Gourmet spreads, oil-painting cakes and 6 other baking trends you should get behind this year

2019 was an exciting year for baking. Supermarkets and health shops gifted us with a plethora of weird and wonderful flours (like einkorn, teff, coconut and quinoa), mirror cake videos had us hypnotised on Instagram, and we were ordering architecturally inspired cakes that were trendier than our own kitchens. In terms of desserts and baking, TwentyPlenty promises more relaxed and down-to-earth trends that we can all get on board with!


Sorghum has slowly made its way onto local menus and supermarket shelves, though most of us will be very familiar with it in the form of Maltabella – a malted sorghum porridge that is a staple of many South African childhoods. This native African ‘superfood’ that originated in Ethiopia is the fifth most commonly grown crop in the world. It grows in dry areas of South Africa (mostly in the Free State), making it a very sustainable crop, and is naturally gluten-free.

It makes the most adorable mini popcorn and when malted and ground, the flour can be used to make bread, cookies and cakes.


Check out the chocolate and sorghum dessert currently available at Janse & Co, or bake a batch of these Maltabella choc-chip cookies that will bring back childhood memories.

Maltabella Choc Chip Cookies

CBD desserts

With CBD oil being added to jelly sweets, lollies, chocolate and coffee, it’s no surprise that desserts are next. Jason Bakery in the Cape Town CBD (pun intended) is leading the pack with a clever ‘joint venture’ with its CBD-selling neighbours. The bakery offers brownies and doughssants infused with CBD oil.


You can’t have CBD without hemp, so naturally, hemp flour/powder is making its way into baking, too. Hemp powder is made by cold-pressing hemp seed hearts to extract the oil; the leftover meal is then ground into a powder. Although Hemp powder and marijuana come from the same plant, their similarities stop there. Hemp powder is considered to be the highest complete plant protein, high in essential amino acids as well as essential omega-3 fatty acids.  Its nutty earthy flavour can be added to almost anything. Naturally gluten-free and vegan, it’s one of the easiest proteins to digest and can be added to fresh pasta dough, breads, cake and even butter!

Chickpea chic

Worth so much more than hummus, the humble chickpea is not only being used in all manner of plant-based recipes, but it’s also being turned into creative (and delicious) treats and desserts.

Chickpea butter is the next thing we’re spreading on toast, and if that doesn’t convince you then you can also stuff your face with Cheaky Co.’s chocolate-coated chickpeas or chickpea cookie dough.

The year of the spread 

Now that nut butters are a pantry staple, spreads are becoming even more gourmet with weird and wonderful products like watermelon seed butter (yes, it’s a thing!), dessert hummus and a variety of chocolate spreads.

Oat mylk

With headlines blasting the harmful environmental impact of our almond milk obsession, oat mylk has stepped in to save the day (and the bees!). It takes six times more water to produce almond mylk than oat mylk and unlike almonds, oat mylk has a delicious creamy texture and great frothing ability, making it an easy swop for your morning cappuccino. Try it in desserts such as chocolate pudding, cakes and muffins by simply swapping it out, one-to-one, with cow’s milk.

Sustainable baking tools 

We’re talking about that dodgy cling wrap and non-recyclable baking paper that we use so much of. It’s time to invest in silicone baking mats and lining a cake the good old-fashioned way – with butter and flour. And why not switch to a biodegradable cling wrap while you’re at it, too?

Oil painting-style cakes

With no piping bag in sight, the next big cake trend is all about creating works of art with buttercream. Using nothing but a spatula and swiss meringue buttercream, cake decorators are creating edible oil paintings on cakes in stylish on-trend colour schemes and, of course, Sweet Lionheart is leading the pack.

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