The Cake Show and Design Competition held its second edition at Vanier College’s Sports Complex on October 19 and 20. With over 20 vendors present, there were more people attending this year’s edition compared to last year’s, and the enhanced social media exposure on Facebook may be attributed for its growth.
The proceeds for this year went to Kids Help Phone, a telephone and online service that provides confidential counseling for youth.
Dr. Jordan LeBel is an associate professor at Concordia where he teaches a food marketing class. When Cake Show executive director, Paige McEachren, called and asked him if he wanted to judge this year’s event again, he did not hesitate. LeBel’s family foundation gave money awards to the winners of the cupcake challenge, with the top prize worth 500 dollars. LeBel found it difficult to choose the winners, “the level of details and work on cupcakes was a tough call,” he said.
Event coordinator Tal Erdman was impressed by all the effort put in by the volunteers. “Everyone is really motivated,” said Erdman.
In terms of learning how to make your own cupcakes, there were five additional classes compared to last year, amounting to a total of 34.
There were many kinds of classes. Some showed students learning techniques on how to pipe with buttercream (icing); and working with fondant and fabricating flower decorations. There were some where children could learn how to make cookies and cake pops. In addition, a special event happened on the Friday, where there was an eight-hour class where you could learn character sculpting, and taught to make your own character that looked like a Muppet on Sesame Street.
Free demos were given throughout the day. On Saturday, Danielle Magnant from Redpath, showed visitors practical techniques when working with fondant.
The highlights of the Cake Show include the Charity Cupcake Challenge and the Live Challenge with a Halloween theme this year. The first one was on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. where 24 contestants competed against one another for the best cupcakes. There were five different prize categories:
Montreal’s Best Cupcake prize. Montreal’s Finest Looking Halloween Cupcake prize. Montreal’s Finest Tasting Halloween Cupcake prize. Montreal’s Funkiest Halloween Cupcake prize. People’s Choice prize.
The contestants were either cupcake boutiques or people who love baking. They had to bring a minimum of 132 mini cupcakes.
Three teams of professionals had to build a Halloween themed cake in the Live Challenge for three hours on a Sunday afternoon.
Concordia alumni Alicia Barret of Leece Designs won the category of People’s Choice with her Reese peanut butter-flavoured cupcake. She won the category last year too, and her business became busier since she participated. “It’s better organized than last year,a lot more of traffic,” she said.
When asked if she would continue participating, she said that this edition would be her last. She said that it has become expensive and requires a lot of time to bake many cupcakes.
However, Barret would enjoy being a cake judge next year.