When I picked up my daughter from her friend's 11th birthday party, I was put to work as a judge of a Cake Wars session. Thankfully, the girls who were lined up behind the cakes they had just decorated had arranged themselves randomly so that I would not know which cake was decorated by whom.
The results were so impressive!
The girls had just spent three hours under the supervision of commercial kitchen tenant and sustainable food enthusiast Sharon Girldlestone and her assistant, baking individual cakes from scratch, designing fondant decorations, and applying frosting to their creations.
The kitchen in which Sharon works is located on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley.
What does the Cake Wars party include?
The Cake Wars party includes a light snack, but not birthday treats, but does include time for the host family to serve them. Our clever birthday girl's mom threw some Whole Foods-brand frozen pizzas in the commercial ovens in time to serve the girls lunch while their cakes baked, followed by cupcakes from another source.
While the cakes cooled, the party guests produced their fondant masterpieces. They each went home with their cakes in a bakery box, an incredible party favor to share with the family!
Once all the cakes were displayed, the judges — my 13-year old colleagues and I — entered the kitchen and made our decisions. We nominated first and second place winners, and then I wrote feedback such as “perfect for wedding shower!” or “creative concept!” on each box, which seemed to thrill the contestants who had not won.
Learn more about Cake Wars parties at Sharon's website, Sustainable Table. She also prepares dinner foods for customers in the Lamorinda area, teaches day-long Little Chefs classes, and makes cupcakes and cakes for special orders.