That Takes The Cake 2017 - United States

Sugar Art Show and Cake Competition

Capital Confectioners, a greater Austin Cake Club and Non-Profit organization, was formed to provide people who are interested in sugar arts the opportunity to share and network with others who have similar interests. Club members have all different skill levels from home hobby decorators to experienced pastry chefs. Our members willingly share their expertise and those who participate benefit from that collaboration. Anyone with an interest in sugar arts is invited to join our group.

Location: 2400 Chisholm Trail, Round Rock, TX 78681, USA

Dates: February 25 - February 26, 2017

Competition Rules and Information

That Takes the Cake Sugar Art Show and Competition is open to all cake decorating and sugar art enthusiasts. The competition provides an opportunity to showcase decorating skills, get feedback from our distinguished panel of judges, and win awards and prizes. Included here are important registration deadlines, divisional classification, description of styles, and rules for the Divisional Competition, Tasting Competition, Sugar Showpiece Competition, and 2017 Special Competitions. Competitors should carefully read the rules and refer to them as they are completing their entry.

Registration Dates and Fees

All entries must be registered by February 19, 2017, as there is no onsite registration.  Competition registration includes general admission to the show for the weekend for the competitor.  Competition registration for competitors under 18 includes general admission for the competitor and one accompanying adult admission.  There will be no refunds of entry or registration fees.

Beginner to Masters Early Registration through 1/31/2017$25 – includes up to 3 entries, additional entries $5 each
Beginner to Masters General Registration ends 2/19/2017$35 – includes up to 3 entries, additional entries $5 each
Registration ends 2/19/2017$25 – each entry
Registration ends 2/19/2017$15 – includes up to 3 entries, additional entries $5 each
SPECIAL COMPETITIONS within Divisional and Sugar Showpiece Competition – Innovation, Annual Theme, Lace and IsomaltFREE
CHILD AND JUNIOR ENTRIES – An adult can help bake the cake for a child/junior entrant.  The child/junior must then complete the entry themselves – icing, decorating, etc.FREE – 1 entry per person

How to Register

  • Online: with payment through PayPal
  • Fax: 512-765-9966
  • In Person: Make It Sweet, 9070 Research Blvd, Suite 203, Austin, TX 78758
  • Mail: Irene Hackbarth, Cake Club Treasurer, 2719 Emilia Lane, Round Rock, TX 78665

(Note: Mail In payments must be received by February 15, 2017)


Entries must arrive and be set up by 10 am Saturday, February 25, 2017.

Check-in and Set-up hours are:
5 pm to 8 pm Friday, February 24, 2017, and 7 am to 10 am Saturday, February 25, 2017

Removal/Tear-Down – Cakes will not be permitted to be removed before 5 pm on Sunday, February 26, 2017

More InformationVisit – – or – Call – Make It Sweet at (512) 371-3401.


  • The Awards Ceremony will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017 starting at 4 pm at the Round Rock Sports Center.
  • Child and Junior entries will all be recognized with a medal.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Divisional Competition entries will be recognized in each division for each style. Also, award levels are at the judges’ discretion if less than 3 entries per style or as determined based on the criteria and skill level.
  • One Best of Division entry will be chosen from each division.
  • The Best of the Divisional Competition will be chosen from the Best of Division winners.
  • Trophies, cash, and prizes are awarded to Best of Division and Best of Divisional Competition.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Sugar Showpiece Competition entries in each Sugar Showpiece Division will be recognized during the awards ceremony; 2nd and 3rd place will receive medals and prizes, 1st place will be awarded a medal, trophy, cash, and prizes. The best of the Sugar Showpiece competition winners will be chosen from the 1st place entries.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Tasting Competition entries will be recognized with medals, and King Arthur Flour Gift Cards – $75 for each 3rd place, $150 for each 2nd place, $250 for each 1st place, and Best of Tasting Competition $250.
  • For each competition entry brought to the show and placed on a judging table, the decorator’s name will be entered into a special decorators only prize drawing.
  • Ribbons, awards, or prizes not claimed by the close of show will be forfeited. This does not change award results, but the physical goods must be claimed at the show. You may appoint a representative to collect your prizes if you cannot attend the awards ceremony in person.
  • In addition to prize packs, the minimum cash prizes are as follows: Innovation Award $250; Application of Theme Award $250; Lace $250; Isomalt $250; Best of Division (Teen to Masters) $250 each; Best of Divisional Competition $750; 1st Place Sugar showpiece $250 (each of the 4 divisions); Two Best of Sugar showpiece Competition winners – $1000 each (Individual and Team).

General Competition Rules & Information

These rules apply to both the Divisional Competition and the Sugar Showpiece Competition


  • The entry must be the sole and original work of only the person listed on the Registration Form. For the Team Sugar Showpiece Division, teams of up to 3 people are allowed to work on one entry.
  • All entries must be the original design and work of the competitor or team. Taking inspiration from others’ work and techniques is acceptable, but copies are not acceptable.
  • Entries in the Divisional Competition – Sculpted Cake style must be made with real cake. All other entries may be comprised of real cake, a substitute (such as cereal bars) or Styrofoam dummies. If a cake substitute or a dummy is used, it must be a design that could be duplicated with real cake.
  • Ribbons, tulle, etc., may be used to carry out a design. Don’t use non-edible items in place of sugar mediums; for example, plastic pearls instead of fondant pearls. Columns, supports, wires, and stamens are allowed.  Cold Porcelain is not allowed. “Edible Images” are allowed and will be judged in context with the entire entry. Use of other substances may cause the entry to be disqualified.
  • Each entry must have the competitor name, address, phone number, division, and style on the underside of the display board. No personal or business identifying marks, advertisements, special backdrops, photos (other than for the sculpted cake category), etc., will be allowed to be displayed along with the entry.


  • All entrants must sign a Registration and Release Form. Early registration is encouraged to help plan space needs.
  • While we encourage entries of new work, entries from other shows are acceptable. Entries from prior years of this Show can only be entered if the entry has been substantially re-worked and the entry did not receive an award.
  • Entries may be removed after 5:00 pm and until 7:00 pm on Sunday, February 26, 2017. Any entries left after 7:00 pm will be considered to be forfeited and become the property of the event organizers.
  • Entrant grants Capital Confectioners a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, sublicenseable, and transferable right and license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, distribute, and publicly display any photos taken by Capital Confectioners staff, volunteers, or contractors.
  • Although precautions will be taken, event organizers and sponsors will not be responsible for theft or damage.
  • Entrants are responsible for any and all safety issues pertaining to their entries and absolve Capital Confectioners, the show organizers and sponsors of any liability related to damage caused to persons or property by the entry.


  • Judging of the entries will be completed by teams of qualified judges selected by the Show Committee. The judges’ decisions will be final. The judges will complete a comment sheet for each Divisional, Sugar Showpiece and Tasting entry; those sheets will be distributed to the entrant after the Awards Ceremony. Judging will be conducted consensus style.
  • Awards will be at the judge’s discretion based on the criteria. There is not automatically a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place award.
  • The Show Committee enforces policy and procedures. Any issues regarding proper placement, originality, etc., brought to the attention of the Show Director or Show Committee during the show will be directed to the head judge so that a determination can be made. Any entry deemed in poor taste will be disqualified and removed. Judges and/or Show Committee have the right to re-classify an entry if necessary. If an entry is deemed to be a copy of someone else’s work, the entry will be disqualified.

Divisional Competition - Rules and Information

Divisions & Styles

  • Entries are classified by Division (the experience/skill level of the entrant) and Style (the cake structure and type).
  • Competitors may enter only one division but submit as many style entries in that division as they choose. Review the division and style information and choose the division that most closely matches your skill level. It is the responsibility of the entrant to accurately and fairly place themselves in a Division. Consideration should be given to other applicable skills, for example a competitor with an art degree and has worked with clay sculptures for 5 years should be entering in the Advanced or higher Division even if they have only been working with cake and edible media for a short time.
  • Entrants must move to the next higher division once they have won first place in any style in their division for 2 consecutive years or if they won best of their division.
  • Entrants who compete in other similar competitions should be competing in an equivalent division and in no case can enter this competition in a lower division.

 DIVISIONS – Experience and Skill Level

Teen (13 – 17 years)Each teen must bake, ice and decorate their own entry. Open to all styles.
Culinary StudentCurrently enrolled culinary school students.  Open to all styles.
BeginnerBasic skills.  2 years or less decorating experience; self-taught or less than 30 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction – including online courses.  Open to all styles.
IntermediateDeveloping skills. 2 to 4 years cake decorating experience; 30 to 60 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction – including online courses.  Open to all styles.
AdvancedMore refined skills.  4 to 6 years cake decorating experience; 60 to 90 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction – including online courses. Open to all styles.
ProfessionalHigh level of skill.  Over 6 years decorating experience.  More than 90 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction – including online courses.  May be decorating for profit or working as a decorator.  Open to all styles.
MastersExpert in sugar art.  Is known to have mastered specific mediums and techniques.  May be an author, instructor, or work in the sugar art business.  Has more than 120 hours of instruction. Open to all styles.

STYLES – Categories for Divisional Entries

Special Occasion -Novelty Single Tier CakeAny basic shape single tier or sheet cake with a theme such as Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Wedding, Graduation, etc.  Any sugar medium or techniques may be used.
Sculpted CakeShaped or carved cakes, 2-D or 3-D cake, and sculptures. Entries must be real cake.  Minimal use of cake substitute such as rice cereal treats or foam is allowed to complete entry.  All sugar media are allowed. 3 in-progress pictures showing the cake carving must be displayed with the entry.
Special Occasion – Novelty Tiered CakeCakes with two or more tiers.  Can be stacked or tiered.  The Novelty Style does not include wedding or anniversary themes.  All sugar media and techniques are allowed.
Buttercream Only CakeAny non-tiered cake with any theme decorated using only buttercream icing.  No fondant, non-edible decorations, or other sugar media will be allowed.
Wedding Tiered CakeCakes with two or more tiers decorated specifically for weddings or anniversaries.  Any techniques or sugar medium may be used.
Special TechniquesEntries in this style include displays of fondant techniques, gumpaste flowers, sugar molding/modeling, color flow, royal icing, Isomalt, chocolate showpiece, etc.  A combination of techniques and media may be used, but it must be presented alone and not as part of a cake.
CookiesAll types of cookies are allowed including 3-D designs.  Any combination of techniques and/or media may be used.
Small BitesA display of a minimum of 6 cupcakes, cake balls, cake pops, candy, chocolates,etc.  A combination of techniques and media may be used, but it must be presented alone and not as part of a cake.  These items will be displayed only and will not be tasted.
Dessert TableA combination display that will be judged on techniques, the overall display, and application of the theme – Cake and Old Lace (see full description under the Sugar Showpiece Competition).  The display must include at least 4 unique dessert type elements – for example – a cake, cookies, pastries, and a candy.  All of the 4 elements must be handmade.  Other items can be included to enhance the display and the theme such as colorful purchased candies, display stands, packaging, etc.  The display must fit within the 30” x 30” space and a table covering over the white tablecloth is allowed.

Size and Display

  • Entries should fit in a 30” x 30” space. Contact us for approval if the entry is larger. Electricity is not available for divisional entries. Table dressing such as decorative fabrics or mirrors are allowed, but not required. To conserve room for all entries, table dressings should not extend past the allotted space.
  • Entries may be put under plexi-glass or other such cover, but judges must be able to view the entries without interference. The covering must be able to be easily removed.


  • Entries will be judged on the following criteria – precision of techniques used, originality, creativity, skill, color, design, difficulty, number of techniques used, and overall eye appeal.  Judging for the Divisional Competition is not based on taste.  Entries are only judged according to the criteria and against only those entries in the same Division and Style category.

Child and Junior Entries

  • An adult can help bake the cake for a child or junior competitor.  The child/junior must then complete the entry themselves.
  • To encourage young decorators, each entry will be awarded a “Best of …” title that will be announced at the award ceremony and all entrants will be recognized with a medal.   Judging critique forms are not completed for child or junior entries.

Special Divisional Competition Award Categories

These special awards are all conducted from within the Divisional Competition and Sugar Showpiece Competition entries.  Competitors must designate if they want their entry to be considered for one or more of these special awards.   Specially selected judges will review the entries and determine winners.  The judges will meet with the decorator during a scheduled time on Saturday, February 25th, between noon and 6 pm, to discuss their entry.  The decision of the panel of judges is final and the awards may not be given out if the panel determines that no entry meets the criteria.  The winners will be announced during the Awards Ceremony.  Entrants for these Special Awards are encouraged to provide in-progress photos or other documentation along with their entry. This documentation along with signage designating the entry as an Award contender will be on display at the table with the entry.

INNOVATION AWARD – Sponsored by the Capital Confectioners Cake Club

If, for your entry in the 2017 “That Takes the Cake!” Sugar Art Show and Cake Competition, you have developed a new technique, a new use of an existing medium, or a new tool, you meet the criteria to apply for the That Takes the Cake Innovation Award, which is unique to this show. A team of judges will review the entries in this special cross-divisional category to determine one winner.

ANNUAL THEME AWARD – Sponsored by Make It Sweet

Make It Sweet Logol

Each year a theme is announced that is specific for the Sugar Showpiece competition.  With this new special Annual Theme Award, competitors in Divisional Competition who apply this year’s theme of Cake and Old Lace (see the complete description in the Sugar showpiece Rules) can choose to be considered for this award. Judges will be considering the overall statement of the entry to convey the theme.  Sponsored by Make It Sweet, winners will receive a prize pack and cash prizes of $100 for 3rd place, $150 for 2nd place, and $250 for 1st place.

LACE AWARD – Sponsored by Swank Cake Design swank


The use of edible lace will be a basis for this special award category.  The judges will be looking for innovative uses, applications and techniques using lace from lace mats and/or using hand-piped lace.  The lace can just be a portion of the entry.  Sponsored by Swank Cake Design, winners will receive a prize pack and cash prizes of $100 for 3rd place, $150 for 2nd place, and $250 for 1st place.

ISOMALT AWARD – Sponsored by CakePlay


If your entry includes Isomalt as the entire piece or as a part of the entry, you can be considered for this special award. Any Isomalt sugar media and techniques can be used. Sponsored by CakePlay, winners will receive a prize pack and cash prizes of $100 for 3rd place, $150 for 2nd place, and $250 for 1st place).

2017 Sugar Showpiece Competition

Cake and old Lace

The 2017 theme, Cake and Old Lace, challenges decorators to cast their minds back into yesteryear to evoke images of old lace, top hats and tails, fans and flowers, through to the birth of new industries taking the world by storm with steam, electricity, and other amazing miracles of modernity. Explore the antiques shop of your imagination and show us what gorgeous trinkets, clothing, furniture, machines, and other marvels you find.

A Sugar Showpiece is the centerpiece of a special event.  Sugar Showpieces are showstoppers that make people wonder if it is really cake and how it was made.  You have seen Sugar Showpiece style works of art created on Food Network Challenges, TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off, and Ace of Cakes type shows.  A Sugar Showpiece might be for a wedding, 1st, 16th or 80th birthday, a retirement, a baby shower, a corporate event, an anniversary, or any special event.  One defining element is that Sugar Showpieces have a very specific theme that is carefully incorporated into all aspects of the cake and the cake display.



This is for the more traditional style wedding or tiered special event type cakes but it must also clearly represent this year’s Cake and Old Lace theme.  The entry must be a minimum of 4 tiers and meet height, serving size, and other display requirements detailed below as well as the General Competition Rules detailed above.  All standard shaped cakes are acceptable (including, but not limited to:  round, square, hexagon, paisley, sphere, hourglass, tapered, and angled).   Entries in this category should not include any custom sculpted cake tier components.

  • Individual: All of the work on the entry is solely the work of the individual competitor
  • Team: All of the work on the entry can be completed by up to 3 separate competitors


This is specifically for sculpted showpieces.  The sculpted piece can be the entire entry or a portion of the entry.  A minimum of three in-process pictures that clearly show the sculpting and carving of the entry without showing the identity of the competitor must be displayed along with the entry.  It is acceptable to utilize foam or non-edible pieces to replace standard shapes of cake for the entry.  The sculpted components must all be made of edible materials, cake, rice cereal treats, etc.  Note that additional points will be awarded for difficulty of techniques used judging criteria for the use of real cake.  The entry must meet height, serving size, and other display requirements detailed below as well as the General Competition Rules detailed above.

  • Individual: All of the work on the entry is solely the work of the individual competitor
  • Team: All of the work on the entry can be completed by up to 3 separate competitors

In addition to the General Competition Rules, the following rules apply specifically to entries in the Sugar Showpiece Competition.


  • Any sugar media is allowed.


  • The entry must meet minimum height and serving requirements.  The minimum finished height is 24” (not including any base) and the entry must be of sufficient size that it would meet or exceed a minimum of 100 servings of cake.


  • Each entry will be displayed on an individual 48” round, standard (29” – 30”) height table.
  • The entrant will be responsible for providing their own table covering, dressing, and decorating the table. The decoration of the table should complement the decoration of the cake to complete the theme of the entry. Judges will consider all table decorations as a portion of overall eye appeal criteria. If table decorations are made of sugar mediums, that will add into the number of techniques used, originality, creativity, and difficulty judging criteria.
  • Electricity will be available for the Sugar showpiece entries only. Please let us know in advance if you need electricity.


  • Judging for the Sugar Showpiece entries will be based on a point system.  100 maximum points with points awarded based on the following criteria – application of the theme (30 pts), precision of techniques (15 pts),  originality and creativity (15 pts), difficulty of techniques (15 pts), number of techniques used (15 pts), and overall eye appeal – judge’s discretion (10 pts).

Tasting Competition

Sponsored by King Arthur Flour

King Arthur Flour Logo 250

Entries are judged on taste including flavor, crumb, texture and density, and appearance but not decorating skill.  The entry (except candy entries) must include the use of King Arthur Cake Flour and/or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour in the recipe.  The entry can include icings, fillings, flavored syrups, fruits, crunches, nuts, coconut, chocolate chunks, etc.  Cake mixes, even King Arthur Flour Cake Mixes, cannot be used for any entry.  King Arthur Flour has generously offered to make flour available for competitors to use for their entries.  Competitors who are registered for the Tasting Competition can pick-up one complimentary 2 lb box of King Arthur Cake Flour or one 5 lb bag of King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour at Make It Sweet (after 1/15/17) or at competitor registration at the show


Speakeasy Cakes

These are cakes that would be illegal in the Prohibition Era.  Booze of any sort must be included in the cake.  It can also be included in the icing.

This category is open to any type of cake that includes alcohol as an ingredient.  The alcohol must be in the cake and may also be included in the icing, although not required.  Submit one 8” to 10” cake or 12 cupcakes.

Vintage Family Pie Recipes

Pull out the tried and true family pie recipes – you know the ones, they have stains all over the sheets from being used so often.

Any type of pie is allowed.  Entries should be one 8” to 10” pie.    Please note:  there is no refrigeration at the venue so plan your pies and delivery accordingly.

Common Ingredient

This category is open to any type of baked item – sweet or savory.  It must contain this year’s common ingredient – yeast.

Any type of baked item – sweet or savory.  Submit 10 individual pieces, or one entry sufficient for 10 servings.


Any one type of cookie.  Bring one display with 10 cookies


This category is open to any one type of candy.  Flour is not required for the candy entries.  For  Candy entries, bring one display with 10 pieces

Entering the Tasting Competition

  • Only one type of confection can be included in each entry. For example, you cannot place cookies and candies in the same entry.
  • The recipe must accompany the entry. The entry and the recipe become the property of the Capital Confectioners Show and King Arthur Flour. Recipes submitted must be the original creation of entrant and the recipe must not have been published previously in the same or substantially the same form. Entrant cannot have won prizes or awards in other contests for the submitted recipe. The recipe must be printed on a standard 8.5? X 11? sheet of paper with NO identification as to the entrant.
  • Entries can be brought between 5 and 8 pm on Friday, February 24th, and 7 am to 10 am on Saturday, February 25th.
  • Please note that all entries will be stored at room temperature only. Do not submit any entries that require refrigeration.
  • Judges reserve the right to disqualify any entry that they deem to be potentially unsafe to eat.
  • Judges will determine a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner for each category.
  • Entries, platters/plates, etc. will not be returned – please place the entry on a disposable plate.
  • Entrant further understands that their recipe may be used in whole or in part by Capital Confectioners and/or King Arthur Flour for any advertising or promotional purposes whatsoever in any and all types of media with no compensation for such usage. The entrant name will be included along with the recipe whenever a recipe is published.


ROUND ROCK SPORTS CENTER, 400 Chisholm Trail, Round Rock TX, 78681, USA

Round Rock Sports Central