Most Popular Recipes on the Improving Cook in 2020

 Happy New Year! 2020 is a year I am glad to see the back of, that's for sure! All the lockdowns and other consequences of the pandemic did seem to get people back in their kitchens, cooking and baking from scratch though, which is interesting. But what were they cooking?

A collage of 10 recipe photos with an overlay of text- Most Popular recipes

I have been doing my annual look through my website stats for the year, to see what 2020's most popular recipes were on The Improving Cook. Much like the last few years, dinner recipes continue to be the most popular, but cakes have started to creep in. Read on to see which recipes made the list, followed up with some 2020 blog stats, if you're interested.

There are a few new entries this year and quite a reshuffle in the order too- read on to find out more!

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1. Garlic Chicken and Leek Potato Bake

This garlic chicken bake has steadily grown in popularity in the last two years, with an increase of 300%, jumping up to the top of the list for 2020. It's currently the most popular recipe on the site by a long way. The recipe is very handy for using up leftover roast chicken and you can make it with a garlic sauce or a cheesy garlic sauce, depending on what you prefer. The recipe forms part of a series of potato bakes which also includes a salmon and a beef version. Both appear further down the list.

Garlic Chicken and Potato Bake in a casserole dish with a spoonful removed

Speaking of potato bakes, here's the aforementioned salmon version. It's a delicious salmon and potato bake with broccoli and a cheesy sauce and topped with sliced potatoes. It was very popular, very quickly and has had 200% more visits this year. It's also one of my personal favourites to serve for dinner.

                             Salmon and Broccoli Potato Bake in a cream ceramic dish

3. Large Victoria Sponge Cake

A new entry to the list, my Victoria Sponge Cake recipe has been featured on Google and consistently gets a ton of visits from searches. It makes a 9-inch cake, perfect for anything where you need to cater for a crowd. From Afternoon Tea to Birthday Celebrations, it's a classic cake to serve. It was incredibly popular during the lockdown VE day celebrations.

A Victoria Sponge Cake on a white plate with a slice taken out

This Brown Sugar Gammon recipe has been hanging around the top ten list for a long time, but it has managed to double in popularity this year. As you'd expect, it peaks in the week before Christmas. It has very few ingredients, making it an easy dish to serve on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, and it makes spectacular sandwiches with its leftovers.

                          A close up shot of shredded brown sugar gammon

The third of the potato bake recipes, Beef Mince Hot Pot is a slight twist on the family classic hot pot. Very easy to make; it has grown in popularity by 80% for the second year in a row. There's something very comforting about eating it and there's tons of flavour.

A close up shot of a serving of Beef Mince hot pot

My simple slow cooker leek and potato soup has been the top recipe on the top ten list since, what feels like, time began! It remains as popular as it ever was, but other recipes have grown so much that this has dropped to number 6. So easy to make, and freezes brilliantly for winter lunches.

Leek and Potato soup in a slow cooker with a ladle lifting some out

A new entry on the list this year after a large jump in views, this ginger cake recipe is foolproof. You can make it as a loaf cake to eat in slices, or as a tray-bake to serve with custard. If you're not a fan of the traditional Christmas desserts, this makes a great alternative.

Ginger cake loaf, with 2 slices cut and lying in front of the loaf

8.  Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

This recipe entered the top ten for the first time last year and continues to be popular. It's one of my favourite dinners and we often have batches of it in the freezer- absolutely packed with goodness with the veg and the kidney beans.

Mexican Chicken in a white bowl with ricd

9. Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken

This slow cooker dish, requires virtually no prep and is easy on the calories. It also freezes well, so can be made in big batches. You can serve it with rice, mash, whatever you fancy.

A portion of Spanish Chicken on a white plate  with peas and roast potatoes

The only summery recipe to appear in the list, Tuna Crunch Pasta is one of my go-to work lunches. You can make it in a big batch and eat over several days. Part of its popularity is down to it being Slimming World Friendly too.

A large white bowl full of tuna crunch pasta

And just outside the top ten:

2020 Blog Stats

Social Media 

Visitor Traffic

Visitors- 192, 884 ( up 69%)
Page views- 320, 448  (up 70%)

Where does the traffic come from?

Of total traffic:
  • Google- 44% (significantly up)
  • Pinterest- 31% (slightly down)
  • Direct traffic- 7%  (slightly down)
  • Facebook- 4% (slightly down)
  • Other search engines- 1.7% (didn;t track this last years
  • Yummly- 1% (stayed the same)

The remainder comes in small amounts from various other websites or international Pinterest sites that have featured my recipes.

So there you have it, 2020 for my website. Rather nicer to look back on than the rest of 2020!

Best wishes to you all in 2021, may all your cooking endeavours be successes.