Competition: Over the Pond – the World’s Biggest Cake Show!

Established in 1994, Cake International is the longest-running cake show in the world and has been attracting more and more U.S. visitors, artists, and stars. Part expo/convention and part competition, cake decorators and their delicate cakes travel thousands of miles to enter the competition. This year, it could be you!

Cake International takes place at the NEC Birmingham, UK 1-3, November 2019. Be inspired and amazed by the feature displays and demonstrations and network with cake artists from around the globe. It is possible to travel with your cake entry, just listen to CI judge Alan Tetreault…

New Yorker Alan Tetreault is owner of Global Sugar Art and has been a Cake International competition judge since 2011 after being recruited following a stint as its International Guest Artist! He says, “Judging gives me a chance to see world-class decorating very closely. I truly love interacting with the contestants and giving them feedback to improve their skills. The ideas and techniques you pick up at Cake International add to your capabilities and repertoire. You can never learn enough!”

Alan believes that traveling abroad to visit a show is well worth it: “The British community is very welcoming, and you meet people from all over the world who share a common interest. Shows in the U.S. are fun but often miss the international element and diversity of UK shows and the variety of techniques at Cake International far exceeds most shows.”

It’s so important for cake decorators to stay ahead of trends and new techniques. For 2019, Alan says, “Buttercream decorating is on a strong return to popularity. Fault-line cakes, drip cakes, buttercream flowers, and multicolored combed cakes are in style. In fondant decorating, we are seeing a more minimalist approach with smooth clean lines, focal or accent flowers in small groupings, and a lot more color in fondant coverings.”

Technique and creativity are both important factors in an award-winning cake, and when the Best in Show takes home a prize of £2,500 and a trophy, you can see why it’s down to carefully trained judges like Alan to consider each entry. Cake International 2019 has many classes to choose from. Royal Icing, Cookies, Wedding Cakes, Cupcakes, Beginners, and Juniors classes are all included in this year’s schedule, which you can see in full at

You’ll find plenty of support in the CI online communities, but here’s Alan’s top advice for competitors traveling from the U.S. “With today’s airline regulations, be prepared to have your cake put through a scanner and opened by TSA. They may even want to cut into it to be sure of the center. Make all flowers and decorations, then assemble your cake at your hotel in the UK. Remember, fondant is a paste—it must be in your checked luggage.”

Cake International can’t wait to welcome all its visitors and exhibitors—including U.S. brands such as Evil Cake Genius, Arkon Mounts, Cake Stock, Sugar Delites, and Sunflower Sugar Art. Hundreds of cake stars are collaborating on huge features, including displays inspired by Stephen King characters and an infamous heroine from BBC’s Killing Eve! Why not join the world’s biggest cake party?

To buy tickets or enter the competition, visit


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