Sourdough; the real and the fake explained WIN! A Sourdough Baking Class at Two Magpies Bakery worth £225! Types of icing: how many do you know? Toffee apple tart How to make an octopus sugarpaste cake topper

It's All An Illusion...

We take a closer look at this year's Cake & Bake show competition - have you entered yet?

Image credit: It's All An Illusion...

17th Jul 2019

BREAKING NEWS! The Cake & Bake show have released their competition theme and it’s a good’un… illusion cakes! We’ve got the dos and definitely don’ts of entering this cake-tastic comp. Thinking of entering? Good! You’ve got to be in it to win it…


Cake & Bake show logo


● Submission deadline is 1st September 2019
● Cakes must be dropped off at The Cake & Bake Show at ExCel, London on Thursday 3rd October
● Entrants will be given four complimentary tickets to the October show
● Open to professional bakers and amateur cake makers
● Judging will take place at the show – come and see the CD&S team at our stand to calm those nerves!


Content continues after advertisements

Cake & Bake show judging criteria:

● Originality and creativity of design
● Overall visual impact
● Skills and execution of technique
● Interpretation of the theme


Illusion cake

It's all in the detail!

The burning question on everyone’s lips: how un-edible can we go?
We’ve got the exclusive inside scoop on this major competition question, which has previously been the downfall of a few of our cakey insiders (think pesky wires peeking out, or even hidden wooden cocktail sticks). Here's the answer... “It's okay by us if some elements are not edible, especially given the theme of illusion cakes. One would imagine that there will be an element of fl orist wire, for example, for anti-gravity cakes. Think bakes that boggle the mind using surreal sugar crafting skills, and chocolate tempering to create flexible structures and shine!” Despina, Show Manager, Cake & Bake. Phew!


KFC illusion cake

A bamboozling bake!


Top competition tips from CD&S
When is a cake not a cake? When it's an illusion cake, of course! Unless you've been under a rock for the past couple of years, you may have noticed a recent trend for illusion cakes - works of art that look like anything but cake. Here are our top tips for making your piece competition ready. Good luck, and remember just be brave and go for it! We believe in you, Cakers!

● Be careful with the theme. Ask yourself, is your creation actually an illusion cake, or is it a novelty cake? We had this with a few of our fantastic GBCD competition entries, which was a huge shame. We saw some incredible creations, but unfortunately some of them were classed as novelty. An illusion cake is a cake that doesn’t look like a cake at all, such as a burger, but once you cut into it, it’s a delicious yummy treat

● Print the schedule, read the schedule, re-read the schedule, and crossreference each rule on the schedule with your creation

● Keep your work clean – be wary of troublesome fingerprints, smudges, pencil marks etc. We recommend you get someone with a fresh pair of eyes to look at every detail of your cake

● Finish off those boards with a suitable ribbon. After all, it may seem silly thing but an unfinished board is an unsightly thing. Check out our blog post on Using Ribbon on Your Cake for more help! 

● Transport your cake in a safe and slow manner – don’t risk a single quick movement! Keep an eye out on our blog where we’ll be giving you our top tips on transporting cakes

Illusion cake

We welcome the weird, the wonderful and the woah, amazing!


A chat with Molly before the show... Remember to come and see us!

Molly Robbins


As the Cake & Bake competition starts to heat up, we grabbed cake star Molly Robbins for a quick powwow on what she thinks of the theme and her top tips for entering! Don’t forget to come and see us at the show, as we will have Molly and a stunning display of her creations on our stand.

Competition season is coming and lots of our readers are planning or have started their pieces. Do you have any tips as a multi award winning artist?
"Everybody says the same thing again and again, but just read the rules. When you see ‘NOT TO SCHEDULE’ after all that work, it is heart-breaking. Also, do something you love, that you are passionate about as you will be happy to spend time on it. When I made my orangutan cake, my mum and dad came in (they are my biggest fans) and for the first time, I said ‘I love it’ and I don’t mind what it gets, and it got gold!"

What would you say to cakers who are scared to try cake carving?
"It is quite scary, as each move is final (you can’t put it back on if you take too much away) but it’s not as diffi cult as you think because you are carvingthe basic shape and adding elementson top. Structure is really important. I learned how to add structure as I went. Everyone does it diff erently so you just need to have a go!"

What would be your top tips?
"Illusion cakes are my absolute favourite! Whether it’s a dog with a party hat on or a bowl of Victoria sponge-come-spag bol I love it when someone says “is that a cake?!” It’s a great theme as you could literally make anything! Any item you can hold or look at could become a cake. I see inspiration in all sorts of things; the TV remote, a glass of wine (guess what I’m doing at the moment?) literally anything can be recreated in sugar if you put your mind to it. My top tips for illusion cakes rely on realistic proportions, colours and textures. Really look at the subject you are making. If it’s an animal, get plenty of photos from diff erent angles, see which way the fur grows on the face, what colour its eyes are. If it’s an object, work out how to recreate textures; experiment with diff erent household objects - balled up tin foil, sieves, wooden chopping boards, to see how it creates textures in sugar. An airbrush is a really useful piece of kit when it comes to making illusion cakes. It can be used to create colours and patterns and to help emphasise shadows and create depth. If you don’t have an airbrush then petal dusts are a great way to create a similar effect. Good luck!"
Molly Robbins

Molly Robbins


Pssst! Come to our stand and get our fabulous show subscription offer complete with our exclusive goody bag! Plus we’ll have the fabulous Molly Robbins and one of her creations to come and take selfies with!

Special thanks to our goody bag sponsors:
Fantastic Ribbons
Katy Sue
Sugar Vanilla Stencils
Cake Stuff
The Cake Decorating Company
Cake Dummies



More in News

Click here to sign up to our newsletters!

Click here to sign up to our newsletters!