Hola!

 

So How to win Cake International or any cake competitions?

 

This is always a hot topic of discussion in my classes, and everyone would have that one little thing that they did wrong which cost them their Gold or Silver or Bronze award. It’s painful I know, but competitions are a learning process. You grow as you learn and it can only get better 🙂

 

There are some tips from my personal observation and experience, so this by no means are guidelines.  I hope this article inspires you and prepares you a little better for your next big competition.

 

Be creative

 

Rule number one! Do not try to replicate what the winner from last year did. Try to be original and bring something new to be the table. Your judges would appreciate that. Most of the competitions have ‘Creativity’ or ‘Originality’ as a major marking criteria.

 

Apply familiar techniques

 

It’s not advisable to try something brand new for a competition. As you all know, practice makes perfect, and perfection is what the judges are after. You may be comfortable with a simple technique, but bring complexity to that simple technique and make it something unique. If your strongest point is piping then, design a cake with lots of intricate piping.  If you are good with painting, design your cake with a challenging painting on it. Utilise your strongest skills and the more techniques, the better and avoid your weakest areas completely.

 

 

Enter the right category

 

There’s nothing more painful than entering the wrong category. Who would do that right? Well, I did!

 

See below my floral hat cake which I entered in the Small Decorative exhibit category in Salon Culinaire.  I believe it’s still one of my best cakes to date. I knew my cake did not belong in that category as soon as I placed it amongst figurines made of fondant by other contestants. And my judge just confirmed that during the feedback session. It was heartbreaking but hey ho, you learn, and you grow!

 

So learn from my mistake, always check thoroughly. It helps to look through the previous year’s entries to get a feel of the kind of cakes that belong in that category.

 

 

Don’t hide, fix it.

 

If there is a tiny little flaw, a small one even, if you can see it so can the judges. I had a mishap with my cake board once, and I hid the part that was revealing the silver board with some edible pearls. But I was marked down because they could see the silver board through the pearls.

 

So my advise would be to take time, do everything correctly and fix errors rather than hiding them.

 

Planning and Executing

 

Competitions can be stressful, so planning plays a huge part in getting you organised and prepared.  Allow plenty of time for redos. Aim to finish your cake two days before the competition day.

 

Plan your transportation ahead, so you reach on time. Have a kit ready with you that would allow you to fix any damages that occurred in transit.

 

 

Learn and Grow

Without taking chances, we will never know, and without knowing, we will never learn. So take your chance!

 

I am not a ‘competition’ person as it distorts my peace of mind massively. I dislike the nerves. But the exposure competition gives for my business is above any marketing.  When you are a small business, you do not have huge budgets for marketing, and we know how much a page in a magazine or a popular blog would cost. But if you win a competition, they would publish your interview for free. Your cake pics are out there in popular magazines and websites for absolutely nothing.

 

So take a chance. Win or lose, you will have a beautiful cake to show off to your potential customers.

 

It is really a win-win situation!

 

Good Luck 🙂

 

Love
Neetha x

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