'Bake Off' quarter-final: Lizzie opens up on neurodiversity that inspired stunning cake

Lizzie Acker impressed with her neurodiverse representation cake. (Channel 4)
Lizzie Acker impressed with her neurodiverse representation cake. (Channel 4)

The Great British Bake Off contestant Lizzie Acker has unveiled an incredible showstopper cake inspired by her SEN (special educational needs) diagnoses in the show's quarter-final.

However, despite the judges calling her cake "a complete triumph", viewers were shocked to hear that she was eliminated at the end of the episode.

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Lizzie, 28, took on the challenge of creating a gluten-free double-layer, tiered cake in the Channel 4 show's 'free from' week where bakers' tasks included recipes without dairy, meat and gluten.

As it was the competition's quarter-final, bakers pulled out all the stops to get to the next round, but despite everyone putting in a strong effort for the showstopper, the stand-out cake came from Lizzie.

Piped with a rainbow of icing and covered in a jumble of letters and numbers, she had designed it to represent the "brain fuzz" she said she suffered from.

But somehow, Lizzie was told she was being sent home even after having turned in the cake of the episode.

Lizzie explained her cake to judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith: "I'm celebrating being different, it's going to be a representation of my brain.

"I've got quite a few SEN issues. SEN is special educational needs. Dyslexic, dyspraxic, ADHD and concentration disorder.

"So I think people who are slightly different need to be celebrated and represented."

Viewers praised Lizzie for talking about her neurodiversity and for her success on Bake Off in spite of it.

The Scouse baker added that she was designing the icing to look like "a 70s shag rug", adding: "I get a lot of brain fuzz, so that's what that's meant to represent."

Hollywood has often urged Lizzie to concentrate on finessing her designs, but as he reminded her to be neat again, she said: "It's going to be my brain, there's going to be no finesse to it. Organised chaos."

The result was one of the most spectacular cakes the tent has ever seen that brought fellow contestant Crystelle to tears and was labelled a resounding triumph by Hollywood and Leith.

As the bakers took on challenges to make a dairy-free ice-cream sandwich and a vegan sausage roll, presenter Noel Fielding pointed out that it would have been a good week for vegan contestant Freya, who has already been eliminated.

He said: "This was a week we needed Freya, really."

As Giuseppe considered his ice-cream sandwiches, he said: "I've got this weird feeling that I've missed something."

Presenter Matt Lucas agreed: "Well, the dairy."

Ep8.  Noel, Prue and Paul.
Noel Fielding, Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood were impressed by tonight's creations. (Channel 4)

This week's disastrous moments included Jurgen dropping his full batch of vegan sausage rolls on the floor and Crystelle making an onion chutney too spicy to eat.

However, Chigs, who took up baking during lockdown, triumphed in the technical and won praise from Hollywood for his polished showstopper cake, who said: "Who would have knew at the beginning of Bake Off or even last year that you could produce that in the tent in the quarter-final."

Chigs was crowned star baker after a brilliant showstopper and goes into the semi-final alongside Giuseppe, Jurgen and Crystelle.

Watch: Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith decide who's more intimidating