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Cake Competitions Dos and Don’ts!

Cake Competitions Dos and Don’ts!

cakecomp2016-2Hello Friends:

Today we will be looking at the topic “Cake Competition”. For those that are looking into joining a cake competition for the first time, I have some tips that might shed some light into the doubts we have when entering this type of competitions for the very first time.

On April 2016, I was brave enough to enter my very first competition, and it was NOT easy, all the contrary it has been the most stressful 3 days that I ever suffered, but worth it every second of it.

It all started when SoFlo Cake and Candy Expo was launched in 2015. This was my first convention, being that most conventions are hosted North of Florida, is a bit difficult to attend to conventions due to the expenses you have incur and to the fact that I have a full-time job which is not always easy to be absent from. Well, I got the courage and promised myself I will take part in the cake competition the following year (2016), have in mind that the little or much I know about cake decorating I have learned from online videos, tutorials, etc. I did take some paid classes here in Miami but they were NOT helpful at all and not to mention they were expensive. Totally disappointed, but is part of life I think.

So, 2016 arrived, I gathered all the information about the cake convention and the competition details. And based on my personal experience I now leave you with a few tips on what to do and what NOT to do when taking on your first competition.

DO’s

Read and make sure that you understand the cake categories and theme.  Usually they have three  different categories:

  1. Professionals:  Those who have a full-time job as a decorators and make their living out of it,
  2. Semi-Professionals:  Those (like me) that have been in the decorating field for a few years now, but have not made a full-time job out of it, and that usually have a full-time job non-related to cake at all, and
  3. Students:  Those that are exactly that, students working toward a certificate or degree on pastries or cake decorating (they will ask for the school id to confirm that indeed you are a student-the entry fee is lower than the rest).

Read and understand the rules of each theme: such as

  1. Theme of the cake (Wedding, Gravity Defying, Novelty),
  2. The height of the cake (1 tier, 2 tiers, etc.) and the total height maximum of the cake, at my competition the maximum height was 36″ measuring from the top of the table where the cake was to be put on and up to the highest end point of your cake (including any topper, etc.),
  3. Type of cake (Styrofoam or cake dummies, all cake, a combination of both, etc.)
  4. Materials to be used (color edible or non-toxic, non-edible materials such as flower wires, internal structures, etc.)
  5. DEADLINE:  This is a VERY important rule.  I learned it the hard way. I was crazy enough (being that it was my first time) to register for the three categories (Wedding, Gravity Defying, and Themed Cake), but I was only able to complete two of the three categories.  After not sleeping for 2 days in a row, I was able to delivery my wedding cake on time, my theme cake was almost done, so I was going to deliver it the next day very early (so I thought), when the last day came I overslept and was late 1 minutes, YES 1 minute, and I was not allowed to turn in my second cake. It was so frustrating to me, but I had no one else to blame but myself.  

A few tips:

  •  Do cover your cake boards, inside and out, even if you think the judges will not look under the base of the  cake, some judges do see everything.
  • Do have design that goes with your theme, such as if it is wedding – make sure that by looking at your cake it is recognized as a wedding cake, but always having the topic depicted on the design ( Florida Beauties-make sure to add something that says Florida (oranges, underwater life (Florida Keys), Sun, etc. implemented in the design).
  • Do use as many techniques as you know and execute them as clean as possible.
  • Do cover each tier with fondant, as smooth as possible.
  • Do make sure your fondant is clean, no cracks, no holes, no bumps in it.
  • Do spend on materials to make a bigger cake than the rest, but within the limits of the height assigned, if the limit is 36″ don’t do a cake that is 36.1″ it will be disqualified automatically, trust me I saw that.
  • Do use your imagination, be creative, different from the rest, make your cake have that wow factors, do a design that you have not seen before, that will make your cake stand out,
  • Do have fun, don’t expect to lose, but don’t be mad or disappointed if you don’t win, just participating is exciting and winning would be just the cherry on the icing.  The experience you will acquire is priceless.

DON’TS

Don’t assume the rules would apply to you, because they will.  

Don’t start thinking about your design at the last-minute

Don’t  copy someone else’s design and presented as yours,

Don’t make a cake out of dummy cake when it is supposed to be out of real cake,

Don’t make your cake taller than the limit, YOU WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED,

Don’t forget to always cover your boards, 

DON’T be late delivering the cake to the competition venue, they will not allow you in after the deadline time has passed, and 

Most importantly, do not give up.  If this time you did not place, keep trying, keep learning, keep developing your skills.  Your time will come, as I know my time will come too.

I hope you have gained a bit of perspective about cake competitions and tips here presented are useful to you. If you  like the post please subscribe to our page www.bakencraft.com and post your comments.

Until next time,

Sweet Baking!

BakeNCraft

 

 

 

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