Retro is all the rage, from dungarees to roller skates, and there’s a whole generation of consumers looking backwards for inspiration.

It’s even having an impact on bakery, with classic sweet shop items such as Liquorice Allsorts, Parma Violets and popping candy gaining traction on the scene.

Much of the demand, according to Scottish ingredients manufacturer Macphie, is being driven by so-called ‘kidults’ – that’s adults with interests traditionally seen as suitable for children.

“The increasing trend for ‘kidulting’ explains the popularity of treats and sweets targeted towards adult consumers looking for ways to relive the simple joys of childhood. And this nostalgia for trusted retro brands is set to grow in 2018,” said Anna Massie, senior category marketing manager at Scottish ingredients firm Macphie.

“The retro offer can be seen across a variety of categories, from the most iconic retro brand lovers to those looking for a more premium, added-value product.”

For bakers, this presents an interesting opportunity to get experimental with nostalgic flavours:

Toffo muffins

Tapping into the trend is Macphie’s most recent creation – the Toffo muffin. This classic toffee was discontinued back in 2008, much to the disappointment of fans. It was no surprise a bidding war started when a single pack of them was found in 2014 in a sweet shop in Dundee.

Besides going back in time to get your hands on a pack of Toffos, Macphie suggested using similar flavours to recreate the experience in muffin form.

  • Fill tulip muffin cases with Mississippi Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Inject with Salted Caramel filling and top with 5th Avenue Caramel icing
  • Decorate with Toffo – or the more readily available Rolo – pieces

Parma Violet cupcakes

Parma Violets are definitely a love them or hate them kind of sweet. The floral flavoured discs are right on-trend for 2018, which Macphie said made them a “definite winner”.

And, unlike Toffo, they’re readily available, meaning bakers can top their purple creations with the real thing. Here’s how:

  • Mississippi Plain Cake Mix with Parma Violet flavour added for colour and flavour, into clear cupcake cases
  • Finished with Rainbow Vanilla frosting, flavoured with violet and coloured purple
  • Decorated with Parma Violet sweets

Liquorice Allsorts cake

Arguably more divisive than Parma Violets are Liquorice Allsorts. With the strong aniseed flavour combined with the likes of fruit flavourings and coconut, it’s no surprise some family members will turn their nose up at them when they’re inevitably passed round at Christmas.

But for some, there’s nothing better. “For the ultimate in kidulting indulgence, there is the perennial family favourite, the Liquorice Allsorts cake,” added Massie.

If liquorice weren’t controversial enough, Macphie’s take on this includes cake with added charcoal in the mix and also in the icing, leaving just the sweets to add a splash of colour.

  • Mississippi Cake Mix with charcoal and liquorice added for colour and flavour
  • Finished with 5th Avenue White icing with added charcoal colour and flavour
  • Decorated with Liquorice Allsorts sweets