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    IDDBA's 21st Annual Cake Decorating Challenge
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Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo, Houston, TX, June 5-7, 2016

Three highly-skilled, creative supermarket cake decorators will vie for top honors as they demonstrate their decorating skills and creative talents in IDDBA's 21st Annual Cake Decorating Challenge.

The three-day contest begins with creating enough production cakes to fill an 8' bakery case.  Day two is devoted to the creation of a wedding cake.  The third day each contestant decorates three cakes of their choosing, one from each category: special occasion, this year's show theme – Growing the Future, and decorator's choice.

Contestants receive an all-expense paid trip to Houston, gifts, trophies, bragging rights, and publicity.

Winning Photo Portfolio Suggestions

Contestants are chosen to compete based on photos submitted for review.  It is important that the photos show variety, creativity, and consistent skills.

Use the following tips to select your photos/portfolio.

  1. Photograph cakes against a neutral background.
  2. Use a flash or good lighting in a natural, brightly lit room.
  3. If you are photographing cakes in a glass case, lift the glass.
  4. No out-of-focus pictures, please.
  5. No color copy enlargements.
  6. If you print your photos on an ink-jet printer, make sure details are still clear. Do not try to enlarge low-resolution digital photographs.
  7. Try to photograph each cake from a two-point perspective: complete cake and close-up of cake detail. Ideal photos show the whole cake and a close-up of special details.
  8. A portfolio should consist of photos of cakes decorated within the last five years. As a guide, please include:
    1. Production Cakes: 10 different cakes, 3 – 5 images of each cake.
    2. Wedding Cakes: show 5 of your best cakes, 3 – 5 images of each cake.
    3. Custom-design Cakes: 7 different cakes, 3 – 5 images of each cake.
  9. In addition to your cake photos, take pictures of cases in your store to show your production ability and merchandising talent.
  10. The judges are looking for creativity, good use of color, consistent edgings, variety of techniques, use of multiple mediums, and neatness.

Judging Tips

  1. Artistic quality: the creativity, variety, arrangement, balance, proportion, and visual impact of each cake.
  2. Color: the selection, development, and coordination of colors.
  3. Lettering/Art/Design: the style and legibility of any lettering/art/design on all cakes.
  4. Decorations: the appropriateness of the amount of frosting or other decorations utilized in decorating the cakes.
  5. Icing appearance: the smoothness, texture, variety of icing used, and consistency of the overall icing surface.
  6. Technical quality: the skill in decoration, as evidenced by preciseness and uniformity of borders, flowers, and other designs.

Entry Form

Deadline for entries is February 19, 2016. Apply today to participate in IDDBA's 21st Annual Cake Decorating Challenge!

Two ways to enter: 

  1. To apply by mailing a CD, USB, or photo album, download and complete this PDF entry form, then print and mail with your photos to IDDBA, 636 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711. (CDs and USBs will not be returned. For photo albums, please include your information in the designated area so we may mail your portfolio back to you.)

  3. To apply via online photo gallery, download and complete this PDF entry form, then email to jives@iddba.org.

If your device does not support PDF forms, or should you have technical difficulties, please email Jessica at jives@iddba.org.

Mailing Tips: How to Ship Your Album to IDDBA

Scrapbook Albums

Please be aware that screw-together scrapbooking albums have a high probability of being damaged in transit. They tend to fall apart and tear the edges of each sheet. They are not sturdy enough to be put on UPS/USPS trucks and bounced around. If you do send in an album of this type, please package it carefully and snugly with bubble wrap.

Putting Together a New Album

If you are putting together a new album for the competition, please consider electronic format such as Flickr. If you prefer sending actual photos, use a standard 8 ½ x 11 3-ring binder with a flexible cover or a flexible folder/report cover with fasteners. Photos can be placed in divided sheet protectors or affixed to paper and put in standard sheet protectors. These types of albums hold together well and can be mailed. We don't need anything fancy; your cakes will speak for themselves.

Photo Books

Professional photo books from Snapfish, iPhoto, etc. are fine but please ensure that your photos are organized and large enough for the committee to see the detail.

Shipping Boxes

If you are worried about your album please send it in a plain cardboard box with appropriate packing materials. We are happy to re-use your box and packing materials whenever possible.

Please, please, please do not send loose photos.


IDDBA | 636 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711-1073 | Phone: 608.310.5000 | Fax: 608.238.6330 | iddba@iddba.org | iddba.org
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