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Baking is such a gratifying and enjoyable choice of course for many of our students

#NationalBakingWeek and the rise of baking: Why cooking up sweet treats is proving ever popular

Autumn is a time when many of us seek the comforts of home as an escape from the colder darker days and, with The Great British Bake Off on TV, many feel inspired to try their hands at baking.

In fact, the number of bakers, cakemakers and decorators has grown significantly in recent years, with figures suggesting the number of us now baking has increased by as much as 1,500 per cent over a five-year period.

To mark the start of National Baking Week (14-19 October), distance learning provider Open Study College has explored the advantages that baking and cakemaking can bring.

Several studies suggest baking provides more benefits than just a sweet treat. It can help alleviate stress, boost creative expression and even enhance problem solving.

According to research conducted by San Francisco State University, a hobby such as baking can improve performance in the workplace by reducing stress levels and providing opportunities to develop new transferable skills.

Nicoletta Castrichini, a student at Open Study College, had worked at restaurants and hotels in London and Edinburgh before deciding to focus on desserts and turn her passion for baking into a career.

“I always enjoyed baking growing up, but my interest really sparked when I started hotel management school and achieved a diploma in hotel cooking. I have since developed my skills in my free time and started a cakemaking course with Open Study College in hopes of one day being able to set up my own business.

“I find baking really relaxing and fun and I strongly believe more people should consider it as a hobby or even as a potential career as it is really stimulating and a great way to channel your creativity.”

Nicoletta has put her new skills into practice, is sharing her creations on Instagram and has started taking orders from friends and acquaintances. She plans to launch her own bakery business.

Samantha Rutter, CEO of Open Study College, said:

“Baking has been proven to boost confidence and provide a sense of achievement, allowing people to take pride in what they create and spread a bit of joy. These benefits are just a few of the reasons why baking is such a gratifying and enjoyable choice of course for many of our students, whether they do it for their career or for fun.”

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