The nation has turned to baking to cope with the lockdown with cheese scones, apple and rhubarb crumble and sponge cake topping the list of favourites, according to the National Trust.

Recipe downloads on the charity’s website show that since the country was locked down in mid-March, visits to home bake pages have increased by almost 900 per cent compared with the same time last year.

Cheese scones are top of the list with more than 54,000 people visiting the page in the first four weeks of lockdown – an increase of 3,009 per cent on last year.

Coming in at second place is apple and rhubarb crumble with nearly 15,000 visits (an increase of 581 per cent) and the popular National Trust fruit scone is in third place at almost 10,000 visits (an increase of 737 per cent).

It appears more ‘complicated’ recipes have languished at the bottom of the pile, with treats like salted caramel mousse seeing a fall in visits.

Matt Drew, the Trust’s head of food and beverage, said: “The lockdown seems to be rekindling our love of baking as more comforting, nostalgic recipes come out on top, with crumbles and sponges taking the place of what some may see as lighter or more contemporary bakes like lemon drizzle and chocolate orange bread twists.

Falmouth Packet:

Peanut butter brownies have been especially popular in Gloucestershire

“Even though the Trust has closed its places to help stop the spread of coronavirus, we’ve been encouraging our supporters to enjoy the huge amounts of inspiring content we have on our websites, including our recipes – and it seems to be paying off.

“I’ve always believed food is at the heart of relationships and family life, and this huge increase in recipe searches reflects that. With children at home and trips out of the house for essentials only, home baking is a brilliant way of not only keeping us fed, but also having fun and creating joyful memories at a challenging time.

“While we know some ingredients are tricky to get hold of at the moment, like flour and eggs, it’s great to see so many people enjoying their time at home with some traditional baking, and what better thing can there be than the smell of freshly baked cake or scones wafting through your house.”

There has also been some interesting regional variations. While many places across the UK saw similar recipes hitting the top spots, in the south west, raspberry and white chocolate sponge and peanut butter brownies seemed to be a particular hit in South Gloucestershire.

To sample a taste of the National Trust at home during lockdown visit

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