Judging Cakes At A Cake Show - What Is More Important?

Decorating By pinkpiggie78 Updated 2 May 2010 , 1:27am by pinkpiggie78

pinkpiggie78 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:15pm
post #1 of 13

I am working on my cake to enter into the Great American cake show and was wondering which was more important, the overall design/look of the cake or the flawlessness of the cake. I know both play a part, but I guess if you had two cakes where one had a great design/color/idea but had some flaws or a flawless and bland cake, which would win? Any judges out there?

12 replies
CWR41 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 3:21pm
post #2 of 13

I'm not a cake judge, but I'd think it doesn't matter how great the design idea is if it could not be executed with a nearly flawless appeal.

KHalstead Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 3:33pm
post #3 of 13

since just about EVERY design under the sun has been covered, if I were judging it would be on the flawlessness of the execution.....I think being able to "work cleanly" screams "professional" more than a good color combo or design does.

Anyone could find a design online to copy that you haven't seen before and try to emulate it, but if their work isn't clean and precise, it won't say "professional"

That's my 2 cents.

Rylan Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 3:38pm
post #4 of 13

I have to say that this depends on the judge. I once saw a cake with lots of flaws, repeated design, lots of techniques that recieved more points than a VERY clean cake with original techniques. Sometimes I just don't get it, hehe.

Personally, I always go for the flawless execution as well--with originality and has a degree of difficulty. Check out the judging criteria so you know how you will be judged...because a cake may be flawless but if it lacks color coordination, techniques, originalty then it may score low.

pinkpiggie78 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 4:19pm
post #5 of 13

Thanks for the input. I am just entering the intermediate tiered category, not the wedding cake, which is way beyond my skill level. I got a second place last year at the show, but this cake has really given me issues... covering square cake dummies with black fondant was not kind to me!

Kitagrl Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 4:32pm
post #6 of 13

I think judging, especially in smaller shows, is incredibly diverse.... I've entered a small cake show in Philly for three years and so far in three years, with four awards given each year, I've only understood (and agreed with) one award out of all twelve!!!! But I guess all judges look for something different.

That said, I assume just do your best with design AND perfection...and see how you do! We can all only do our best.

ruthi Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 4:48pm
post #7 of 13

I also find it baffling to understand the judges' opinions sometimes. I've seen some nice but somewhat simple, relatively, cakes place better than cakes that are very complex....why??? I have no idea! It isn't so objective and each judge has their own viewpoint obviously....for example, the last cake I entered in capital area cake show had borders made using paper punches...the year before at the maryland show one of the instructors giving a class on just this very technique said that it is new and if you want an edge on doing something unique in competition that this was a sure bet.....I used it and had points taken off BECAUSE i used paper punches - the judge said she took points off for level of skill and difficulty! So, there you go, two different totally opposite opinions from people in the industry....incidentally, IMHO, the judge who took off points has never tried this technique cuz it is not easy!!!!! Involves lots of frustration and cursing! LOL, just kidding. I do know that neatness scores lots of points EVERY TIME....

Rylan Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 4:53pm
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruthi

IMHO, the judge who took off points has never tried this technique cuz it is not easy!!!!! Involves lots of frustration and cursing! LOL, just kidding. I do know that neatness scores lots of points EVERY TIME....




I soooo agree with you. It is not easy aligning everything perfectly with no flaws.

dchockeyguy Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 9:18pm
post #9 of 13

I'll never figure out judges either. I did my first serious entries at a cake show the other month. I hated one of the cakes. It was a black and white celebration cake. the other was a treasure chest. The treasure chest, which looked like wood, had jems, etc. Got 5 points for color. The black and white got 7! I thought that was so strange! I was sure I'd lose points for only have two colors on my cake.

Rylan Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 11:18pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchockeyguy

I'll never figure out judges either. I did my first serious entries at a cake show the other month. I hated one of the cakes. It was a black and white celebration cake. the other was a treasure chest. The treasure chest, which looked like wood, had jems, etc. Got 5 points for color. The black and white got 7! I thought that was so strange! I was sure I'd lose points for only have two colors on my cake.




I was worried about this when I entered my first competition. When they say color, I think they probably meant how the color(s) of choice works on the cake. I made an all white cake and my points on color wasn't bad at all.

KimAZ Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 11:29pm
post #11 of 13

Judging is totally subjective and like everyone above said, it's hard to know what the judges will actually do. I've entered competition for the past 5 yrs and am amazed at time as to which cakes get awards and which don't. Obviously the judges see or don't see things all the rest of us do or don't do.

For the most part, cakes with a cleaner, precise design will win over those without. Cakes that are more complex such as a topsy turvy or whimsical design don't nessicarily win over a one tier cake. ( I know because I entered both and my more simple cake beat my more elebrorate one.)

Go for super clean, sharp edges, nothing messy and you'll do great!

KimAZ

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 1 May 2010 , 8:57am
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rylan

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchockeyguy

I'll never figure out judges either. I did my first serious entries at a cake show the other month. I hated one of the cakes. It was a black and white celebration cake. the other was a treasure chest. The treasure chest, which looked like wood, had jems, etc. Got 5 points for color. The black and white got 7! I thought that was so strange! I was sure I'd lose points for only have two colors on my cake.



I was worried about this when I entered my first competition. When they say color, I think they probably meant how the color(s) of choice works on the cake. I made an all white cake and my points on color wasn't bad at all.




I was at a cake competition (as a spectator) a few months ago. My first one! Anyways, I looked up the competition online because my bro was pushing me to enter and I noticed the name of the comp mentioned "Fantasy Wedding Cake Competition". Here I am, working in a grocery store bakery, totally not ready to make some kind of fantasy wedding cake in a matter of hours no less. No thanks. So I go and watch and the cake that ended up winning was a simple black and white with quilting. Hardly "fantasy" in my book.

pinkpiggie78 Posted 2 May 2010 , 1:27am
post #13 of 13

Well I finished my cake (I posted it in case anyone is interested) and dropped it off today. I have my fingers crossed, but I don't have high hopes. Thanks again for everyone's input. At this point I just have to wait and see what these judges thought icon_smile.gif

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