Times have changed since the first series of The Great British Bake Off. These wouldn't even make it past the audition stage now...

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Image: adorably average bakes from the early days of The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off/Love Productions/BBC Food/Via: YouTube

The Great British Bake Off aims to find the best amateur bakers in the country and, as fans know, 'amateur' standards just keep getting better and better every year.

 

"Did you do that with your hands or are you actually a wizard?", we yell at the telly as a teenager crafts a perfect gilded replica of the Palace of Versailles out of hot water crust pastry. 

 

But it's not until you compare the exquisite sugar-work and biscuit architecture of the most recent series with the charmingly lumpen cake fails of GBBO: the early years that you really see how far those guys have come.

 

Here are our favourites.

 

This sturdy marmalade loaf

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Marmalade tea loaf

The Great British Bake Off/Love Productions/Nimel/Via: YouTube

Forget roses made out of apple peel and whatnot – the quality we really look for in a cake is something you could reliably take up a mountain in a rucksack. Or throw at a burglar. 

 

This flat battenberg 

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Battenberg on GBBO

The Great British Bake Off/Love Productions/BBC Food/Via: YouTube

He may have only lasted one episode, but Keith did leave the world this legacy: the flattenberg.

 

This chocolate thing

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Chocolate roulade

The Great British Bake Off/Love Productions/BBC Food/Via: YouTube

Miranda went all the way to the final, so we know she definitely must have baked some attractive creations, as well as this... um, roulade? Loaf of bread? Draught excluder? Nope, no idea.

 

This unfortunate shortbread

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shortbread hearts

The Great British Bake Off/Love Productions/BBC Food/Via: YouTube

YOU BROKE OUR HEARTS, LOUISE. 

 

This sad soufflé

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Souffle

The Great British Bake Off/Love Productions/BBC Food/Via: YouTube

It's no yolk! David's sunken soufflé was all white on the night, which isn't the kind of error you can disguise with a sprinkle of icing sugar. Oeuf you go. 

 

Not quite a million dollars

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millionaire shortbread

The Great British Bake Off/Love Productions/BBC Food/Via: YouTube

You know when you buy a box of millionaire shortbread bites and arrange them 'artfully' on a plate? Then trip and drop them on the carpet? Yeah. 

 

This sweet surprise

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Chocolate heart cake

The Great British Bake Off/Love Productions/BBC Food/Via: YouTube

Oh Mark. Oh, you shouldn't have! No, but really. 

 

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