Impressive cakes, treats take top honors at 2013 fair

By Maura Wery

For those who bake, there is nothing more interesting than seeing what other bakers create. Last year, I had the opportunity to report on the cake decorating open class competition at the Riley County Fair. I was so impressed with what I saw that I went back again this year to see what new creations would come out to be judged.

I caught up with last year’s grand-champion 12-year-old, Susana Vicks. This is her second year participating in the competition. Last year, she impressed the judges (and me) with her “Starry Night” cupcakes that recreated Van Gogh’s memorable painting. This year she took inspiration from another work.

“I’ve always loved ‘Alice in Wonderland’,” Vicks said about her Mad Hatter inspired cake. The gray bowler hat made out of fondant with decorative hat pins and flowers, was Vicks’ first attempt at creating a cake with the material. Last year’s cupcakes used frosting.

“Fondant is harder to fix,” Vicks said. “It’s very touchy.” 

Alongside Vicks is 12-year-old Ashlin Gillispie. Her small, one-tier cake was inspired originally by a Vera Bradley pattern. The purple base is made out of fondant, much like Vicks’, but Gillispie helped create her pattern by using cutout pieces of fondant to make a leaf pattern all over the cake. Both girls got blue ribbons for their creations.

The kinds of cake that come into the competition are endless, ranging from pigs bathing in mud on top of cupcakes to three-tired, military themed products.

One of the most impressive cakes was created by Hope Bryant, 16. Her three-tier, white cake is covered with delicately made fondant flowers. The seams of each tier are lightly touched with buttercream frosting stars.

“I get my ideas from pictures in Wilton catalogs, from books and Pinterest,” Bryant said.

She said she did go off the original design and made the fondant flowers in the color scheme of her choice. She said the cake took her about a day to create, which isn’t far-fetched, seeing she’s been cake decorating for six years.

“I like how the cake turned out in the end,” Bryant said. Bryant received a purple ribbon and senior champion for her efforts.

There was more than just cake decorating being judged at the Riley County Fair. The open class and 4-H foods were also judged. Here are the recipes for the champion winners at the 2013 fair.

Italian Parmesan Bread


Ryan Tully — Senior Champion

Ashland Boosters 4-H Club



2 packages active dry yeast

2 cups water (110 – 115 degrees)

6 1/2 - 7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup margarine, softened

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dried minced onions

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, save 1 tablespoon

Melted margarine



In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.


Add four cups flour, margarine, eggs, sugar, salt, onion, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds; increase speed to medium, beat for two minutes.


Stir in cheese and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead by hand or with dough hook 10 to 15 minutes. Dough will be soft, but avoid adding extra flour.


Cover bowl; let rise in a warm (80 degrees) place until double. Punch down dough. Knead on a lightly oiled board about 25 times.


Divide in half. Cover; let rest 15 minutes.


To make braids: divide each half into three pieces and roll into 14-inch ropes. Place three ropes on greased 15 ? x 12-inch sheet and braid. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with reserved cheese.


Cover; let rise until double. Bake in preheated 375 degrees oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.


Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.


German Sweet

Chocolate Cake


Erika Graham —Senior Reserve Champion

Wildcat 4-H Club



For cake:

1 package Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate

1/2 cup water

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup buttermilk


For coconut-pecan frosting:

4 eggs yolks

1 can evaporated milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter

1 package flake coconut

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans



For cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottoms of three, 9-inch, round cake pans with wax paper; grease sides of pans.

Microwave chocolate and water in large microwavable bowl on high for one and a half to two minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after one minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.


Mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.


Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.


Blend in melted chocolate and the vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.


Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into batter.


Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small metal spatula around cake layers.


Cool in pans 15 minutes; remove layers from pans to wire racks. Discard wax paper. Cool cake layers completely.


Spread coconut-pecan frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake.


For frosting: Beat egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with whisk until well blended.


Add sugar and butter, cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.


Add coconut and nuts; mix well.


Lemon Chiffon Cake


Katie Pralle — Intermediate Champion

Randolph Ramblers 4-H Club



7 eggs, separated

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil

4 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar



Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.


Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, water, oil, lemon peel and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and beat until well blended.


Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the batter.


Spoon into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets.


Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.


Immediately invert pan and cool.


Remove cake from pan.


Whole Wheat Bread


Kristina Powell—Intermediate Reserve Champion

Top bread winner

Riley Rascals 4-H Club



3/4 cup milk

3 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup margarine

1/3 cup molasses

1 1/2 cups warm water (105 – 115 degrees)

2 packages active dry yeast

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 3/4 cups white flour



In a small saucepan, scald milk. Stir in sugar, salt, margarine and molasses. Cool to lukewarm.


Measure warm water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle yeast in water and stir to dissolve.


Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, two cups whole wheat flour and two cups white flour. Beat until smooth.


Add enough of the remaining flours to make a soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size, about one hour.


Punch down, divide in half and shape into loaves.


Place in two, greased 9x5-inch bread pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size, about one hour.


Bake in 400 degree oven about 25-30 minutes.


Remove from pans and cool.


Granola Raisin Breakfast Rolls

Paige Fowler — Junior Champion

CiCo Shamrocks 4-H Club



2 cups granola

1 cup Raisin Bran cereal

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour

1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup raisins

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast


For topping:

1 egg white beaten

1 cup granola



Place granola and cereal in a sealed plastic bag. Finely crush with a rolling pin.


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm (100 to 110 degrees) water.


Let stand 10 minutes.


Add crushed cereal mixture, dry milk, buttermilk, brown sugar, honey, whole wheat flour, two cups bread flour, cinnamon, butter and salt.


Mix two minutes on medium speed. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup bread flour to make slightly sticky dough.


Knead dough by hand or with dough hook 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk.


Punch down dough. Divide into 18 equal pieces; shape into rolls.


For topping, place one cup granola in plastic bag and finely crush with rolling pin.


Place egg white in small bowl and beat with fork.


Dip each roll in egg white and granola, lightly pressing granola onto dough.


Place rolls onto greased, 13 x 18-inch sheet pan.


Cover, let rise until double.


Bake in preheated 350 degree oven from 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Remove rolls from pan and cool on wire rack.


Rich Silver Cake

Ashley Schafer—Junior Reserve Champion

College Hill 4-H Club



For cake:

3 1/3 cups sifted cake flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup shortening

1 1/3 cup half milk, water

2 teaspoons vanilla

6 egg whites (3/4 cup)


For frosting:

1/2 cup butter

6 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 tablespoon shortening

1/3 cup milk with a little cream



Line two, 9-inch round cake pans with paper and lightly grease.


In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add shortening, milk, and vanilla.


Beat for two minutes.


Add egg whites and beat for two minutes.


Pour into prepared pans. Batter may appear curdled.


Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until cake tests done. Cool.


To make frosting: In a bowl beat butter and shortening until fluffy.


Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well.


Slowly beat in the milk/cream mixture and vanilla.


Slowly beat in remaining sugar.


Beat in additional milk or powdered sugar, if needed, to make spreading consistency.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502 | Copyright 2017