Too Pretty to Eat: How do the Judges Pick a Cake Decorating Winner?

Cake Decorating — it’s one of the most hotly contested Arts and Craft competitions at the Sydney Royal Easter Show each year.  

The competition brings together hundreds of cake makers from various cake decorating guilds and associations across NSW. Entrants readily spend weeks designing and then crafting their sugary masterpieces.  

In the weeks before the Show opens to the public, a team of “decorated” volunteer cake artistry veterans carefully judge the entrants, using their trained eyes to pick winners from the bunch.

Believe it or not, decorated cakes at the Sydney Royal Easter Show are not judged on taste, but rather on appearance, structure, creativity and technique.  The judges also check that entered cakes do not breach the competition’s strict entry rules. Cakes cannot be too weighty, too large for their class, or use illegal structural supports.

Winning cakes must be both visually spectacular and demonstrate high levels of skill and finesse.  The array of cake decorating techniques on display at the Show is astounding, from colouring, to sugar crystallising, delicate piping work, and cake tower-building using “edible glues” like fondant and sugar syrup.

Judging takes place prior to the opening of the Show on March 23rd.  Head down to the Arts and Craft Pavilion next to the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome to check out the prizewinners and judge for yourself!

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