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Great British Bake Off 2017’s winner has dispensed a number of expert baking tips for Express.co.uk readers. Since appearing on the programme she runs her own couture cakes business.

She recently discussed her banana bread recipe hack. 

Sophie also gave readers her best fruit cakes tips.

The expert gave various tips, based on whether bakers are using dry or fresh fruit in their fruit cake.

She suggests soaking fruit in an alcohol-free alternative.

She told Express.co.uk: “When making cakes with fresh fruit, keep the fruit as dry as possible, the chunks small and dust in flour before adding to the batter.

“If using dry fruit, I always soak the fruit beforehand in spirits, liqueurs or earl grey tea.”

Fruit cakes are not to everyone’s taste, however. For this eventuality, Sophie has an alternative.

“If you don’t like rich fruit cakes, try a farmhouse cake instead,” she suggested.

“It’s one of my favourites and a lovely alternative to a traditional fruit cake.”

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What is a farmhouse cake?

Sophie explains: “It has similar fruits to a rich fruit/Christmas cake but with much less so it’s more like a vanilla cake speckled with fruit.”

The classic farmhouse fruitcake is filled with jam, candied mixed peel and maraschino cherries.

It is often flavoured with ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

What is fruit cake?

Fruit cake is often served at Christmas and at weddings. It originates from Roman times and is made with dried fruit and nuts.

Often these ingredients are soaked in liquor before they are put in a batter.

Early recipes include raisins, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.

In Yorkshire, fruitcake is often served with cheese.

A version of the cake from Scotland, Dundee Cake, is decorated with almonds.

Sophie also discussed the secret to her lemon drizzle cake recipe. 

Lemon drizzle cake is a traditional English cake and is hugely popular.

The cake is a simple loaf cake topped with a sour, lemon flavoured sauce, aka “drizzle”.

Sophie emphasised the importance of packing all that lemony flavour into your drizzle.

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