Food - The Hesitant Baker

August 21, 2023

“Storied” Cakes Win State Fair Awards

Pam Van Essen of Ottumwa won first place and a $400 cash award in the Hesitant Baker competition judged Saturday, August 12, at the 2023 Iowa State Fair.

Marianne Carlson of Jefferson claimed second place and $100. Christina Mccleary of Des Moines earned third place and $25.

Judges also awarded Honorable Mention to Susie Jones of Winterset.

Contestants were challenged to create a sheet cake, with homemade frosting, that includes a name on the cake. Each cake was also to be accompanied by a short narrative about the baked good.

Entries were judged on appearance, taste and accompanying story.

The Iowa State Fair Food Department is the largest of any state fair in the country. There were 138 divisions, 695 classes and over 6,800 entries at this year’s Fair. Food Department judging was held in the Elwell Family Food Center.