It is the prime-time show that has captured the imagination of foodies across the country – and inspired a new generation of bakers.
Now a Welsh baker has beaten off 14,000 rivals to take part in BBC phenomenon The Great British Bake Off.
Beca Lyne-Perkis, from Cardiff, will be flying the flag for Welsh cakes and bara brith in the latest series of BBC Two’s popular competition.
The 31-year-old said: “I have baked ever since I was tall enough to stand on a stool next to the work top. My happy place is in the kitchen.”
She is one of 13 amateur bakers competing in the fourth series of the show, which has an average of 6.5 million viewers and is the channel’s second highest rated show after Top Gear.
The programme has been credited with spurring an interest in home baking, with supermarkets and department stores reporting sharp rises in sales of baking ingredients and accessories.
It is also thought to be responsible for reviving the Women’s Institute, whose membership has reached its highest level since the 1970s.
Full-time mum Beca learned to bake from her two grandmothers– and hopes to pass the skill on to her own 18-month-old daughter Mari.
Her grandmother in West Wales taught her how to make bread and tarts, while her other grandmother in South Wales taught her to bake scones and Welsh cakes.
She said: “I used to stand next to them in a little apron, helping to stir things. I have fond memories of helping out in the kitchen.
“Now, when I am baking, I put my daughter in her highchair next to me with a bowl and a wooden spoon, and tell her what I am making.”
Her baking is also popular with her 33-year-old husband Matt, who has worked as a medic in the army for 14 years.
Beca, who is currently living in Hampshire and is a member of her local Military Wives’ Choir, said: “My husband and his colleagues love chocolate brownies, but they are not fussy. His best friend will eat a whole coffee and walnut cake all to himself.”
Initially reluctant, Beca was encouraged to apply for the show by her husband and parents.
She said: “I was not sure I wanted to have my baking criticised. If you bake for your friends and family, they never say if they don’t like it and I thought the criticism would be difficult.”
The first of 16 episodes in the series, which is judged by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, will see the contestants produce sandwich cakes, angel food cake and chocolate creations.
Beca said: “It was nerve-wracking meeting the judges for the first time, but I was busy concentrating on what I was baking. I am a very competitive person, but it did not feel like a competition, because I was there doing something I loved.”
In each episode, the contestants are asked to produce a “signature bake” from a tried and tested recipe, a “technical challenge”, designed to test their knowledge and a “show-stopper” aiming to impress the judges.
She added: “My cooking certainly has Welsh influences, but I have been fortunate enough to travel and take in broad influences from different countries and cultures.
“I describe myself as a traditional baker, who likes to put a different spin on things.”
The mother-of-one, who studied music at Cardiff University and used to work for the British Museum, is now hoping to use her culinary skills to become a professional baker.
She said: “Baking has always been my hobby, but I would love to make it my job. I have dreamed about baking for a living since I was a little girl.”
The first episode of the new series of The Great British Bake Off will be on BBC Two at 8pm on August 20.