In the TV show The Great British Bake Off, contestants are set a number of challenges. For example in the final they had to create:

  • A picnic pie
  • Two types of pretzels
  • A wedding cake

A lot of the finalists had difficulty with the pretzels because they hadn't done them before and didn't know the process. This indicates that they are told what to make and sent away to bake immediately.

However for both the wedding cake and pie, Kimberly had the opportunity to go find tools. So either she happened to have a both a pig shaped cutter in her bench and a stencil with the word "love" in fifty languages (very unlikely), or she'd had advance warning of the final challenge.

Do the contestants know what they're going to be baking in advance of the show?

  • 2
    I don't know about this show in particular, but other cooking shows I have seen actually give the recipe to the contestants before hand to study. The type of show I'm talking about are the ones where there is a "guest" chef requiring contestants to cook their special dish, so they show them how to do it. Depending on the format of the show, some of the shows are completely without notice where they give the ingredients and say make something to include all of these. Since I have not seen this show, I'm leaving this as a comment instead of an answer. Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


The contestants have to do three challenges per week: a signature bake, a technical challenge and a showstopper. The signature bake and showstopper are planned in advance by the contestants. The shows are filmed once I week so I would guess that they have the week for planning what to do and gathering tools.

However, the technical challenge is designed to test the cooking knowledge and skill of the bakers and therefore they are not given planning time or told in advance what they have to cook, so the judges can see how they can think on their feet with regards to the ingredients and techniques needed.

  • Great answer thanks - welcome to Movies! I've just spotted you're only down the road from me small world and big Yorkshire!
    – Liath
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 13:06

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