Carrot cake, by Christina B Castro, Flickr Creative Commons.

Should we trust someone who doesn’t eat cake?

According to a new survey (this time, not about the prospect of independence for Scotland), the UK is at its happiest when it’s eating a slice of sponge cake at teatime.

The survey, commissioned by British Baker magazine, also reveals that nearly 80% of us treat ourselves at least three times a week. This is interesting news, as I’m a self-confessed cake fiend; I love it, especially moist, delicious carrot cake. And even though the survey is to mark National Cupcake Week (15-21 September 2014), I confess to only indulging in cupcakes now and again, as I haven’t had one yet that’s Earth-shatteringly exciting.

According to the poll, more than 40% of us are now baking our own cakes at home, which is no surprise thanks to the phenomenal success of the BBC series Great British Bake Off. I think a lot of it was confidence; we simply didn’t think we could muster enough sugary, buttery spirit to knock up a Victoria Sponge we could be proud of. Alas, we can, and mine has cream in it, unlike Mary Berry’s.

The nation also likes sponge, which apparently wins hands down over fruit cake (what, even at Christmas?).

So, what else did the survey reveal? Are we gluttons for chocolate? Do we lick half of the mixture off the spoon before we’ve even baked it? Do we feel guilty about eating cake?

Hundreds of people took a ‘cake happiness test’ devised by British Baker magazine, to gauge current cake tastes, preferences and to find out if cake lovers experience a sense of guilt. The answer was no.

  • 92% of us would describe ourselves as cake lovers.
  • More than 86% of us say cake makes us feel happy.
  • More than 38% of us say cake is a guilty pleasure, yet 36% disagree!
  • 39.33% of us eat cake 2-3 times a week.
  • 40% of us eat cake once a week.
  • 41% reckon they never buy cake (because nearly 50% us are baking at home 2-3 times a week).
  • 46% of us eat cake at teatime, which is the UK’s favourite cake time of the day.
  • 47.2% of us prefer sponge.
  • 26.95% are fruit cake lovers.
  • 53.90% say they prefer cupcakes.
  • Chocolate is the nation’s favourite cupcake flavour (25.71%), followed by lemon (20%), vanilla (19.29%), Red Velvet (11.43%) and carrot (10%).

The most telling survey statistic of all is this: Not a single respondent said that they never eat cake. I conclude that you should never trust someone who doesn’t eat cake. They’re not like the rest of us.