Bake Off recap: Who won The Great British Bake Off 2023?

Between Matty, Dan and Josh it was a close final - but who took home the coveted cake stand?
The 2023 Bake Off final saw Josh, Matty and Dan go head to head - but who was the ultimate Star Baker?The 2023 Bake Off final saw Josh, Matty and Dan go head to head - but who was the ultimate Star Baker?
The 2023 Bake Off final saw Josh, Matty and Dan go head to head - but who was the ultimate Star Baker?

In a tough to call final, the 2023 Great British Bake Off final was a nail biter between three hard-working amateur bakers.

From day one Josh has been precise and Dan has excelled in technical challenges while Matty's skills have grown week on week.

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But who was able to impress the judges to become the ultimate star baker of the series and take home the coveted cake stand?

Signature Bake: Eclairs

In a somewhat muted start to the final, bakers were asked to create two different types of eclairs. With different flavours and decor a requirement, the judges warned that balancing elements such as the choux pastry and filling will be key.

Dan was up first to be grilled by the judges, after Paul issued a stark warning to the cameras that they would need to be perfect from the get go. In his final signature bake he made strawberries and cream with a summer fruit punch jelly, alongside an éclair with salted caramel mascarpone cream and praline ganache.

Josh, who grows his own fruit and veg at home, had unfortunately used up all of his supply but was hoping to keep things seasonal with his coconut, mango and raspberry as well as a coffee cream-filled pastry with dark chocolate and coffee icing.

Josh’s nan Freida encouraged him to apply for Bake Off in 2019, but passed away in 2021. She was who had taught Josh everything he knew about baking since he was a child. She has been a steady presence in the tent with Josh often referring to her as inspiration.

Precision is key for the pastry and unlike Josh and Dan, Matty was less than confident with his choux. His final signature bakes were inspired by two classic desserts: black forest gateau and banoffee pie.

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Lara, Matty’s fiancée, applied for him to enter the show as he didn't consider himself “good enough” despite making it all the way through the competition.

Without a dusting of icing sugar the eclairs wouldn't have their typical crispy outer shell, something which Dan fell victim to in his rush for perfection.

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Chatting with Noel, Dan also revealed how unhappy and unimpressed his son was by his lying, once the baker revealed what he had been up to.

But what did the judges think?

Josh was up first, with his consistent and uniform eclairs. Prue complimented his delicate but delicious flavours despite Paul's opinion that they were too sweet. Instead, the other judge much preferred his “spot on” coffee eclairs.

Matty wasn’t off to a good start, with Paul calling the cherries on the top of his eclairs “ridiculous”. When it came to taste his banoffee eclairs were criticised for being more banana than caramel, while his “crisp, firm eclairs” were what the judges were after - though his black forest flavours could have packed more of a punch.

Last up was Dan. Paul disliked how messy his bake was, while Prue, once again, commented that Dan had taken on too much. Unfortunately, the judges thought that his eclairs were soggy with Paul commenting that he had “ruined” it with too much cream. His praline creation was also poorly received with Paul unconvinced by the flavours.

Technical Challenge: Lardy cake slices

The final technical challenge of series 14 of The Great British Bake Off was set by Paul, who warned: “For perfection, you will need patience.”

The bakers were thrown into the deep end with the British classic, lardy cakes. Described as a cross between a Danish pastry and a bread, Paul tells Prue that patience will allow the structure of the treat to remain open and loose.

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However, none of the bakers seemed to be aware of what this technical challenge should quite look like.

Lamination was another element of this bake, with the bakers using lard and butter between layers with bakers folding their dough ahead of a second prove.

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As the timer ticked away, Matty had the right instincts to let it sit out without the proving drawer but second guessed himself, despite an ominous voice over for viewers at home that using the drawer could see the lard melt.

Matty described the wait as “painful”, which was exactly how it felt to watch with Dan cranking up the heat on his oven - but how did they do in the blind taste test?

Josh was up first with the lamination, texture and flavours of his lardy cakes complimented Next up was Dan, whose lardy cakes were uneven and overbaked, though they had a nice flavour.

Last up was Matty, who struck out with the judges commented that his dough needed more proving and baking.

Matty came in third, Dan second and Josh first.

Showstopper: Tiered celebration cake

For the bakers’ final showstopper, the judges asked them to create an elegant tiered celebration cake which was inspired by their first ever bake to then elevate it into something special.

Prue cautioned the cameras – but not the bakers – that the judges would be looking for these creations to do what they say on the tin; for example, if the bakers said there would be lemon, they needed to be able to taste it.

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Dan set out to create a showstopper which combined lemon drizzle cake with lemon meringue pie across three layers. In addition, he was to make lemon macarons for the decoration.

Josh was playing it safe, making a Victoria sponge with rhubarb and strawberry jam with apple included in his sponges. Across three tiers he wanted to represent spring, summer and autumn with a biscuit greenhouse and boiled sweetie windows.

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Matty, in a bold move, had decided on a genoise sponge for his base layer – a delicate sponge which bakes and cools quickly. His flavours were inspired by chocolate crumble brownies with French buttercream alongside a Victoria sandwich middle layer with lemon and rosemary and a fresh summer fruit jam.

Dan, doing as he had most weeks, was giving himself more to do with his macarons while Josh, creating his biscuit decorations with boiled windows, had to worry about baking once more.

Meanwhile, Matty’s middle cake layers were underbaked and had to head back into the oven after he trimmed them.

Dan’s white chocolate collar was too small, with the comment “dog’s dinner” being thrown about by the baker.

He said: “I’m going to hide it with a macaron. Paul and Prue will never notice.”

Then the crunch was on as the bakers rushed to get their final ever showstoppers finished.

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Viewers got to see the bakers who had already left the competition being asked about who they think could win, and while Tasha was hopeful that Matty could surprise us, Keith pondered: “It’s probably like asking a parent to pick their favourite child, it’s a very difficult call – Josh.”

Deciding on a winner would be a challenge for the bakers, with Dan up first to be judged. His lemon drizzle and meringue cake didn’t quite impress with its appearance; both Paul and Prue wished he’d left the macaron out while Dan also fell victim to Prue's earlier worry about there not being enough lemon drizzle included.

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Matty was next to be judged. His showstopper was complimented for its pretty decorations, while his leaning tier let it down slightly. Prue was surprised, however that the sponge weighed enough to make it lean. Both judges found his cakes delicious, and his overall creation was described as “perfect” by Prue – except for its unfortunate lean.

Last to be judged was Josh’s seasonal creation, which wasn’t quite polished enough for Paul’s tastes. Paul and Prue both enjoyed his dreamhouse biscuit topper and his spring layer was complimented for the jam, but the judges were unable to taste the apple. His middle layer was compressed slightly with the weight of the cake, but the lemon curd – while delicious – wasn’t quite enough for Josh to escape Paul calling his flavours “adequate”, with Prue agreeing that it wasn’t his best work.

Who won The Great British Bake Off 2023?

In a tight final, Paul and Prue agonised over who would become the winner of the 2023 Bake Off in a decision which was between Matty and Josh.

However, Matty was crowned the winner of the 2023 Great British Bake Off after impressing the judges with his performance.

Matty said: “People said you should go on Bake Off and I just thought it was a throwaway comment… I never thought I’d be on this, let alone win it.”

Paul and Prue praised his journey throughout the show, with Paul saying his chocolate cake was one of the best he’d eaten.



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