Mary Berry tells all.

The queen of British baking talks ahead of her visit to the NEC. 

She has sold over five million cookbooks, has nearly 60 years baking experience and is known for being the queen of all things baking. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out in the exciting world of home baking, Mary Berry is a name that you’ll be familiar with.

From her signature lemon drizzle to the challenging Fraisier cake, there is no doubt that Mary’s recipes are some of the best loved. Having learnt the art of baking from her mother, Mary quickly established herself as a leading cookery writer and broadcaster, specialising in Aga cookery, cakes and desserts.

Mary will be appearing in Birmingham at Cake International – the Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show at the NEC from the 8th-10th November.

We caught up with Mary to find out a little more about the queen of baking.

  • What or who got you interested in baking?
  • A wonderful home economics teacher called Miss Date, she was lovely and encouraged me in class
  • What is your signature dish?
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
  • A gardener
  • Sweet tooth or savoury?
  • Savoury
  • What are your top tips for any aspiring baker?
  • Follow a good recipe and weigh accurately. Use digital scales and weigh exactly as in the recipe. Use the correct sized tin and oven temperature, as all these changes can affect the cake.
  • Cake baking and decorating has exploded in popularity recently – what’s your opinion on why this could be?
  • The Great British Bake Off has inspired a new generation of bakers
  • What was the last great meal you ate?    
  • I had razor clams with a fennel sauce, followed by sea bass with a lovely crispy skin, at Claridge’s in London – what a treat!
  • What kitchen gadgets will be on your Christmas list?
  • I would love a Spiralizer machine … to make vegetable spaghetti strands
  • What are your favourite flavour combinations?
  • My two favourite flavours are lemon and ginger
  • What do you love most about baking?
  • The satisfaction of producing something that looks gorgeous and that everyone is going to enjoy
  • Fruit cake or sponge cake?
  • Sponge cake, preferably a Victoria sandwich
  • Top tips for the perfect mince pie?
  • Lovely thin pastry and lots of mincemeat
  • What’s the biggest compliment for you as a cook?
  • “I love your recipes!”
  • What is your idea of food heaven?
  • Caesar Salad with homemade croutons, anchovies and added avocado

Celebrating its 20th anniversary show, visitors can spend three days in cake heaven exploring all the latest ideas, supplies, competitions, demonstrations and workshops from industry experts.  There will be over 100 exhibitors from around the globe, three demonstration theatres, workshops and competition classes . Guest chef Paul Da Costa Greaves will be demonstrating an irresistible range of quick and easy baking recipes, there will be series of informative workshops at the Renshaw School and popular authors will be demonstrating their favourite recipes from the bestselling books in the Author’s Kitchen. The National Cupcake Week Championship finals will take place, as will PME Cake Decorating Competitions. There’s even Wallace and Gromit launching their Big Bake. Please visit for more information.