The Great British Bake Off (series 3)

The third series of The Great British Bake Off began airing on Tuesday 14 August 2012.[1] The series was filmed at Harptree Court in East Harptree, Somerset.

The Great British Bake Off (series 3)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes10
Original networkBBC Two
Original release14 August (2012-08-14) 
16 October 2012 (2012-10-16)
Series chronology

Seven thousand applied for the competition and twelve contestants were chosen.[2] For the first time, each of the three finalists, Brendan Lynch, John Whaite and James Morton, was male.[3] The competition was won by John Whaite.[4]


Brendan Lynch63Recruitment consultantSutton Coldfield[5]
Cathryn Dresser27Shop assistantPease Pottage, West Sussex[6]
Danny (Daniele) Bryden45Intensive care consultantSheffield[7]
James Morton21 Medical studentHillswick, Shetland Islands[8]
John Whaite22Law studentWigan[9]
Manisha Parmar27Nursery nurseLeicester
Natasha Stringer36MidwifeTamworth, Staffordshire
Peter Maloney43Sales managerWindsor, Berkshire
Ryan Chong38PhotographerBristol[10]
Sarah-Jane Willis28Vicar's wifeBewbush, West Sussex[6]
Stuart Marston-Smith26PE teacherLichfield, Staffordshire[11]
Victoria Chester50CEO of the charity PlantlifeSomerset[12]

Results summary

Elimination chart

[1] There was no elimination the sixth week after John sustained a major injury to his finger and could not complete the last bake. The judges determined it would be unfair to eliminate anyone and instead, two bakers were eliminated the next week.

Colour key:

     Baker got through to the next round
     Baker was eliminated
     Baker was one of the judges' least favourite bakers that week, but was not eliminated.
     Baker was the Star Baker
     Baker was one of the judges' favourite bakers that week, but did not win star baker
     Baker was the series runner-up
     Baker was the series winner


Episode 1: Cakes

The contestants were required to make an Upside Down Cake for their signature bake. The bakers were given two hours to make a sponge topped with fruits of their choice. For the technical bake, Paul set the bakers the challenge of making four Rum Babas with cream in the middle and sliced fruits on top, to be completed in three hours. For the showstopper, the bakers were given the task of making a cake in five hours, and the cake baked should reveal a hidden design when cut.

     Baker eliminated      Star Baker      Winner
(Upside Down Cake)
(4 Rum Babas)
(Hidden Design Cake)
BrendanPlum, Sour Cherry & Walnut Upside Down Cake10thSt. Patrick's Day Cake with Hidden Irish Flag[13]
CathrynApple, Hazelnut and Calvados Upside Down Cake5thHidden Cupcake Cake
DannyPlum, Ginger & Orange Upside Down Cake7thNectar Cake with Hidden Beehive[14]
JamesParsnip, Pear, and Pecan Upside Down Cake2nd"Simmer Dim" Sunset Cake
JohnToffee Apple, Orange & Cranberry Upside Down Cake11thHidden Pink Hearts Cake
ManishaVanilla, Peach and Raspberry Upside Down Cake6thWhite Chocolate Cake with a Red Velvet and White Chocolate Mousse Heart
NatashaPineapple & Passion Fruit Upside Down Cake12thMother's Day Layered Rose Cake
PeterPear, Muscat & Chocolate Upside Down Cake3rdJubilee Cake
RyanKumquat and Orange Polenta Upside Down Cake8thHidden Flowerbed Mousse Cake
Sarah-JanePear, Chocolate and Hazelnut Upside Down Cake1stHidden Crown Cake
StuartTomato and Ginger Upside Down Cake9thLemon and Pistachio Union Flag Cake
VictoriaPear and Pecan Upside Down Cake4thBlackbird Pie Cake

Episode 2: Bread

For the signature bake, the bakers were required to make twelve Flatbreads; six with yeast, six without. They were given two and a half hours to complete the task. For the technical challenge, they had to make an eight-strand plaited loaf in two hours using a recipe from Paul. For the showstopper bake, the bakers were given four hours to make 24 bagels: 12 sweet, and 12 savoury.

12 Flatbreads (6 Leavened and 6 Unleavened)
(Eight-Stranded Plaited Loaf)
24 Bagels (12 Sweet and 12 Savoury)
BrendanMiddle Eastern Taboon Bread
Indian Roti
4thChocolate and Vanilla Bagels
Cumin and Gruyere Bagels
CathrynSpiced Mango Naan
Lime, Coriander and Chilli Tortillas
8thCranberry and Orange Bagels
Chipotle, Chilli, and Smoked Cheddar Bagels
DannyLime Coriander and Coconut Tortillas
Zaatar Naan with Dukkah
JamesTomato, Garlic, and Parmesan Flatbreads
Tattie Scones
2ndOrange, Mint and Chocolate Bagels
'Millers' Sourdough Bagels
JohnCoriander and Chilli Rotis
Garlic, Pomegranate and Potato Pitas
1stFig, Walnut and Gruyere Bagels
Blueberry and White Chocolate Bagels
ManishaIndian Flatbreads
Italian Flatbreads
PeterFennel and Nigella Seed Naan
Bannock Bread
11thRosemary and Sea Salt Bagels
Apple and Cinnamon Bagels
RyanShanghai Spring Onion Flatbreads
Garlic and Coriander Naan
5thCinnamon and Date Bagels
Tarragon and Rosemary Bagels
Sarah-JaneCoconut Roti
StuartBombay Bread
Chorizo and Spring Onion Naan
9thCinnamon and Cranberry Bagels
Tomato and Thyme Bagels
VictoriaCoriander and Lemon Naan
Garlic and Parsnip Chapatis
7thSaffron and Golden Raisin Bagels
Porcini Bagels

Episode 3: Tarts

The classic Tarte Tatin was set as the signature challenge. The Tarte Tatin could be sweet or savoury, and had to be finished in two and half hours. Baking a Treacle Tart was set as the technical challenge by Mary, with the requirement that the pastry lattice on top be woven. The bakers were given two hours for the challenge. For the showstopper, the bakers were required to make a large designer Fruit Tart, fit for a window display, in less than three hours.

(Tarte Tatin)
(Treacle Tart)
(Designer Fruit Tart)
BrendanApple and Ginger Tarte Tatin9thBlackberry, Nectarine and Dragon Fruit Tart
CathrynPlum, Cherry and Five Spice Tarte Tatin3rdRaspberry, Pistachio and Lemon Tart
DannySavoury Pear and Roquefort Tarte Tatin2ndPineapple, Coconut and Frangipane Tart
JamesApple and Lavender Tarte Tatin1stRose, Lychee and Raspberry Fruit Tart
JohnApple and Vanilla Tarte Tatin with Walnut Praline6thBerries, Grapes, Pomegranate, and Dragon Fruit Tart
ManishaCinnamon, Apple and Pear Tarte Tatin10thRum and Tropical Fruit Tart
RyanSpiced Pear Tarte Tatin5thUNKNOWN
Sarah-JaneCaramelised Banana Tarte Tatin8thFrench Apple Tart with Blackberry and Cassis Jam
StuartPear and Almond Tarte Tatin7thRaspberry Triple Chocolate Layered Tart
VictoriaFig, Walnut and Pink Peppercorn Tarte Tatin4thTropical Fruit Tart with Black Pepper Crust

Episode 4: Desserts

The bakers were given three hours to make a Torte Cake (made without conventional wheat flour) as the signature bake. The torte should be more than 20 cm in diameter. Mary set Crème Caramel as the technical challenge, to be finished in two and three-quarter hours. A four-layered meringue dessert was the showstopper challenge.

(Torte Cake)
(Crème Caramel)
(4-Layered Meringue Dessert)
BrendanClementine and Chestnut Torte1stPear, Chocolate and Hazelnut Dacquoise
CathrynWhite Chocolate, Macadamia and Coffee Torte3rdGooseberry, Almond and Honey Meringue
DannyBlackberry, White Chocolate, Lemon and Elderflower Torte2nd'Monte Bianco' Chestnut, Chocolate and Coffee Dacquoise
JamesHazelnut, Chocolate and Passionfruit Torte5thFig, Chestnut, Cherry and Chocolate Layered Meringue
John'Torte Noir' Black Forest Torte with Boozy Cream6thElderflower and Bramble Berry Pavlova
ManishaAlmond, Chocolate and Cherry Torte9thTiramisu Layered Meringue Dessert
RyanGreen Tea Opera Torte7thStrawberry, Rose and Pistachio Meringue
Sarah-JaneChocolate and Almond Truffle Torte4thHazelnut Tiramisu Layered Meringue
StuartBlack Forest Torte8thChoca Blocka Mocha Meringue

Episode 5: Pies

The signature bake was Wellington, which Paul specified should be at least 8 inches long and completely covered with pastry. The bakers were given three hours for the challenge. The technical challenge was to make a Hand-Raised Pie in two and a quarter hours. This was to be made with hot water crust and molded using a dolly. The pie was left to set overnight and judged the next day. For the showstopper challenge, the bakers were required to bake a family-sized sweet American-style pie in three and a half hours.

(Hand-Raised Pie)
(American Pie)
BrendanSalmon Coulibiac in a Scandinavian Pastry3rdAll American Chiffon Pie
CathrynFull English Wellington1stChocolate and Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pie
DannyChickpea, Spinach & Mushroom Wellington7thTrick or Treat Pumpkin Pie
JamesFour Pig Wellington6thSweet Potato Pie
JohnVenison and Haggis Wellington2ndStar Spangled Pecan Pie
ManishaLamb Wellington with Rosemary and Mint5thBanana Scotch Pie
RyanCurry Spiced Seabass Wellington8thKey Lime Pie
Sarah-JaneBeef Wellington with Parma Ham and Gorgonzola Cheese4thChocolate and Banana Cream Pie

During the broadcast, Ryan's pie was identified as a key lime pie. However, it was made with Persian limes rather than key limes, and thus was not a key lime pie. Moreover, the one-crust pies described as American-style were actually tarts. American-style pies are baked in a smooth, slant sides pie pan, not the fluted tart pans that were used, and may have two crusts.

Episode 6: Puddings

The bakers were challenged to make, in two hours, two different flavoured sponge puddings with different accompaniments, six of each. Mary set the Queen of Puddings as the technical challenge. For the showstopper, the bakers were required to make in three and a half hours one large strudel, either with sweet or savoury fillings.

(2 Different Flavours of Sponge Puddings)
(Queen of Puddings)
BrendanRhubarb, Strawberry and Ginger Puddings
Sticky Toffee Puddings
1stSpinach, Cheese and Walnut Strudel
CathrynChocolate Walnut Whip Puddings
Elderflower Sponges
3rdRoasted Vegetable, Couscous and Sheep Cheese Strudel
DannyBanoffee Puddings with Walnut Butterscotch Sauce
Jubilee Chocolate Fondants
2ndLeek, Potato, Pistachio and Gruyère Strudel
JamesBanana and Clove Puddings
Clootie Dumplings
7thStrawberry, Rhubarb and Ginger Strudel
JohnSpicy Toffee Puddings
Raspberry and White Chocolate Puddings
5thDid not complete due to injury[1]
RyanChocolate Fondants
Sticky Ginger and Date Puddings
6thApple, Sour Cherry, Raisin and Mixed Nuts Strudel
Sarah-JaneSticky Toffee Puddings
Granny's Saucy Lemon Puddings
4thSweet Strudel with Sour Cherries

John sustained a deep wound on his finger on the blade of the food processor and had to leave the tent to receive medical attention. He was unable to complete his Showstopper Challenge. As a result, the judges decided it would be unfair to eliminate a baker this week.

Episode 7: Sweet Dough

For the signature bake, the bakers were set to bake 24 buns made from an enriched dough with yeast in three hours. The buns should be all of the same size and evenly baked. For the technical bake, the bakers were challenged to make ten Jam Doughnuts, using Paul's recipe, in two and a half hours. The jam doughnuts should be consistent in size, shape, jam distribution, and colour. For the showstopper, the bakers each made a Celebratory enriched-dough Loaf. This challenge started straight after the technical bake, so that the dough could be proofed overnight if necessary.

(24 Sweet Buns)
(Jam Doughnut)
(Celebratory Loaf)
BrendanChelsea Bunskis4thBlack Forest Christmas Stollen
CathrynLady Arundel's Manchet Buns5thBonfire Night Tear 'N' Share Brioche
DannyBakewell Chelsea Buns2ndEuropean Christmas Wreath
JamesEaster Chelsea Buns1stWhisky Kugelhopf-Brioche Baba
JohnCherry and Almond Saffron Buns3rdMarzipan Stollen
RyanLardy Cakes6thChar Siu Bao
Sarah-JaneOrange, Nutmeg and Saffron Buns7thSour Cherry and Dark Chocolate Christmas Plait

Two bakers were eliminated this week as there was no elimination the previous week.

Episode 8: Biscuits (Quarterfinal)

The bakers are given two hours to make 48 crackers or crisp bread for their signature bake. They should be thin, evenly baked and crack when snapped in two. For the technical challenge, the bakers were asked to make six Chocolate Teacakes in two hours using Paul's recipe, a task made more difficult because the high temperature that day would not allow the chocolate to cool. For the showstopper bake, the bakers were challenged to make a Gingerbread structure, which should not be a gingerbread house, in four hours.

(48 Crackers)
(6 Chocolate Teacakes)
(Gingerbread Structure)
BrendanMulti-Seed Savoury Crackers2ndFantasy Gingerbread Bird House
CathrynCheese and Pickle Crackers5thGingerbread Buckingham Palace
DannySpiced Almond Drinks Crackers4thGingerbread Big Ben
JamesSmoky Cayenne, Cumin and Chilli Crackers1stGingerbread Barn
JohnAsian Spice Crackers3rdGingerbread Roman Coliseum

Episode 9: Pâtisserie (Semi-Final)

For the first pâtisserie test, the bakers were required to make three type of Petits Fours, twelve of each. These should be small (each a single mouthful), exquisite and perfect. Mary set the bakers to make a Fraisier cake for the technical challenge. Choux Pastry Gateau was set as the showstopper.

(3 types of Petits Fours)
(Fraisier Cake)
(Choux Pastry Gateau)
BrendanCoffee Meringue and Hazelnut Creams
Apricot and Pistachio Friands
Lime Curd Choux Pastry Cygnets
3rdGateau St. Honoré
DannyBlackberry and Peppermint Macarons
Miniature Raspberry and Basil Financiers
Orange and White Chocolate Langues de Chat
4thRosewater and Lychee St. Honoré
JamesLemon and Rhubarb Tartlets
Chocolate Indulgence Petits Fours
Chilli, Lime and Raspberry Macarons
1stCoffee, Caramel and Hazelnut Paris–Brest
JohnLemon Madeleines
White Chocolate and Raspberry Tartlets
Dark Chocolate and Cherry Macarons
2ndGateau St. Honoré a la Passion

Episode 10: Final

The finalists were set the task of making savoury Pithivier in two and a half hours. Paul and Mary's technical challenge required 25 Fondant Fancies. For the final showstopper, the finalists were required to make in four hours a chiffon cake based on the theme of their personal highlights of 2012. All the bakes were served at a special summer fête held on the ground of Harptree Court.

(25 Fondant Fancies)
(Chiffon Cake)
BrendanPotato and Pepper Pithivier2ndFamily Reunion Chiffon Cake
JamesSpanish Pithivier with Chorizo and Red Pepper1stUnited Chiffon Cakes
JohnItalian Sausage and Roasted Vegetable Pithivier2ndHeaven and Hell Chiffon Cake

Extras and special episodes

Four additional episodes were broadcast after the final. Episode 11 was a masterclass by Paul and Mary where they demonstrated how to make the technical challenges they set - treacle tarts, rum babas, creme caramels, the hand-raised pie, and the eight-strand plaited loaf. Episode 12 revisited the bakers from series 2 to catch up on what these contestants had been doing after the show ended. Another masterclass was shown in episode 13 where Paul and Mary showed how to make queen of puddings, jam doughnuts, tempered chocolate teacakes, fraisier cakes and fondant fancies. In episode 14, Paul and Mary showed which signature bakes they would have chosen if they were in the bakers' shoes (including sponge puddings, flat breads and sweet buns). A further episode of Masterclass was shown before Easter.

Post-show career

John Whaite gained a first-class degree from the University of Manchester after sitting his law exams while filming Bake Off, but he rejected a career in law and opted to take classes at Le Cordon Bleu and pursue a career in baking.[15] His book John Whaite Bakes: Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood was published on 25 April 2013.[16] His second book, John Whaite Bakes At Home, was published on 27 March 2014.[17] He first set up a chocolate shop The Hungry Dog Artisan Chocolates,[18] and opened a cookery school on his family's dairy farm in Lancashire.[19] He also appeared as a resident chef on the ITV show Lorraine,[20][21] and wrote a column on food for The Daily Telegraph.[22] In 2016, Whaite presented with Rosemary Shrager a daytime cookery competitive show Chopping Block on ITV.[23]

James Morton aimed for a career in medicine but has written a book on bread, titled Brilliant Bread, published on 29 August 2013.[24][25] He writes a baking column for the Scottish newspaper Sunday Mail.[26] His second book, How Baking Works: ...And what to do if it doesn't, was published on 12 March 2015.[27]

Brendan Lynch is teaching cookery classes.[28][29][30]

Cathryn Dresser and Sarah-Jane Willis teamed up to open a stall at Horsham Market.[31][32] Dresser wrote a baking book for children and parents titled Let's Bake, published on 22 May 2014.[33] and ran The Little Handcross Bakery[34] in Handcross, West Sussex between September 2014 and May 2015.


The final of this series had a record overnight figure of 6.5 million viewers, beating every other programme in other channels in its time slot.[35]

Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.[36]

weekly ranking
114 August 2012 (2012-08-14)3.851
221 August 2012 (2012-08-21)4.601
328 August 2012 (2012-08-28)4.531
44 September 2012 (2012-09-04)4.711
511 September 2012 (2012-09-11)4.611
618 September 2012 (2012-09-18)4.821
725 September 2012 (2012-09-25)5.101
82 October 2012 (2012-10-02)5.351
99 October 2012 (2012-10-09)5.701
1016 October 2012 (2012-10-16)6.741


weekly ranking
The Great British Bake Off Masterclass
122 October 2012 (2012-10-22)2.565
224 October 2012 (2012-10-24)2.198
325 October 2012 (2012-10-25)2.336
The Great British Bake Off Revisited
23 October 2012 (2012-10-23)2.764
The Great British Bake Off, Christmas Masterclass
18 December 2012 (2012-12-18)3.482
The Great British Bake Off, Easter Masterclass
26 March 2013 (2013-03-26)2.763


  1. Food on BBC Two, 26 April 2012
  2. "'Sir' beat 7,000 hopefuls to join baking dozen". Lichfield Mercury. 9 August 2012.
  3. Emily Hill (13 October 2012). "The fabulous Bake Off boys... as definitely NOT seen on TV!". The Daily Mail.
  4. Vicky Frost (16 October 2012). "Great British Bake Off: John Whaite is surprise winner". The Guardian.
  5. Brendan Lynch. "Brendan".
  6. "Bake with Cat".
  7. Danny Bryden. "Baking as Therapy". Archived from the original on 16 May 2013.
  8. James Morton. "James Morton - the one that bakes".
  9. "John Whaite".
  10. Ryan Chong. "Bakology - Home of Baking from Ryan Chong".
  11. Stuart Marston-Smith. "Layered".
  12. "Plantlife". Plantlife International.
  15. Jenny Johnston (19 April 2013). "John Whaite was destined for a highly paid but deathly dull job in the City when he won Bake Off. Now he's hoping to make even more dough". The Daily Mail.
  16. Sophia Moir (26 April 2013). "John Whaite: How baking helps me battle depression - EXCLUSIVE". Yahoo Lifestyle.
  17. Josh Willacy (27 March 2014). "The winner bakes it all: Great British Bake Off ace John Whaite reveals guilty secrets and making mum jealous". Mancunian Matters.
  18. Debashine Thangevelo (10 July 2014). "Whaite's victory tastes extra sweet". Tonight.
  19. Jess Denham (7 October 2014). "Great British Bake Off 2014: What past winners are doing now from Edd Kimber to last year's Frances Quinn". The Independent.
  20. Helena Kealey (5 August 2014). "Bake Off: the winners reveal their secrets". The Daily Telegraph.
  21. "John Whaite". ITV.
  22. "John Whaite". The Daily Telegraph.
  23. "Chopping Block". 24 March 2016.
  24. Heather Greenaway (20 January 2013). "Great British Bake Off star James Morton: Cooking is great.. but my real dream is to be a doctor". Daily Record.
  25. "James and the World Bread Awards". Edinburgh Foody. 19 July 2013.
  26. "Jame Mortan". Daily Record and Sunday Mail.
  27. Pippa Bailey Monday (5 October 2015). "Great British Bake Off: 10 best cookbooks". The Independent.
  28. Giulia Rhodes (24 March 2013). "Baking an end to the lonely days". Daily Express. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  29. James Brindle (25 October 2012). "Bake off finalist to join Seasoned Cookery School". Uttoxeter Advertiser.
  30. Roz Laws (2 August 2014). "Whatever happened to the 'Great British Bake Off' bakers from the Midlands?". Birmingham Mail.
  31. "Crawley Bake Off stars set up own business". The Argus. 23 October 2012.
  32. "TV Bake-off stars team up to run market stall". Crawley and Horley Observer. 31 October 2012.
  33. Anna James (20 May 2014). "REVIEW: LET'S BAKE BY CATHRYN DRESSER". We Love This Book.
  34. "Hectic life of a mother and celebrity baker".
  35. John Plunkett (17 October 2012). "Great British Bake Off: 6.5m watch John Whaite rise to the top". The Guardian.
  36. "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
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