Every picture tells a story, and sometimes cakes do, too!
At the Homewood Public Library Wednesday evening, a dozen young bakers came with their cakes decorated and themed to a book. There was a boxcar based on the Box Car Kids series, a mouse from the book “Give A Mouse a Cookie,” and the golden snitch from Harry Potter, to name a few.
Each baker came up with a creative way to relate to a book by molding, styling and decorating a cake. The idea for the contest was presented by a Junior Friends of the Library volunteer. Sarah Gearhart, assistant youth librarian, decided to include the bake-off in the Summer Reading Program and see what readers would design in their kitchens.
Avvy Krakar, 13, used Sailor Moon for her theme based on the Japanese shojo manga series credited with popularizing Japanese animation. It took Krakar two days to create her organic strawberry with lemon crème cake. Avvy’s elaborate decorations showing off Moon’s weapons were her own handiwork. The daughter of Nancy and Andy Krakar of Homewood won the prize for “Best Teen Lit” cake.
Owen Bandstra, 8, and his sister, Elise, 6, created a cake that symbolized a box car in keeping with their theme from the Boxcar Kids series. The children of Connie and Pete Bandstra of Homewood spent the day on their project baking a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filing and frosting it to look like a railroad boxcar.
Owen took an ice cream cone and frosted it to look like a pine tree. The railroad ties were decorated pretzels. Their cake won the “Best of Show” award.
A simple design by Daeshia Gowder, 12, of Hazel Crest, followed the story line in “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. The two main characters, Hazel and Augustus, both cancer patients, come to rely on each other. Daeshia chose to decorate her cake with words spoken by the characters: “Okay? Okay.” Her six-year-old sister, Sasha, used “The Cat in the Hat” as her cake’s theme.
Emma Dieringer, 10, of Homewood, won “Best Children’s Lit” prize for her mouse from the book “Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Her project took two days. First she baked the confetti cake and froze it overnight so that she could cut it into the shape she needed.
After it was frosted, the cake had to have a face. Emma, the daughter of Katie and Brian Dieringer, had the eyes. She used spaghetti noodles for the whiskers, a gumdrop for the nose, and mini-marshmallows for the teeth and ears. She chose this story “because the book is cute and funny.”
The “Judges’ Choice” award went to Elaina Dague, 16, who created the Golden Snitch from the quidditch sport in Harry Potter. Even the cake was a Harry Potter special—butter beer—mentioned in the books. For us Muggles, that’s butterscotch.
It turned out to be a pound cake with butterscotch frosting.
To make the round cake, Elaina cut two halves and filled the center with jelly beans.
Decorating proved especially tricky. There just wasn’t any easy way to decorate the bottom. She decided just to keep tossing sprinkles at the cake in hopes they would stick to the form, and they did! Elaina is the daughter of Paige and James Dague of Homewood.
The “Adult Lit” prize was awarded to Anna Robles of Hazel Crest, who created a scene from “Les Miserables.”
Contact Marilyn Thomas at [email protected]