As the nights draw in and autumn arrives, baking fans up and down the country celebrate the return of The Great British Bake Off - from experimental signature bakes, testing technical challenges and supreme show-stoppers, Bake Off provides the sweetest of mid-week treats.
To mark this special time of year, we’ve compiled a list of baking-inspired goodies on offer at Victoria Centre. Whether you’re a star-baker in the making, a complete novice or just fancy a baked treat, there’s something here for you.
The home of DIY projects and creative pursuits, Søstrene Grene has plenty of baking ‘bits and bobs’ to experiment with.
Instore you’ll find cookie cutters in all shapes and sizes starting at just 34p (including a high heel, an ice cream cone, and a moustache), Piping Bags with three different nozzles for various intricate piping effects (£4.21) and Fondant Cutters in the shapes of shells, butterflies and sweet little animal faces (£1.98). In here, the decorating possibilities are endless.
Unleash your inner Prue Leith with Søstrene Grene’s inspirational videos and recipes, including this tutorial showing you how to make edible pearls using the handy silicone Pearls Mould (£3.68) and delicate roses with the Rose Fondant Cutters (£2.28). With tips and tricks like these, you’ll be star baker in no time.
For more baking goodies, visit Søstrene Grene on the upper mall.
John Lewis & Partners
Many of us have dreamed of quickly “whipping up” a delicious bake, worthy of a famous Paul Hollywood handshake. With the Dualit Hand Mixer (£69.99)you can do just that.
Featuring four different speed settings and three changeable fixtures, including dough hooks, flat beaters and a balloon whisk, this hand mixer is perfect for a variety of baking tasks. The fully retractable power cord allows for quick and easy packing away for neat and tidy storage.
If you’re looking for a mixer to keep up with your busy baking schedule, the KitchenAid Mini Stand Mixer (£349) will rise to the challenge - whether you're looking to whisk up your eggs to perfect your meringue, beat some silky smooth frosting to top a cake, or make your own pasta or pizza dough, this mixer has all you need.
And, what’s best, is this slimmed down mixer delivers the same power as the full-sized mixer, but is 20% smaller and 25% lighter so you can maximise on your countertop space.
For more equipment inspiration visit John Lewis & Partners on the lower mall.
House of Fraser
For the pro baker, there’s nothing quite like a complete matching set. Bakehouse and Co offers a range of professional-level cooking and baking products, many of which can be found in House of Fraser. Roll out perfect pastry every time with the Ash Wooden Rolling Pin (£12), cleanly cut out delectable biscuits using the Crinkle Edge (£8) or Straight Edge Cookie Cutter Set (£7) and smooth out your frosting with the Stainless Steel Large Palette Knife (£5.50).
The real pièce de résistance, and sure to impress any kitchen tech fanatic, is the Folding Electronic Kitchen Scale (£22), a simple gadget, but oh-so stylish. Simply fold out for accurate weighing scales, and fold back in for easy clean up and storage.
For more top-notch baking equipment, visit House of Fraser in-store.
There’s nothing better than a warming cup of tea or coffee to accompany your fresh bakes. These Geo Embossed Stacking Mugs (£27) come in a set of six, so they’re perfect for sharing your baking talents with friends and family when they pop round for a gathering.
If you’re expecting guests, pull out all the stops and display your delicious treats on the matching Geo Embossed Tiered Cake Stand (£16) to really impress your at-home judges.
If there’s any biscuits or cakes leftover, you’ll need to keep them fresh so you can enjoy your bakes for longer. The Set of 3 Animal Cake Tins (£24) come in three roomy sizes and feature adorable animal faces. Wipe clean and stackable, these cake tins will be a perfect storage addition to your baking kit.
For more kitchen and baking ware, head to Next’s top floor on the upper mall.
Enjoy a tasty treat
We know what it’s like when you’re salivating on the sofa, watching sourdough bake and muffins rise, it can be difficult to resist raiding the biscuit cupboard during the ad breaks.
So if you’re not much of a baker, don’t worry - we’ve got your watch-party baked goods covered with Muffin Break, Millie’s Cookies and Costa Coffee, Greggs, Krispy Kreme, Auntie Anne’s Bakery and Birds all under one roof. Your guests will love you for bringing the goods along.
The Barkery by Frenchie Frenchie
Who says only humans deserve a pawsome treat while they’re watching Bake Off?
With baked treats for dogs of all shapes and sizes, you're sure to find something your pooch will love. Bestsellers include WUFFles, doughnuts for dogs WoofNUTs (available in 12 flavours), and a special range of dog-friendly traditional biscuits including canine-favourites like bourbons, custard creams and Jammie Dodgers, Lotus biscuits and Oreos.
To make your dog’s day, visit The Barkery team in the centre, or click here to see a selection of the goodies on offer.