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Thread: Getting Ready For the County Fair Cake Contest Again.

  1. #1
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    Getting Ready For the County Fair Cake Contest Again.

    OK...I'm starting early this year. I want to find the best recipe for a winning, 2-layer cake. I came in 2nd place last year, but there was only 1 entry in my category...mine. Ha ha! In other words, it was not good enough to give a 1st place ribbon to. Wah, wah. The hummingbird cake that I made looked nice and personally, I thought it was yummy, but the judges said that it need more flavor. OK...alright...I know that can do better.

    You guys gave me some wonderful ideas and tips last year. I went ahead and purchased a few tools of the trade s/a a revolving cake stand, a layer slicing saw, cardboard cake rounds and a smaller, offset spatula. I also learned a few things about how to display my entry. (Apparently, they love it if you use a clear, covered cake stand and a china plate for the sample slice.) I have a few, new recipes that I've been muddling over. Anyway...I'd love more great recipes and tips for all of you. I have until September to come up with a recipe for a winning entry. Thanks!

    ~ C

  2. #2
    Junior Member charley26's Avatar
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    To me, you seem to be a wonderful cook. The show (cake) schedule should state the requirements for each entry, presentation etc, if you fulfil those you should be fine, otherwise those judges need judging.

  3. #3
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    how about an Indian cake to honor your recent trip? with lots of spices!

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    You could always make the same cake .... different judges, different palates!
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    What are the requirements besides 2-layer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    how about an Indian cake to honor your recent trip? with lots of spices!
    Oooh...interesting thought. A Garam Masala cake, or cardamom cake. It might be too way out for them though, but it would be fun.

    ~ C

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by charley26 View Post
    To me, you seem to be a wonderful cook. The show (cake) schedule should state the requirements for each entry, presentation etc, if you fulfil those you should be fine, otherwise those judges need judging.
    That's very nice of you to say, but frankly, I think that I'm getting worse over the years. I'm starting to get lazy...LOL.

    Zozee, the requirements are very simple. Just a 2-layer cake, any flavor, with only 1/2 of the cake displayed, and a slice of cake on a separate plate for the judges to taste. That's it. They have other categories for different types of cakes and a special one just for chocolate cakes and other ones for decorated cakes, coffee cakes, etc.

    ~ C

    ~ C

  8. #8
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    So, I've been busy this morning, searching for an amazing recipe that is appropriate for the county fair contest. I came across a generous list of recipes at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/best-...b002283004e5e5 .

    One that caught my eye is the Homemade Strawberry Cake recipe at Sally's Baking Addiction site: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/strawberry-cake/ . I think that a strawberry cake is a good candidate because it's not too, "out there," and has a broad appeal. Who doesn't like strawberries? It's not overly sweet, or gimmicky and it's really a, "county fair" kind of cake. I'm going to look at some of the other ones on that list and see what else I can find.

    I'm never going to lose weight testing all these recipes!

    ~ C
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-11-2019 at 09:09 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  9. #9
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tropit View Post
    Oooh...interesting thought. A Garam Masala cake, or cardamom cake. It might be too way out for them though, but it would be fun.

    ~ C
    look at it this way, if you win a $4.00 prize, that is income, which means you can deduct a good portion of the spoons tour. give the cake a country fair generic name...they'll never know

  10. #10
    Junior Member charley26's Avatar
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    Hmmm, a cake entry for a show here in the UK, is generally a whole cake, to the dimensions specified in the schedule, and sometimes to a specific recipe e.g. a Victoria sponge, scones etc will have ingredients listed in SOME schedules. Other cakes not, those cakes/ingredients will be left to the individual. The cake is displayed whole, on a plate, and the judges will cut a tiny slice themselves, this is for any cake in the show.

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    I am a judge for both open class exhibits and 4-H. Every judge is different in what they are looking for in an item.

    #1 make sure you follow the rules and guidelines-you would be surprised how many people do not. In any open class that I have judged, you do not know the person who made the item, the name should be covered. In many areas, they no longer encourage the tasting of the product, due to not knowing how food is being handled. (In 4-H, it is not unusual for the youth to also be handling livestock and hand washing facilities can be sketchy.)
    #2 is the cake level and is the crumb of the cake uniform? Is, frosting even, without crumbs?
    #3 display, some competitions it matters and some it does not (see #1)
    #4 it should be about improving your skills
    #5 one of things I tell my 4-Hers, is convince me this is the best project, I will see all day. In 4-H, it is 50% youth and 50% project, I want to know want went right. Personal dislike, and this happens particularity with girls, don't tell me what is wrong with the project, that is my job to find and decide if it needs to be addressed. This is a self-esteem issue. I love judging 4-H!
    #6 a judge does not need to award top ribbons and I sometimes do not
    #7 the area that I am very particular is with food preservation. It must meet the criteria and USDA food preservation guidelines, this includes the time and how processed, jars and lids used and fill amounts.
    #8 enjoy the process and encourage others to compete. We need people willing to enter.

    Here is something that may be of assistance to you: https://sugargeekshow.com/news/dos-d...e-competition/

  12. #12
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    https://wickedgoodkitchen.com/white-...e-buttercream/
    White velvet cake with raspberry marscapone frosting. It is one of my favorite cakes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB from MN View Post
    I am a judge for both open class exhibits and 4-H. Every judge is different in what they are looking for in an item.

    #1 make sure you follow the rules and guidelines-you would be surprised how many people do not. In any open class that I have judged, you do not know the person who made the item, the name should be covered. In many areas, they no longer encourage the tasting of the product, due to not knowing how food is being handled. (In 4-H, it is not unusual for the youth to also be handling livestock and hand washing facilities can be sketchy.)
    #2 is the cake level and is the crumb of the cake uniform? Is, frosting even, without crumbs?
    #3 display, some competitions it matters and some it does not (see #1)
    #4 it should be about improving your skills
    #5 one of things I tell my 4-Hers, is convince me this is the best project, I will see all day. In 4-H, it is 50% youth and 50% project, I want to know want went right. Personal dislike, and this happens particularity with girls, don't tell me what is wrong with the project, that is my job to find and decide if it needs to be addressed. This is a self-esteem issue. I love judging 4-H!
    #6 a judge does not need to award top ribbons and I sometimes do not
    #7 the area that I am very particular is with food preservation. It must meet the criteria and USDA food preservation guidelines, this includes the time and how processed, jars and lids used and fill amounts.
    #8 enjoy the process and encourage others to compete. We need people willing to enter.

    Here is something that may be of assistance to you: https://sugargeekshow.com/news/dos-d...e-competition/
    Wonderful advice. Thanks!

    ~ C

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanmom View Post
    https://wickedgoodkitchen.com/white-...e-buttercream/
    White velvet cake with raspberry marscapone frosting. It is one of my favorite cakes.
    Oohhhh...that cake sounds Good!

    ~ C
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-13-2019 at 05:56 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  15. #15
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    I would make my own favorite cake...We do best at what we know works!

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