The Great British Bake Off Holiday Special Recap & 2020 Sneak Preview

In anticipation of the new series of The Great British Bake Off Holiday Special releasing on Netflix on December 4, let's look back and recap some memorable bakes from the last four specials available on Netflix. A few things of note: yes, I know it's "The Great British Baking Show" in America, but I refuse to acknowledge this capitalist American name change on account of it having been done because Pillsbury owns the copyright to "Bake Off" here in the States. I promise, corporate overlords, it's okay to share the name: people will not be confused and we won't stop buying the dough boy's delicious tubes of sugar cookie dough to eat whilst watching GBBO. Just be cool and get in the spirit of inspiring baking, okay?

Why The Great British Bake Off Series is the COVID Content We Need (Image: Netflix)
Why The Great British Bake Off Series is the COVID Content We Need (Image: Netflix)

And second of all, in case you aren't aware, here in the United States, we are behind. Yes, this year we finally get the regular season of Bake Off released the same day as it airs in the U.K., but we don't get the Celebrity Bake Off specials at all and are woefully behind on the holiday specials as we've not gotten 2016's at all and only have 2017 and 2018's on Netflix.

But that's changing as the 2019 Christmas and New Year's specials are coming to Netflix as "season 3" on December 4. Now, in case this is confusing, allow me to shed a little light on things…and no, I'm not talking about the reflective properties of host Noel Fielding's Christmas jumpers. Both of the Christmas and New Year's specials that are dropping on Netflix cleverly disguised as "Netflix originals" have already aired…last year…on Channel 4…in the U.K.

Why is America late to the party? Serious question, Netflix! It's not like I can watch it on Channel 4's site, because that doesn't stream outside the U.K. But no matter – hopefully, this means us yanks will be all caught up for same-time releases of this year's new episodes released here in the States on Christmas and New Year's as well. But we'll just have to wait and see, I suppose, and pray to Santa or the New Year's baby or Paul Hollywood.

The Great British Baking Show
Why the New Great British Bake Off Series is the COVID Content We Need (Image: Netflix)

One thing we don't have to wait for though is recaps! On Netflix, listed as "season 1" is the pair of 2017 specials, with Christmas bakes by Val Stones and Selasi Gbormittah (series 7), Beca Lyne-Pirkis (series 4), and Paul Jagger (series 6). We see them make mince pies, Yule logs (or in the traditional French, Bouche de Noel), and cakes with sugar snow globes on top. For the New Years special, there's Rav Bansal and Benjamina Ebuehi (series 7), Rob Billington (series 2), and Sandy Docherty (series 6) in the tent baking bombe Alaska tarts (not on the hottest day of the year, for once), a Danish technical Kransekake (a pistachio almond confection Christmas tree), and impressive cakes that invoke an icy winter wonderland.

As for "season 2", that's actually 2018's pair of holiday specials. In the Christmas special, we have Jane Beedle, Andrew Smyth (both of series 7), Flo Atkins, and Liam Charles (both of series 8) all competing against each other to make 12 Days of Christmas iced biscuits, crisp Icelandic Laufabread, and Christmas present sponges that reveal a hidden design inside. And in its festive twin of a show, Kate Henry (series 5), Tamal Ray (series 6), Candice Brown (series 7), and Steven Carter-Bailey (series 8) bake iced stollen wreaths filled with marzipan, technical French meringue snow eggs, and a showstopping 3D "New Years Resolution" themed cake.

I'm not going to spoil anything for you here, so instead, we'll just peek into the future…er, the past? Dropping in a couple of weeks on Netflix is (hopefully) last year's pair of holiday specials, one of which is about the closest thing to Celebrity Bake Off we're going to get right now with the cast of Irish comedy show Derry Girls competing in one episode in lieu of former Bake Off contestants.

Just a reminder, The Great British Bake Off Holidays drops on Netflix on December 4 and you can catch up on Derry Girls in the meantime as both seasons are on Netflix as well. Now, who's craving some witty comedy and overly-fancy holiday desserts?

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About Eden Arnold

Having spent far too much time in front of the television growing up, Eden has lots of opinions about television (as well as movies and everything else). She puts this to good use along with her journalism degree and writing experience with by-lines over the years in many print publications, books, and online media outlets. You can find her on Twitter at @Edenhasopinions
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