Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Tips For Entering a Cake In the County Fair

  1. #1
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Mendocino Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,685

    Tips For Entering a Cake In the County Fair

    OK...the kids talked me into it. I'm going to enter my Hummingbird Cake in our local fair. I've never entered anything in a fair, so I'm a total neophyte at this. The cake is to be presented to the judges as 2 layer, 1/2 cake + 1 slice.

    My original recipe is not plant-based and I'm tempted to make it so by using an egg substitute and almond cream cheese. I may be asking for trouble with that, though. The judges may not like the taste of the almond cream cheese, or the cake might be too dense.

    I'm also worried how to transport the finished cake, when to bring it in and other strategies. If you've ever entered a fair with your baked goods, I'd love to hear from you! Thanks!

    ~ C

  2. #2
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,383
    Here are some tips for the big day. I know the first site deals with decorated cakes but looks like there are good general pointers that you could glean from:

    https://www.craftsy.com/cake-decorat...e-competition/

    https://www.hobbyfarms.com/baking-ti...-win-prizes-2/

    Also, you might visit a bakery & ask about how they transport cakes. I think you could get some good tips from them.

    Good luck & most of all....have fun with it!

  3. #3
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    35,081
    ​Here in Canada, you can buy cardboard cake boxes at the Bulk Store for about 50 cents. There are also 1/2 plastic cake containers that snap shut but I think you would need to go to a cake decorating store or a kitchen shop?

  4. #4
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Philomath, Oregon
    Posts
    1,596
    Blog Entries
    1
    Your local grocery store bakery might be willing to give you a cake box... good luck in the competition!
    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
    ~Mahatma Ghandi

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sunny Florida
    Posts
    1,842
    Enter the original recipe for your cake. I wouldn't change any ingredients unless you have worked with them before in this cake.

    Good luck! I want to be a judge!

  6. #6
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    SW Washington USA
    Posts
    3,240
    any cakes and cookies entered by people I know start with lots of sample making and recipe tweaking from those.
    Poor families. Oh well, someone has to eat all those goodies

  7. #7
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    35,081
    ​If they have a category specifically for plant based recipes, then you might have a good chance of winning. If however it is not a specific category, stick to the original recipe. Taste gets the most points here but the overall decoration gets points as well.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Mendocino Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,685
    Quote Originally Posted by osewme View Post
    Here are some tips for the big day. I know the first site deals with decorated cakes but looks like there are good general pointers that you could glean from:

    https://www.craftsy.com/cake-decorat...e-competition/

    https://www.hobbyfarms.com/baking-ti...-win-prizes-2/

    Also, you might visit a bakery & ask about how they transport cakes. I think you could get some good tips from them.

    Good luck & most of all....have fun with it!
    Thanks everyone! These two articles above are great. I am not entering a, "cake decorating,' competition, just the, "layered cake with frosting-other," category, but there are still loads of great tips.

    Also, I have never heard of a 1/2 cake container. I'll have to go online and check out some cake making supply stores.

    I'm sure if I asked the bakers at my local Safeway, they would give me a box.

    All wonderful ideas!

    ~ C

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Mendocino Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,685
    BTW...my daughter is entering the pie category for the first time as well. So, if you have any tips about entering pies too, we're all ears.

    (This fair is going to wreak havoc on my continuing, weight-loss efforts...augh!)

    ~ C

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Mendocino Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,685
    One good idea that I actually came across when I was making my kids wedding cake was to insert dowels into the cake and hide them with frosting. They help to keep the layers straight and to keep it from slipping during transport. (I assume that is OK with the judges. I'll have to ask.) Also, I should bring a fix-it kit with me on moving day.

    ~ C
    Last edited by tropit; 08-05-2018 at 11:42 AM.

  11. #11
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    16,265
    You were asking how to present your entry.
    Check your fair rules ... some fairs are very specific as to how food entries must be plated, wrapped, etc.
    And if not ... will be disqualified.

    You also asked when to deliver ... gain check with the posted rules.
    Each fair is different on that. Plus some fairs will have different rules regarding food entries vs. quilting, etc.

    Agree with the others ... it's not time to start experimenting ...
    unless you have a lot of willing taste-testers ready, willing and able.

    Your family have persuaded you to enter ... the cake, as is ... that they love you for!

    Good Luck!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bright, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    685
    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    any cakes and cookies entered by people I know start with lots of sample making and recipe tweaking from those.
    Poor families. Oh well, someone has to eat all those goodies
    My son in law makes a great lemon pie and had never even heard of a country fair when they were here a few summers ago. He got hold of the fair booklet and prize list, saw the category for Lemon Pie. Had to register his entry a week before the fair and it cost $10 to enter. He spent the week testing and tweaking his recipe - we had a LOT of Lemon Pie. There was a second category for "Fair Flop". He entered ONE slice of a pie that did not hold together and present well in that one. He won both categories and won back his entry fee. He was SO proud.
    GrannyLady - Having too much fun dressing my grandaughters.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bright, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    685
    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    You were asking how to present your entry.
    Check your fair rules ... some fairs are very specific as to how food entries must be plated, wrapped, etc.
    And if not ... will be disqualified.

    You also asked when to deliver ... gain check with the posted rules.
    Each fair is different on that. Plus some fairs will have different rules regarding food entries vs. quilting, etc.

    Agree with the others ... it's not time to start experimenting ...
    unless you have a lot of willing taste-testers ready, willing and able.

    Your family have persuaded you to enter ... the cake, as is ... that they love you for!

    Good Luck!
    Please don't muck about with your recipe. Just make it as usual. Present it as directed in fair booklet as per rules - if you have questions, there is usually a convenor to ask) I took my pies and cakes in a laundry basket. Just stacked baking trays on glassware or plastic supports to keep separate. If presenting ONE slice of pie or cake, take the WHOLE cake/pie, cut several slices, set aside the first slice (that's the one which falls apart or gets otherwise marked just being first) then you should be able to get a perfect slice to present as directed.

    And have fun! Winning or losing isn't important. Fairs need the entries to make their displays.
    I used to make enough entering the local fair to pay for my kids rides - between $60- $80. Great entertainment but a lot of work. I spent two days baking breads, buns, Chelsea buns, coffee cake, usually 4 pies … it was great fun.
    GrannyLady - Having too much fun dressing my grandaughters.

  14. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Hampstead N.C.
    Posts
    1,615
    Blog Entries
    1
    Ask for a box the size you need at the bakery department in your local supermarket and buy a piece of cardboard for a cake at a craft store like AC Moore or Michaels. Local supermarkets always give me a large cake box when I'm making a cake. Just tell them your entering your cake in the fair.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  15. #15
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Mendocino Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,685
    Quote Originally Posted by SuzzyQ View Post
    Please don't muck about with your recipe. Just make it as usual. Present it as directed in fair booklet as per rules - if you have questions, there is usually a convenor to ask) I took my pies and cakes in a laundry basket. Just stacked baking trays on glassware or plastic supports to keep separate. If presenting ONE slice of pie or cake, take the WHOLE cake/pie, cut several slices, set aside the first slice (that's the one which falls apart or gets otherwise marked just being first) then you should be able to get a perfect slice to present as directed.

    And have fun! Winning or losing isn't important. Fairs need the entries to make their displays.
    I used to make enough entering the local fair to pay for my kids rides - between $60- $80. Great entertainment but a lot of work. I spent two days baking breads, buns, Chelsea buns, coffee cake, usually 4 pies … it was great fun.
    Thanks so much for the slicing tip. It never occurred to me that the first slice might come out sloppy. The rules call for one 1/2 cake + one slice, so I can probably do the halving and slicing at home. I usually freeze the layers before I frost this cake, so I'm planning on doing that for the contest, as well. (It'll be thawed by the time it reaches the contest.) That should make for a neater slice and make it easier to frost. I have various sizes of cardboard, cake rounds. I'm thinking of putting the cake on the proper sized round and then "glue" that round to a larger round with some frosting before I put the 1/2 cake in a large, cardboard box. I have some very, windy roads to drive on to get to the fairgrounds, so I'm hoping that the larger round will keep the cake from sliding into the side of the box during transport.

    I still haven't found out about the presentation. It doesn't say anything in the rules book. I need to call the fairgrounds. This is a tiny fair and they aren't in the office every day. If I can't get a hold of them, I'll just bring all of my presentation options with me...plates, paper plates, cake stand, etc. I'm also planning to bring extra frosting and second slices...just in case.

    I've made two, practice cakes so far...and gained about 8 pounds by veering off my weight loss program...augh! I hope this is over soon, or I'm gonna weigh a couple of tons! Anyway, both cakes were good. One was slightly moister than the other and I'm not sure why. The fair is in 3 weeks...I'll let y'all know how I fare. Thanks for all of the tips and well wishes!!!

    ~C

  16. #16
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Mendocino Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,685
    Quote Originally Posted by SuzzyQ View Post
    My son in law makes a great lemon pie and had never even heard of a country fair when they were here a few summers ago. He got hold of the fair booklet and prize list, saw the category for Lemon Pie. Had to register his entry a week before the fair and it cost $10 to enter. He spent the week testing and tweaking his recipe - we had a LOT of Lemon Pie. There was a second category for "Fair Flop". He entered ONE slice of a pie that did not hold together and present well in that one. He won both categories and won back his entry fee. He was SO proud.
    That is just too cute! Congrats to him!

    ~ C

  17. #17
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Outside St. Louis
    Posts
    33,946
    The Hummingbird cake recipe I have isn't as good as I thought it would be. I got the recipe out of a newspaper years ago only made it twice, years apart. Seems it was dry, maybe I need to go over the recipe again.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  18. #18
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Canadian in Minnesota
    Posts
    3,062
    Just a point about using egg substitute in a recipe - I was surprised when I read the ingredient list of the brand that I buy that it consists almost exclusively of egg whites with some yellow color, and has salt added. You may need to adjust the salt in your recipe as a result.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  19. #19
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Mendocino Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,685
    The cake is done and I entered it yesteday afternoon. Whew! There were only 3 entries in my class, so hey, I might get 3rd place! I didn't see the other entries, so I have no idea what the competition is like. I'll know this weekend how I fared. The whole experience has beeen great and I've learned a lot. Hopefully, I'll have an opportunity to talk to the judges for tips on future entries. (I've already picked out a recipe for next year's cake: Sweet 'n Salty Chocolate layer cake.)

    I made 4 cakes during the whole process and my family and I are pretty sick of eating cake. I tweaked my recipe and process a little each time and some things worked and some didn't.

    Didn't work:
    - Thermal pan bands. You soak these in water and wrap them around the cake pans. It's supposed to help the cake to rise evenly and to avoid the dome shape. They did make the cake rise nice and flat, but they also prevented a crust from forming on the sides of the cake. That could be good in some instances, but not for a heavy cake like a Hummingbird cake. The sides blew out and I ended up with a cake that looked like a flat tire.

    -Butter not completely soft yet. I was trying to rush things, so I thought that the butter would be OK in my cream cheese frosting...nope. There were little chunks of butter left throughout, no matter how long I whipped it in the mixer. I finally took most of the frosting and put it in the food processor. That got rid of the chunks, but made the frosting a little bit runny. Note to self: ALWAYS use very soft butter in frosting.

    -Overcooking the cake. This cake is kind of like banana bread. It doesn't look done, but it really is. With my first cake, I did the toothpick test and it was still a bit moist in the center, so I put it back in the oven for about 7 minutes more. That cake was just a tad dry. The other cakes cooked for less co time and they turned out great.

    Did work:

    Lining pans: Lining the bottom of pans with parchment paper or tin foil, made the layers come out of the pans easily and intact. I also buttered and floured the entire pans and linings.

    Cake rounds: These things are great...just simple, cardboard rounds that are the same size in diameter as my cake. They make the cake so much easier to move around. I also cut one cake round in half because the contest called for 1/2 cake, not a whole cake. After I frosted the entire cake, I then cut it in half along the edge of the cake round.

    Freezing cake layers: This is something that I've learned a long time ago. It is soooo much easier to frost a frozen cake and the cake stays nice an moist for longer. I put the layers on cake rounds, then double wrap them in plastic wrap and foil. When I take them out, I unwrap them and brush off the loose crumbs and I'm good to go.

    Silicone pastry brush: Perfect for brushing away crumbs. You could also use a bristled paint brush.

    Cake leveler: I bought this at Wiltons and it looks kind of like a hacksaw. It has a bow shape with a wire and small, flat feet. you place the feet on the counter and saw back and forth as you drag it across the top of the cake layer. It cuts off that dome part of the lay and makes a nice, even, flat layer for stacking.


    That's about it. I'll let you know if I place in the contest. Thanks for everyone's support and wonderful tips.

    ~ C
    Last edited by tropit; 09-12-2018 at 10:06 AM.

  20. #20
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    35,081
    ​I predict first place, let us know after the weekend.

  21. #21
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Mendocino Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,685
    Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr...drum roll.................

    Second Place!

    My daughter also received a second place for her blackberry pie.

    Yay us! It was a lot of fun!

    Thanks to everyone for all of your helpful tips.

    ~ C

  22. #22
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    35,081
    Congratulations to you and your daughter!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.