So you may remember that a little while ago I announced that my bourbon pecan pie cupcakes had been shortlisted for the National Cupcake Championships – ridiculously exciting for an amateur baker as only 15 people from across the country were shortlisted in my category!
The finals were held at Cake International in Birmingham, a few weekends ago. I won’t leave you in suspense – I didn’t win! I didn’t really expect to, but I did have an amazing time at the show.
When I arrived first thing in the morning I dropped my cakes off at the judging table. The picture above shows all the entries in the amateur ‘baking with alcohol’ category which I was competing in, including the winning mulled wine cupcakes which were chosen as the winning bake.
I had the rest of the day to explore the show, and it was really a cake baker’s dream. While the Cake and Bake Show had lots of cakes to buy and eat, Cake International was all about the decorating tools and ingredients, and you could buy pretty much anything you could ever need for creating fabulous cakes.
Speaking of fabulous cakes, half of the exhibition hall was taken up with the displays of competition cakes, and they really were INSANE.
My favourite (as a total Harry Potter geek) was the Buckbeak cake above – can you believe it’s actually made from cake?! Seriously amazing.
Below are a few more pictures of some of my favourite cakes from the show. They have certainly given me something to aspire to, although it’s going to be a long time and a lot of practice before I can even come close to anything this good!
Another great film scene:
I don’t know why you’d want to make a cake look like breakfast, but this proves that you can…
Some of the more traditional wedding cakes:
And one that’s still traditional, but with an actual moving carousel!
There were many, many more amazing cakes and you could easily spend hours looking at them all. I did find time to buy a few decorating bits and pieces, and also watch one of the demos from Paul de Costa Greaves, who made a beetroot chocolate cake with chipotle chilli ganache – definitely have to recreate that soon!
I’m setting my sights a little lower with my next competition, which is the local Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Bake Off – will keep you all updated with how it goes!