When a cake competition becomes a popularity competition.

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The old cake competition at the village fete has come on leaps and bounds since the introduction of Facebook. No longer are your wares tasted, prodded, poked and drooled over by the crowds. There are no baking professionals judging, you will not win a rosette or even a certificate for this is the virtual world and rosettes are so 1999!

Today's small time competition consists of competitors spamming sites for votes, getting friends to share the links and generally announcing the competition with every status update. These competitions are rarely judged on talent anymore they are all about how many silent tagging groups you have joined or how many pages you have added your link to.

Whilst this is a sure fire way to win a competition what satisfactions will you be left with after the competition ends? Tour cake may have won on its own merits, but you will now never know.

Whatever happened to a cake winning because it tasted divine or looked like it should be in an art gallery? Why vote for a cake because you've been asked for instead of finding one which takes your breath away?

Today a cake competition was launched and will be being judged by the owners of the page. I think this is the way forward for these competitions. It's the only way real talent can be judged. Whoever the lucky winner is will know they have really done a great job and will be left with a feeling of pride and achievement. This is how things should be.

If you enter a competition based on people "liking" your entry, let them do just that. Asking them to like it defeats the object.

If you have a talent for baking check out the real competitions where hard work is rewarded and the effort you go to making the cake is worthwhile. Look out for the next Cake International show they hold two every year. One at the NEC in Birmingham and one in London at the Excel. There are categories for every level of baker and each cake is judged individually. Entry is very easy and you always gain some great feedback from the judges on your efforts.

When speaking to the judges last year when I entered they all commented on how they would love to see more amateur bakers taking part. They even have a cupcake category this year!

So forget these competitions which are simply popularity contests and instead go for one which really will make you feel good no matter where you come.

If you do take part please share your entry and how you got on. I will be entering again myself this year. Last year I won Bronze this year I'm going for Gold!


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