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Cake Decorating Judging Information


Exploring Cake Decorating Techniques: A Comprehensive Guide

Compiled with insights from various sources including ICES (International Cake Exploration Societe)


Here's a detailed overview of international cake decorating techniques to expand your knowledge and inspire creativity:


Australian Style:

• Utilizes rolled fondant coverings with a preference for monochrome color schemes.

• Decorations feature fine lace, embroidery, string work, and delicate crimper work.

• Gumpaste hand-molded flowers are commonly used, emphasizing finesse and delicacy.


Danish Style:

• Offers a variety of cream-based coverings, including fruit, buttercream, and chocolate.

•Decorations involve piping, chocolate painting, and marzipan or royal icing figures and flowers.


English Style:

•Features collar and splay decorations with simple piping and run sugar 3D scenes on top.

•Sides may or may not have panels, often adorned with elegant piping designs.


Lambeth Style:

• Known for ornate overpiping and intricate gumpaste work.

• Typically utilizes marzipan coated with royal icing, featuring soft pastel colors and precise piping techniques.

• Flowers, especially piped ones, play a significant role in decoration.


Spanish Style:

• Theatrical designs with gumpaste figurines set in elaborate scenes made of pastillage.

• Figurines should be lifelike with attention to detail in makeup, hair, and clothing.


Nirvana Style:

• Completely encased in run sugar, usually geometric in design.

• Emphasizes precision and accuracy in flood pieces, with smooth and seamless finishes.


Oriental String Work:

• Features intricate string work patterns with royal icing.

• Patterns typically start from the center of the cake and extend to the edges, forming elegant designs.


Philippine Style:

• Dramatic designs with sculptural effects created through piped borders and abundant floral displays.

• Handmade trims and decorations add to the overall ornate appearance.


South African Style:

• Combines elements from English and Australian methods.

• Known for elaborate filigree work and finely crafted gumpaste flowers and bouquets.


American Style:

• A blend of various techniques, including buttercream icing with piped borders and both royal and gumpaste flowers.

• Offers a wide range of creative freedom with techniques such as confectionary painting, lace pieces, and figure piping.


Contest & Judging Rules:

- Emphasize neatness, precision, and creativity in cake design.

- Ensure cakes are level, with smooth coverings and uniform decorations.

- Originality is key, with points deducted for directly copied designs.

- Entries must adhere to assigned themes and demonstrate mastery of chosen techniques.

- Detailed descriptions of designs and techniques used are encouraged for judges' consideration.


Divisional Judging Criteria:

Entries are evaluated based on precision, originality, creativity, skill, color, design, difficulty, number of techniques used, and overall eye appeal.


Policy Enforcement:

Judges and show committees ensure compliance with rules and reserve the right to disqualify entries deemed in poor taste or violating guidelines.

Explore the diverse world of cake decorating techniques and unleash your creativity in every creation!


Contest & Judging Guidelines

Here are the rules and recommendations for contest entries, gathered from various shows and personal expertise:


1. Neatness is Key:

- Ensure cleanliness in cake board presentation, covering, piping, and hand molding.

- The cake board should be proportionate, typically 3-4 inches larger than the cake, covered in fondant or matching material.

- Maintain smooth and flawless cake coverings without any visible cake or dummy.


2. Precision in Presentation:

- Cakes should be level on top with straight sides and logical proportions.

- Dividing the cake accurately is crucial, with no preliminary markings visible.

- Piping work should be uniform, free of air bubbles, and flowers must have definite petals.


3. Artistic Originality:

- Aim for originality in design, avoiding direct copies from books or other sources.

- Create well-balanced designs with graduated borders and complementary floral displays.

- While extending creativity, ensure mastery of techniques used without overextending.


4. Theme Adherence:

- Stay true to the assigned theme within your division, ensuring recognizable representations.

- Maintain the essence of foreign techniques while adhering to specified rules.


5. Entry Requirements:

- Entries must be specifically made for the show and not previously entered elsewhere.

- Entries should be the sole work of the registered contestant and not showcased on social media prior to the contest.

- If using cake dummies, ensure the design can be replicated with real cake. Sculpted cake entries must contain at least 75% real cake.

- Provide detailed descriptions of design, mediums, and techniques used in completing your entry.


6. Judging Standards:

- Judges will be highly qualified in the field of cake decorating and piping techniques.

- All entries must be completely edible except for specified non-edible items.

- Entries must include the contestant's name, address, phone number, division, and style on the underside of the display board, without personal or business identifying marks.


7. Entry Presentation:

- Entries should fit within a designated space, typically 30" x 30".

- Table dressing such as fabrics or mirrors are allowed but should not exceed 8" beyond the base of the entry.

- Entries may be placed under Plexiglas or similar covers for protection, ensuring judges can view them easily.


Divisional Cake Decorating Judging Criteria:

Entries will be evaluated based on precision, originality, creativity, skill, color, design, difficulty, number of techniques used, and overall eye appeal.

The judges and Show Committee will enforce policies and procedures, with the right to disqualify entries deemed in poor taste or violating guidelines.


For more Information or interest in having Kathleen judge your upcoming event, please contact Kathleen Lange



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