01 March 2009

that takes the cake! austin’s own little cake show

Cakes and people who love cakes gathered this weekend in Austin, Texas for the annual That Takes the Cake! cake show and competition. Live music, onsite competition, celebrities in the baking world, cake supply vendors, demonstrations, cake, cake, and more cake! This year’s theme was music, and below are lots of photos of beautiful cakes as well as a recap of my experience.

i am in love with the sumptuousness of this one. the way those folds are bulging out – gorgeous!

I saw this cake from the back at first, and my reaction was “what the heck is that?”, but then I saw the front, as well as the title, “Meow-dy Gras.” Instant love. Puns are the fastest way to make me swoon.

The cakes are split into categories by skill level (beginner, professional, child, etc.) as well as type of cake (sculpted, tiered, buttercream, etc.) Guest judges were invited to judge, and this year they included Elisa Straus of Confetti Cakes, whose book inspired me to make my own stacked cookies last year!

austincakeshow58 She is as sweet as the cakes in her book! Down to earth, and lovely to chat with! I’m glad I idolize pastry chefs instead of actors, because I at least am able to approach them and talk to them, whereas if I idolized Tom Cruise there would be no way I could ever get close to him. What really inspires me about Strauss is how she took her love of textiles while working at Ralph Lauren and merged it with her love of creating cakes. Nothing makes me happier than seeing how people bring in the things that they enjoy into their work.

Another notable name, for me at least, was Jacquy Pfeiffer, the founder of the French Pastry School up in Chicago.

Another wonderful person to talk to! I have a bad habit of getting too excited when I know someone is fluent in French, but he didn't seem to mind and was more than happy to chat with me in French. Which definitely exited my brain as soon as I starting trying to speak it. Maybe one day I will end up in Chicago, who knows, but my heart right now is definitely in France.

austincakeshow72Monsieur Pfeiffer was placing these pieces of sugar under heat lamps for a sugar molding demonstration later on.

austincakeshow03 i love the lacy “table cloth” visuals on this one.

austincakeshow07 the colors. the shape. the clean sharp edges. another favorite.

austincakeshow12 any cake that mimics cloth = instant favorite.

austincakeshow31 lovely design as well as color scheme.

austincakeshow14 dinosaur cookies! too cute.

austincakeshow15 i love how the pearls are used to frame the drapes.

austincakeshow16can this person paint or what…

austincakeshow25 a geisha cake

austincakeshow27we all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine…

austincakeshow28 the feathers were rendered stunningly.

austincakeshow59 raffle prizes!

austincakeshow60 you could even win class lessons

austincakeshow61 or sheets to roll out fondant on for pretty patterns

austincakeshow62you could even buy pre-made sugar items for your cake.

austincakeshow63you could also buy icing

austincakeshow64 cake pans for sale

austincakeshow65 lessons on how to make these gelatin babies were also offered.

austincakeshow66edible dust. it’s just like candy. how can one resist!?

austincakeshow67too many colors. it gives me the same feeling as buying eyeshadow or paint pigments – extreme glee and happiness!

austincakeshow68colored icing if you don’t have time to make it yourself

austincakeshow69 lots and lots of different extracts to make your cake smell and taste good.

austincakeshow35i am in love with this cake. the patterns work so well with the design – definitely one of my top 5!

austincakeshow37 those aren’t real. but they sure are sweet.

austincakeshow41 rabbit cookies in a vegetable patch.

austincakeshow44 the tension in this cake is amazing. love the donuts.

this is all buttercream. and I thought buttercream couldn't compare to fondant in terms of visuals! this cake proved me wrong.

austincakeshow50 i love how the icing comes off of this cake – even if you don’t make cakes, anyone can immediately see that this took some serious time.

austincakeshow54the girliest cake out there for a shoelover

austincakeshow57 panda oreo cupcakes. TOO CUTE. i’m stealing this idea one day.

austincakeshow70 on site cake competition. They had 1.5 hours to make a wedding cake, and while making it, the audience got to ask questions. Fun to watch, and lots learned!

austincakeshow71 Psst! That’s Bronwen Weber, from Frosted Art! I promise.

All the judges. how many do you recognize?

View austin cake show

The rest of the photos are on my flickr page, because I definitely took too many to fit for one entry!

Conclusion: A very inspiring day. I loved being able to talk to pastry chefs, which is only adding fuel to my desire to work in the gastronomical field. And of course, I enjoyed being able to see so many different kinds of amazing cakes that have given me so many ideas and inspirations for my own pastries in the future!

Also, if you happen to be one of those amazing folks who made these cakes, please tell me and I will gladly give credit to your gorgeous cake.


Pearl said...

how FUN that you got to go to a cake show! the gelatin things are SOOOO cool!

Jennifer said...

What an event!!! I'd love to experience that! Thank you for sharing it! AMAZING cakes!!! wow!!!

cathy said...

i'm glad you enjoyed the photos! i hope more cities will also start hosting cake shows, more fun for us all :)

Julia said...

Oh I would have LOVED to have attended this event. What fun you must have had. I level of skill on some of these cakes are just incredible. Thanks so much for sharing!

Dani said...

i certainly wish there was an event like this in newfoundland. i love the colorful one with the neat shape and sharp edges. Astounding!

Hillary said...

What a great event! I don't know how you cake makers do it...My hand would shake and I'd mess something up even if I had any decorating talent. :)

kuma said...

What a great event! Thanks for sharing!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

I went last year and loved it! Thanks for all the great photos!

Kyla said...

Thank you for the lovely review of our show!

Anonymous said...

cathy, take me to these things next time! s'il vous plait

Kyla said...

It's that time again! I hope we'll see you back at our show this year.