North East cake makers take part in Gingerbread House Challenge

CAKE makers in the North East have been battling it out in a competition to create the best gingerbread house.

Lisa Vincent at the Gingerbread House Challenge
Lisa Vincent at the Gingerbread House Challenge

CAKE makers in the North East have been battling it out in a competition to create the best gingerbread house.

Sweet-toothed people gathered from all over Newcastle to take part in the Gingerbread House Challenge yesterday in the hope of being crowned master of cake artistry.

The fiercely-contested competition, which took place at Newcastle’s City Library, was entered by 33 teams.

And the gingerbread homes were, in some cases, a million miles away from the Hansel and Gretel fairytale traditions, with some crafting unique beach huts and rustic country homes.

The contest was cooked up to raise money for the Sick Children’s Trust at the RVI Hospital in Newcastle, which provides accommodation for the families of children being treated at the hospital.

The event was organised by Lisa Vincent and Cake Poppins owner Kate Emmet. Mrs Vincent, who formed the successful Clandestine Cake Club, was delighted with the outcome of the competition.

She said: “We’ve tried to make a whole street of houses with the entries, and we have all sorts of other things going on such as a raffle, guess the weight of the cake competition and a gingerbread man painting session.

“We raised £170 through the entrance fees alone and will have raised more through donations.”

She was grateful to all the local businesses that helped with the event, including sponsors Footprint PR, and is already looking to try to make the contest an annual occasion.

Hayley Johnson, from Newcastle, entered the contest alongside a friend with a traditional house.

The 29-year-old said: “I set up the Private Pie Club, which is similar to the Clandestine Cake Club but with savoury pies instead, so found out about it because of our links.

“We thought it sounded like a nice challenge – and a good way to advertise our club.”

She entered alongside Nelly Ritchie, 26, from Newcastle, who thought the competition was a great idea.

She said: “There was a fair amount of competition so we weren’t that confident about our chances.”

All entries had to be no bigger than the size of a piece of A4 paper, but there was no limit on height. The winning design came from the Dough-mestic Novices, who won a glass trophy and a picnic for four at the Garden Kitchen in Eldon Square.

Special prizes were also awarded to Iona Owen for the best traditional house and Casey Lam was given a third-placed prize. The winning design was chosen by BBC Look North weathergirl Hannah Bayman.

After the winner had been decided, 16 of the designs were given to hungry visitors to be eaten.


David Whetstone
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