What's not to loaf about loaf cakes?

The humble loaf cake dates back to the early 1700s when they were once known as “pound cakes”, given that they were made by using a pound of each ingredient in the recipe. But as recipes and taste preferences evolved, today’s “pound” cakes tend to have different ingredient ratios than before. And it’s not just the recipe that has changed since then, but also the name, as this deliciously moist cake is now referred to as a loaf cake in the UK thanks to being traditionally made in a bread shaped loaf tin.

When lockdown hit in 2020, interest in home baking was taken to a new level. With that, banana loaf cakes became a lockdown favourite thanks to the simplicity of the tempting loaf, which home bakers used to satisfy their craving for sweet treats at home. As a result, CNBC1 reported that banana bread recipe was the topmost searched recipe globally at the time.

Now, the demand for these easily portionable cakes continues to grow, with plenty of opportunities available to add something new to the menu. From trending flavours to a range of formats and options, we’ve pulled together our thoughts on how to make the most of this trend.

Nostalgic moments

Loaf cakes have a long history of being associated with nostalgia due to their home-baked, traditional, and comforting qualities. And by evoking this feeling, using particular childhood flavours can take you back in time to those magic moments. Whether it’s classic flavours such as lemon drizzle, carrot cake and banana loaf, or more innovative flavours using childhood treats like Vimto, butterscotch and liquorice, there’s a story behind each flavour that every bite can reveal. Childhood flavours incorporated into a classic loaf cake can awaken some powerful memories and conversation starters that are sure to keep your customers returning and spreading the word.

Quality and convenience

With the popularity of artisan bakeries growing across the nation, many consumers are developing a standard of quality and innovation that’s setting the bar for coffee shop chains, restaurants and retail shelves. But with that comes a whole team of dedicated bakers creating the next up and coming loaf cake trend or delicious, classic loaf flavours. And that can be operationally challenging for any organisation without those facilities. That’s why many retailers utilise frozen loaf cakes, which can simply be baked off or thawed and served to sell to consumers with ease. Kirsty Matthews, marketing manager for Macphie3 notes that “if consumers are grabbing the same item every day on the go, they want it to taste just as good from one day to the next. And if indulging in a one-off treat, quality is still a key factor”. Whether your customers are looking for that staple breakfast alternative or a loaf cake to indulge in, frozen loaf cakes offer greater convenience, a wider variety of flavours and consistency in product availability. Not only does it preserve the cake’s quality, but it also extends its shelf life, which in turn ensures that every loaf cake is filled with convenience.

To slab or to slice?

A global trend that isn’t putting the brakes on any time soon is health and wellness, and it even applies to the baked goods industry.  As consumers look to their diet to make healthier and more positive changes without missing out on their sweet treat fixes, one way they’re doing this is by looking for individually sized portions to limit calorie intake, as well as transparency of the ingredients in their snacks. A recent report by Mondelez International2 showed that 86% of consumers believe in the importance of control over their snacking choices through portion size, indicating the shift in consumer behaviour from consuming ‘full sized’ snacks to now opting for smaller, individually sized, calorie-controlled portions.

Loaf cakes are a great solution to offering all of the visual impact of displaying a delicious fresh, full sized cake, whilst serving individually sized smaller portions from a loaf to allow consumers to cut back on calories whilst still being able to indulge.

Incorporating loaf cakes into your coffee shop, restaurant, retail shelves or wholesale offering will provide an even wider-ranging menu that every type of customer can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or innovative, there’s sure to be a loaf cake that fits in perfectly with your current range and evolving consumer needs.

If you’d like to get in touch to find out how you can capitalise on these insights, or if you would like to find out more about our new range of loaf cakes, please get in touch with us at hello@queenslandbakery.com or call us on 023 8026 9926.



1 https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/26/top-google-recipes-amid-covid-19-banana-bread-whipped-coffee.html

2 https://ir.mondelezinternational.com/news-releases/news-release-details/mondelez-international-releases-third-annual-state-snackingtm

3 https://flickread.com/edition/html/63ef6f9fb1020#52

4 The Food People Trend Hub