I adored baking as a child. I was always whipping up little cupcake creations in the kitchen after school, although I’ve never lived down my toothpaste decorated banana cake made aged six.
There’s always heaps of baking activity at my kids’ school. We have a lively Friday cake sale and all the PTFA activities tend to be fuelled by homemade cakes. So this year, inspired by the Great British Bake-Off I decided this year to host the first ever baking competition at my children’s summer school fair.
Once planned it was very easy to do. I divided it into three categories: nursery to year 2, year 3 to year 6 and grown-ups. The kids were judged by decoration only and the grown ups on decoration, taste and texture. They had to enter with a sponge or fairy cakes and the theme was London celebrations 2012.
I felt fair and serious judging was critical to the competition’s success and tracked down a representative from the West Ealing WI who agreed to come and judge the cakes. We were also very lucky to have Lucy Lovelly from Vanilla Frost Cakes on the panel too. I rustled together some fabulous prizes from http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com and was donated a voucher from the great Kids’ Cookery School in Acton – a must go place for budding little chefs. So with the high calibre judges and lovely prizes in place all that was needed was a large promotion campaign to get all the kids baking in time. I pinned a poster around the school, emailed all the class reps and added a note to the PTFA newsletter with the details. Then I just had to wait, somewhat nervously, and see what arrived on the day of the fair.
The fair opened at 12pm and the cakes started trickling in from 11am. The love and detail that went into decorating the cakes was staggering. We were all really impressed. The WI’s arrival caused a ripple of excitement and once they’d donned their sashes and set to work we knew the judges meant business.
There was an air of excitement around the tables too as the kids watched the judges and awaited the results! After a tense hour the winners were decided. I made my way to the mic to make the announcements. The winners were thrilled, the cakes were sold off in moments to hungry onlookers, raising lots of money for the school. The rainbow cake we sold for £1 a slice – not a colourful crumb was left by 2pm. The kids had the option to take their cakes home – some did (can’t blame them after all the hours they put into the decoration) and many were happy to donate. Take a look at the gallery of pictures of all the entries and the stunning winning cakes!
Thank you to Katie Bryson from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter and Emma Drew from My Vox Songs for the beautiful pictures. Katie whipped up the most delicious red velvet cake – my personal favourite. The icing was melt in the mouth delicious. I was too busy faffing about with my clipboard and talking to the excited entrants to take many pictures.