Blue-coloured treats, cake pops and interactive puddings are among the top dessert trends for 2020, according to a report released by alcohol brand Baileys.

The inaugural report was launched last week (6 February) at an event hosted by Claudia Winkleman that featured a panel discussion with speakers from Pinterest and London bakery Lili Vanilli. It highlighted trends from the global treating industry that was curated by top global treat makers.

Some of the trends highlighted in Baileys’ Treat Report – such as nostalgic flavours and retro-inspired foods, the rise of savoury and sweet combinations, and increasing demand for free-from (be it vegan or gluten-free desserts) – have been gaining momentum for a while.

But there are a few lesser-known ones serving up inspiration. Here’s what you need to know:

Cake pops are popping off

Brits’ love for mini desserts keeps growing, according to Baileys, which says cake pops, in particular, will emerge as superstars over the year. Apparently, the lollipop/cake hybrid is on track to re-emerge as the number one home baking treat in 2020.

“There has been a rise of 50% year on year of people searching for different cake pop ideas,” said Ruby Sharma, partner manager at social media platform Pinterest.

Notably, Christmas and unicorn cake pops were among the most popular searches.

I’m blue (da ba dee)

Blue is the new green, the report says, but it’s not talking about the bright Slush Puppy hue.

This shade is coming from a more natural place, specifically butterfly pea flowers and leaves that can be used as an ingredient to create a light blue. And, according to Baileys, it could oust matcha.

It is a caffeine-free herbal tea described as having an earthy undertone.

“Blue is the new green, at least in desserts,” said Benjamina Ebuehi, former Great British Bake Off contestant. “It feels like a colour that is unfamiliar and artificial – you don’t lean towards it as you do with other colours.”

Examples at the report’s launch event included a Butterfly Pea Flower Bubble Tea with Baileys and a Baileys Almande and cardamom loaf topped with butterfly pea flower icing.

Going back to the future

“Trends aren’t about discovering things for the first time,” said chef Jozef Youssef from gastronomy studio Kitchen Theory. “It’s about rediscovering things and appropriating them in a new way.”

He used the example of chocolate and chilli from Mexico or rose and pistachio from Turkey. To the chefs from these countries they’re old hat, but chefs from other regions can take these proven combinations and put their own spin on them.

Look out for Himalayan salt, ube (purple yam), bacon and maple syrup or even black truffle in your pudding, Baileys said.

A pudding less ordinary

Why settle for a chocolate mousse when you could pour a hot caramel sauce on a chocolate shell that melts away to reveal said chocolate mousse? That’s why interactive desserts are on the up.

“2020 will pave the way for more interactive, hands-on desserts and treats livening up our dinner tables at homes and in restaurants,” the report stated.

“Pastry chefs are constantly raising the bar by fashioning their creations into unique forms such as edible lipsticks, or literally bringing the action to the table as they artistically ‘plate’ their desserts directly on the tabletop.”

Away from restaurants, this has already started to shape the retail market, particularly at Christmas time with a number of the supermarkets selling interactive desserts such as Iceland’s Five Gold Rings dessert (pictured above).

To find out more about the trends, flavours and formats affecting the wider baking industry, download British Baker’s FREE Bakery Trends Report 2020.