Go grab your pinny: it’s time to ready, steady, BAKE!

Baking idioms: Have your cake & eat itWell, it’s certainly all hotting up in the GBBO* tent ahead of this year’s final…

Hopefully there won’t be a soggy bottom in sight!

The art of baking covers a wide range of culinary delights, from bread, cakes and biscuits to pies, tarts and puds.

And like many popular pastimes, it’s produced an abundance of baking-related metaphors, phrases and sayings in English.

So, seeing as I’m a big fan of the show, I guess it was inevitable that baking idioms should be the next in my series.

Without further ado then, here’s a selection of the finest baking idioms grouped by food type. As you’ll see, few of them actually have anything to do with baking!


Caught with your hand in the cookie jar = caught stealing from your employer

Cookie cutter = characterising a lack of originality

Take the biscuit (or cake) = take the prize, often associated with surprise at a particular outcome

That’s the way the cookie crumbles = c’est la vie


Best (or greatest) thing since sliced bread = best innovation for some time

Know which side your bread is buttered on = be careful not to upset people who you know can help you

Someone’s bread and butter = routine work to provide an income

Want one’s bread buttered on both sides = want more than is practical or reasonable to expect


A piece of cake = something that’s easily achieved

A slice of the cake = share of the benefits or profits

Have a bun in the oven = be pregnant

Have one’s cake and eat it = have it both ways, usually expressed in the negative

Icing on the cake = attractive but non-essential extra

Sell (or go) like hot cakes = be sold quickly and in large quantities


As easy as pie = very easy

As nice (or sweet) as pie = extremely nice or agreeable

Eat humble pie = admit one’s fault and accept humiliation

Have a finger in every pie = play a part in various activities; be interfering

In apple-pie order = everything neatly arranged

Pie in the sky = unrealistic dream, ambition or goal


In the pudding club = pregnant

Over-egg the pudding (or cake) = exaggerate grossly

The proof of the pudding (is in the eating) = to fully test something you need to experience it yourself

Miscellaneous baking idioms

A baker’s dozen = not twelve but thirteen

Get (or take) a rise out of someone = provoke an angry or irritated response from someone, usually by teasing

If you’ve enjoyed this collection of baking idioms, you’ll also like my recent post on cooking idioms that was inspired by Master Chef.

Have I missed out your favourite baking idiom? Do please share it below.

*The Great British Bake Off

(photo courtesy of Simon Howden via Freedigitalphotos.net)

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