Shoppers at supermarket chain Tesco bought 4.5m more luxury cream cakes in 2015 than the year before.

Demand for speciality tea is up by 4% in the last year, according to Tesco. The retailer said nearly a quarter more British people were having cream tea with friends than a year ago, and that the revival had been aided by The Great British Bake Off – there are half a million more regular cream cake customers than before the show first aired.

To meet the growing demand, Tesco has launched a range of afternoon tea cakes, gateaux, tarts, meringues, sponges, roulades, brownies and cream slices. They include an Alfonso mango & passion fruit tart; finest heritage raspberry & almond tart; and Belgian chocolate & salted caramel tart.

In the last year, sales of typical afternoon tea-related foods at Tesco have soared; 4.5m more Tesco finest cream cakes were sold in 2015 than the year before, and sales of Battenberg cake were up 45%.

Tesco cake range buyer Rosie Bambaji said: “Afternoon tea is one of Britain’s greatest culinary traditions. We know many of our customers have fallen in love with this special occasion once again so we wanted to help spruce up cake stands across the country with a new range of decadent cakes.”

Other traditional afternoon tea treats to have recently grown in popularity at Tesco include:

Apple turnovers – demand in last year was up 35%
Strawberry & cream slices – up 30%
Custard tarts – up 15%
Fresh cream profiteroles – up 10%

Last month, Tesco reported a £162m pre-tax profit for the year to 27 February, its first quarterly sales growth since 2013.