Volume sales of small cakes have overtaken those of large cakes, according to the latest Cakes and Cakes Bars UK report by Mintel.

New research from the analyst reveals that small cake volume sales increased by 19% between 2011 and 2012 (to 139 million kilograms), with 116 million kilograms of large cakes sold in the same time period - a 3% drop.

Small cakes now have a market share of 44% for small cakes, with a market value of £492m, and 37% for large cakes, which have a market value off £390m.

Emma Clifford, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “The proliferation of sharing formats in other categories, such as chocolate confectionery and biscuits, has spurred cake manufacturers into action, with new product development in small cakes easily dominating the market, and sales in the sector enjoying an unrivalled boost in volume.

“The fact that the market share of small cakes  - such as muffins and cake bars - has now exceeded that of the larger variety, reflects the role smaller cakes have forged in modern snacking lifestyles.”

Mintel added that there looked to be further growth opportunities for small cakes, as one in four Brits who eat or buy cakes said they would like to see more sold in individual portions.

Other stats revealed that sweet muffins have enjoyed significant growth in the cake and cake bar sector, with volume sales up 55%, and a market value increase of 9% over 2011 and 2012, to £61m.

While the cake and cake bar market has seen strong growth, Mintel said consumers have increasingly been turning to home baking.