Students get creative in cake decorating contest

Cake decorating competition is an opportunity to have some fun for some, but for Baylee Dittman, it was a second chance.

“I did [the cake decorating contest] last year and I failed miserably due to lack of planning and I just couldn’t go out like that,” said Dittman, a sophomore speech communications major.

However, this year she came with a plan to the annual cake decorating contest, on Sept. 17. Her plan involved three additional eight-inch rounds of vanilla cake, a jar of chocolate and vanilla frosting, a small jar of buttercream paste and a piping bag.

“I’m making a bunny because it’s similar to a rabbit,” Dittman said. “I’m not skilled enough to make an angry rabbit so I’m just going to do the next best thing, which in my mind is a bunny.”

Dittman was just one of the many participants of the cake decorating contest. Participants signed up prior to the competition and did not need prior experience in cake decorating.

One of the participants, Abby Sudbeck, a freshman interior design major, didn’t know she was signed up for the contest.

“This was kind of spur of the moment … didn’t really have a game plan,” Sudbeck said. She decided to show her SDSU pride by designing a blue and yellow tie-dyed cake.

The University Program Council sponsored this year’s contest and Chelsey Bertelson, a junior art education major, organized the event.

“There are a lot of people on campus that get really into baking. It’s their thing or decorating is their thing and… it doesn’t have to be so competitive either,” Bertelson said. “[It] is a contest, but a lot people do it just for fun. Some people have a talent in that area and some people just want to do it for fun and some people just want free cake.”

The participants were able to sign up for a time slot and at 5 p.m., all participants had to stop decorating their cakes. After 5 p.m., the UPC Executive Board judged the cakes in two categories: creativity and craftsmanship.

“So creativity is if someone is bringing new ideas … just cool, different ideas. Just kind of unique,” Bertelson said. “Craftsmanship is just if they look like they put some work into it; we’re not necessarily judging on talent, as long as we can see they tried and it looks good as a whole.”

Three winners were selected. The first-place winner received $150, second earned $100 and the third got $75. All the participants could take their cakes home after the contest.

The first-place winners of the contest were Jade Kuetzke, a senior pharmacy major, and Jacob Maland, a senior pharmacy major. They took home a box of movie theater popcorn instead of the two-round cake they were given at the start of the competition. 

The second-place were winner Tyler Gee and Sarah Ginsbach and the third place winner was Taylor Walker.

This was Kuetzke and Maland’s second year participating in the cake decorating competition and this year their theme was the movie theater. They put their cakes into a square box for movie theater popcorn and placed icing and marshmallows on top to look like popcorn. Maland made cake to look like movie tickets.

“[The cake decorating contest is] kind of a fun thing to do, plus there isn’t cost to do it and you get cake out of it so it’s kind of a nice thing to take back to your room and have cake for a while,” Kuetzke said. “And I never really decorated a cake before, so it’s kind of cool thing to try.”

In the end, Dittman did not win a prize, but she did have the chance to have some fun and redeem herself in the area of cake decorating.

“Personally, my final product [sort of] failed in practice, but it was more about having fun doing it and eating the cake than anything,” Dittman said. “I think I’ll just keep doing better and better. The bunny wasn’t perfect, but it was better.”