Tate & Lyle Sugars predicts the future of cakes


To celebrate the Thames Refinery’s 140th birthday, Tate & Lyle Sugars has looked at the cake flavours over the last 14 decades, creating a 15-tier cake representing each decade’s most popular cake trend, including a tier inspired by the futuristic report. The cake will be displayed at Kings Cross 8th November, where passersby can grab a slice of the action.

Augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and space travel are set to change the way we bake and consume sweet treats, according to the latest trend report from foresight consultancy The Future Laboratory, who were commissioned by sugar experts Tate & Lyle Sugars.

From Victoria Sponge to Battenberg and Pineapple Upside Down to Chocolate Lava, cake has developed over time and will continue to do so as tech advancements change the way we consume and experience food. This too can be said for celebrations, with cakes being at the centrepiece of all festivities, tech will transform socialising, with Brits craving more multi-sensory experiences.

According to the report, everything we eat by 2040 will be customised to our personal preferences and dietary requirements, even down to our DNA, as dining becomes more personalised and tailored to individual lifestyles.


In the future, the five cake trends we’ll be slicing into include:

Data Dessert

AI-enabled homes will be the future, knowing not only what we need but also what we are craving to eat (even before we do!). With every aspect of life personalised to needs, cake will be no exception.

The Data Dessert will be created based on personal data, right down to genetic make-up. This information will be fed from smart home devices, which know everything from your favourite ingredients to exactly what sneaky snacks you have at night…even anticipating your mood before you do!

Galactic Gateau

With space travel due to increase, so too will the rise of humans starting to holiday, work and live off earth. As taste buds are affected by gravity, dulling down the flavour of food, big flavours such as fiery heat in the form of chilli, and the sweetness of sugar, will be key ingredients to combat the lack of flavour zero gravity creates.

 The Japanese have been working on innovative ways to overcome this flavour issue and have been looking at using robots to create cakes that are in cube form.  The cubes will recreate flavour, texture, colour and nutritional content of a normal cake, but adjust to the big flavours needed in space. It could even be possible that family and friends on earth can personalise a cake and transmit the recipe straight to space for instant 3D printing, with optimal flavour.

Virtual Cake

With people attending parties via VR headsets, it’s only natural that enjoying food virtually together will follow. Users will be able to see, taste, smell, touch and hear the food in front of them, with the use of aromatic diffusers, headsets and sensors bringing food to life.

Petri Pudding

The next decade will see a trend of protein alternatives produced in labs, with Petri dish ingredients ushering a new era of high-tech cake creation. The Petri Pudding of tomorrow will be made with in-vitro eggs, algae baking powder and flavouring from extinct plants.

Levitating Cake

Advancements in engineering and science mean those who may not want to space travel can still enjoy an out of this world experience, the Levitating Cake – the ultimate multi-sensory wonder.

The celebratory dessert could potentially be as light as a cloud and even appear to levitate like one.  It will use unconventional ingredients to add depth and surprise, as well as mixing savoury, sweet and sour tastes for advanced future palates.

While this might sound out of this world, it is something Bompas and Parr have already achieved at London Design Week (2018) where the pair used magnetic levitation to make canapes and cakes fly. Seems like this may be sooner than we think!

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