• We will all be baking pros by the end of this. (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson
Lockdown might have turned us all into chefs this year, but Australia's most searched for recipe was definitely not something you'd want to eat. Here's what food we searched up the most in 2020, according to Google.
Bron Maxabella

9 Dec 2020 - 6:01 AM  UPDATED 9 Dec 2020 - 2:35 PM

Never before has our nation spent so much time at home and it shows. Where once we might have Googled to find out where the hottest bands were playing, now we're punching the keys to find the hottest sourdough recipe.

Interestingly Australia's most searched for term this year was not coronavirus. That landed at number two, tagging along behind the US election. Seems Aussies needed a little extra light this year.

Recipe here.

Good news, though, last year 'fires near me' topped the search terms, but this year it fell to a comforting eighth on the list. We might have started 2020 under the terror of flame, but the fires have stayed manageable since then. One thing to be thankful for this year.

Plants pip scones and stroganoff as 2019's top food search term
While bushfires were understandably the nation's biggest preoccupation in 2019, we were almost as interested in eating plants as we were in saving them. Here's what Australians most wanted to eat this year, according to Google.

Hand sanitiser tops the list

There's really not much else to be grateful for, sadly. Unless you count the extra time many of us were able to spend in the kitchen. For some, that meant making their new favourite recipe: hand sanitiser.

Seems Aussies were in need of a little humour this year?

No great surprise to find recipes for the gloopy stuff first on Google's search list this year. Just be extra-careful which recipe you end up trying...

Vodka won't protect you from coronavirus, and 4 other things to know about hand sanitiser
As concern about coronavirus grows, hand sanitiser is in high demand. Biologist Jeffrey Gardner explains why alcohol is a key ingredient in hand sanitiser, and why he doesn’t recommend making your own supply at home.

Sourdough bake-off

Next on the list will be no surprise either. If you weren't touched by the sourdough bug this year, chances are someone close to you was. Or your Insta feed was flooded with rounds of sourdough and talk of crumb and feeding schedules. With a bit of luck, it's not just your eyes that have been feasting on the good stuff all year.

Recipes that use sourdough starter (and discard)
Add some sourdough bite to your cakes, buns, pretzels, doughnuts and... yes, even potato scallops.

You can use your sourdough starter to make all kinds of wild treats. Like doughnuts. Which came in at number five on Google's list, the search for a recipe no doubt aided by the doughnut challenge to keep coronavirus numbers at zero. 


Sourdough search
Sourdough pretzels

These pretzels are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and completely addictive!

Sourdough spring onion pancakes

This is a brilliant way to utilise active sourdough starter to create pancakes reminiscent of the traditional Chinese spring onion (scallion) pancakes typically served as street food. 

Sourdough cinnamon buns

The subtle sour flavour in the dough which compliments the sweet cinnamon and bitter coffee flavours in these buns, making for a winning combination. 

Baking our cares away

Last year it was all about plant-based food, but it appears comfort was the order of 2020. 'How to make self raising flour' and 'how to make bread' were two of the top 10 most searched for 'how to' terms. Higher on the list than both 'how to apply for Centrelink' or 'how to apply for JobKeeper'.

Six of the top ten recipe searches involve folding, kneading and most definitely baking your way to happiness. After sourdough bread and the doughnut came crumpets, macarons, Anzac cookies (note 'cookies', not biscuits - make of it what you will) and banana bread.

Recipe here.

Crumpets and macarons seems to indicate that we were making the most of the extra time at home. Both are the kinds of recipe you always think you'll get around to trying from scratch, but very rarely do.

A small contribution

Anzac biscuits were simply a must in a year where paying respect was a quieter, home-based event. Marches were cancelled and two-up most definitely off the cards.

Leaving a plate of homemade Anzac biscuits at the door of a veteran or other loved one seemed a small, but meaningful way to honour the day.

Recipe here.

Controversially, even the Australian War Memorial is uncertain of the place Anzac biscuits actually held during the war. Soldiers were rationed with hard tack biscuits that were basically inedible and nothing like the soft, sweet bickie that is so loved today. It's possible Anzac biscuits were sent to soldiers in the war, but possibly not as well.

However we arrived at them, the surge in popularity this year shows that it's an honour to bake this sweet tradition on Anzac day. 

The gift that keeps on giving

Which brings us to banana bread. The humble 'nana loaf often makes Google's annual most-searched list for good reason. Firstly, it tastes amazing (even to non-banana eaters, apparently).

Recipe here.

Secondly, bananas simply don't keep well in so many Australian climates. It seems like one day they're green, the next so spotty as to be rendered barely edible. Unless you're one of those robust people who actually prefers your banana black and drippy.

Fact is, unless you're the robust-type, if you don't have a decent banana bread recipe up your sleeve, you have to question buying bananas at all.

Spotty banana heaven
Easy banana bread

Put banana front and centre on your next loaf by slicing a banana lengthwise and pressing lightly into the top of the batter before baking. You can also make a chocolate version by adding some chopped chocolate and/or a cocoa powder swirl.

Nutty banana bread

Not only is this banana bread recipe reliable and delicious, it's easy to whip up! Time to give those bananas turning bad or being kept in your freezer some love.

Banana bread, raspberry and ricotta trifle

Leftover banana bread floating about? Just carve it up into little pieces and you’re halfway toward making this fantastic dessert. 

Rounding out the list

Beef stroganoff and spaghetti bolognese were once again in Google's top search items. Two classic family dinners made often. Unbeatable, really.

Rounding out the top ten? Have you been waiting for it? Yep, it's Dalgona coffee. This whipped coffee drink took the internet by storm earlier in the year and hasn't let up. You can't move for beaten beverages.

Which feels like a good note to end things on. Except, in the interest of topping the year's best, let us leave you with this Vietnamese coffee pavlova. It's when Dalgona coffee met meringue and decided they loved each other very much.

Vietnamese iced coffee pavlova

Worth making this trend for 2021, don't you think?

Top 10 Google Food search terms 2020:

  1. Hand sanitizer
  2. Sourdough bread
  3. Beef stroganoff
  4. Spaghetti bolognese
  5. Donut
  6. Crumpet
  7. Macaron
  8. Anzac cookie
  9. Banana bread
  10. Dalgona coffee

Cook the search
Classic bolognese

A classic Bolognese is a beautifully rich meat ragu that makes every heart melt.

How to master the crumpet
Everything you need to know to create butter's best friend.
Coconut macaron ice-cream sandwiches

Party perfect: go with different flavoured ice-creams to create colorful stacks.

Four secrets for game-changing banana bread
Everyone can make banana bread. But these tips will lift your loaf to new levels.
The ultimate guide to making sourdough bread
Absolutely everything you need to know to make amazing sourdough bread and pizza is right here.
Mexican chocolate donuts

These doughnuts - donas de chocolate Mexicano - are made using a special filled pancake pan, but you can also make them as regular pancakes, and serve the filling as a topping. 

Best beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff to a Russian is like a carbonara to an Italian. Something we just whip up without a recipe in little time using very few ingredients.

Anzac biscuit hokey pokey ice-cream sandwiches

Caramel, ice-cream and honeycomb sandwiched between crisp biscuit slabs. Serve for Anzac Day, a summer soiree or a spectacular birthday treat.