tart? This comforting dessert is sure to perk anyone up on a gloomy day. Serve with a dollop of cream or warm custard.
What were your go-to recipes of 2020? Let us know in the comments below.