By Vicky McDonald

If you haven't seen The Great British Baking Show, you need to fix that right now! It's not just any cooking show - it's funny, it's informative, and a huge dollop of British culture on the side. It's also a blessed relief from all those overproduced reality TV shows that like to call themselves cooking shows. It's less about the drama and more about the actual baking. Believe me, you will learn a ton about baking from this show.

As well as all that baking, there's lots of salty talk about tarts with soggy bottoms, but all told with the utmost of politeness, of course. Sadly, the show has recently been bought by a rival station in the UK, so the format is likely to change with the presenters parting ways. However, you can still catch up on older episodes of this gem of a show on PBS, Netflix, or YouTube. If after that you are feeling inspired and want to cook like a British baking show contestant, here are 8 British classics to get you started.

1. Victoria Sponge

Well, if it's good enough for Queen Victoria, it's jolly well good enough for me. This classic has stood the test of time. A traditional Victoria Sponge is light as a feather, and served with lots of jam and cream. Yum!

Photo by Christina

2. Millionaires Shortbread

My entire childhood was spent dreaming about these chocolate, caramel, and all-butter shortbreads. You will feel like a millionaire when you taste one of these amazing Millionaire Shortbreads.

Photo by footballgrl16

3. Bakewell Slice

The Bakewell was featured in a technical challenge on the show, and it's a tricky one to master. A traditional English Bakewell is the perfect combination of almond frangipane, jam, shortcrust pastry and icing. It's buttery, sweet, and deliciously nutty.

Photo by Stasty

4. English Trifle

Trifle is such a great dessert to make at any time of the year. It's got layers and layers of delicious flavors and textures. The only thing missing from this recipe is the sherry! Soak the cake with a splash of sherry before assembling the trifle, and I guarantee it will make a world of difference.

5. Sticky Toffee Pudding

A traditional Sticky Toffee Pudding tastes like the best toffee cake you've ever eaten and it's all thanks to … dates! The British never underestimate the power of dried fruit. Try it - we think you'll be surprised how crazy good it is.

Photo by by Hanny Manny

6. Cornish Splits

It's not just sweet treats on the show, and home-made bread brings its own special challenge for the contestants. We think these Cornish Splits might just meet Paul Hollywood's approval.

Photo by Pomplemousse

7. Battenburg

The humble Battenburg cake has been around since the 1800's. It's essentially a pink colored sponge cake and regular sponge cake sandwiched together in a crisscross pattern and held together with marzipan. It's simple, but so tasty and striking.

Photo by Sadice

8. Parkin

Parkin is an old-fashioned cake made of oats and molasses. Stay with me … I know it sounds strange, but it's rich, gooey, and wonderfully moreish.

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

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