Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Big Cake Show, Exeter

This weekend, Friday 28th to Sunday 30th March, the South West is enjoying the first Big Cake Show which is taking place at Westpoint Exeter. I was there on the first day, and so were a lot of other people, it was packed!

The show was opened by the charming Mary Berry who also did two main theatre demonstrations of a rather delicious looking whole lemon cake. My sort of cake, friendly and inviting, nothing too prim! recipe
Mary Berry was clearly the star attraction and a lot of people were keen to see her and have books signed.

She was so charming to all of the young bakers who received awards at the end of the day, it was a delight to watch. There were some quite inspiring West Country themed competition cakes to view and here are some of the ones that I particularly liked:

[edited to add the complete official set of competition cake photos is now up on the show website here]

There were a number of cake decorating specialist stalls at the exhibition and of course these were the focus of the show so they were busy, very busy, well actually too busy. At 'peak purchase' about mid morning everybody was feeling the stress and some of the fresh food stalls were even selling out.

Nothing Left at Frandie Macaron!
None the less for the strong of spirit there was a lot of inspiration to be found with many of the stalls doing their best to offer demonstrations, and to sell you much wanted goods as efficiently as possible.

Here are some photos I snatched amongst the crowds to take home as reminders of some of the cute and covetable  decorations on display:

Love this one, chocolate being a particular passion of mine. These gorgeous sugar flowers are available for sale and look stunning on simple celebration cakes. The supplier is based in South Molton, North Devon, Meadowsweet flowers and this is a picture from their website:
meadowsweet flowers mixture

Another North Devon chocolate related supplier that was at the show, but for which I did not get a photo is Caprine Capers who produce chocolates with goats cream produced by their own goat herd. Perfect for anyone intolerant to cows milk.

There were a number of well known chefs and TV bakers taking part and these were due to change each day. The full list is available on the show website: Show Stars

I attended the show with the lovely Choclette of The Chocolate Log blog and we watched Chris Tanner on the main stage demonstrating a fruit roulade. We had both been given front seat access so had good views of the stage, but the main theatre demonstrations were very popular and not everybody could get a seat, or a good view for all the sessions they wanted, which was a shame.

This was the organisers' first Exeter cake show and there has been plenty of feedback already on the BigCakeShow facebook page, with a lot of food for thought for improvement. My local newspaper announced this morning that the show is going ahead again next year. I do hope the organisers take on board some of the feedback, as there clearly are a lot of bakers in the South West that are very interested in baking. It would be so good to see this show getting bigger and better.

Many thanks to the organisers for offering me, as one of the South Wests bloggers, complimentary access to the whole show.


  1. Very impressed you got your write up done so quickly. You've got some lovely photos and have given a very good summary of what was on offer as well as a feel for what the day was like. It was lovely to meet you, so glad you were there. Hoping to get my write up done this week!

    1. Thanks Choclette, looking forward to reading your write up; hoping to use my embossing rolling pin soon in my April 'We Should Cocoa' entry.