Rules and Information


That Takes the Cake!

Round Rock Sports Center
2400 Chisholm Trail Drive
Round Rock, TX, 78681
February 21 & 22, 2015

2015 Competition Rules and Information

That Takes the Cake Sugar Art Show and Competition is open to all cake decorating and sugar art enthusiasts. The competition provides an opportunity to showcase decorating skills, get feedback from our distinguished panel of judges and win awards and prizes. Included here are important registration deadlines, divisional classification, description of styles and rules for the Divisional Competition, Tasting Competition, Showcake Competition and 2015 Special Competitions.  Competitors should carefully read the competition rules and refer to them as they are completing their entry. Jump to:


All entries must be registered by February 15, 2015 as there is no onsite registration.  Competition registration includes general admission to the show for the weekend for the competitor.  Competition registration for competitors under 18 includes general admission for the competitor and one accompanying adult admission.  There will be no refunds of entry or registration fees.

Divisional Competition Fees
Early Registration (ends 1/18/2015) $20
General Registration (ends 2/15/2015) $30
Child (12 & under) Registration (ends 2/15/2015) FREE
Currently Enrolled Culinary Students ends 2/15/2015 FREE
Showcake Competition Fees
For each 48″w x 29″h round table (ends 2/15/2015) $25
Tasting Competition Fees
Any number of entries *$15
Special School Spirit Competition Fees
Any number of entries FREE

*Entry fee is waived when combined with a Divisional or Showcake Competition entry.

How to Register Online: with payment through PayPal In Person:  Make It Sweet, 9070 Research Blvd, Suite 203, Austin, TX  78758 Mail: Irene Hackbarth, Treasurer, Capital Confectioners 2719 Emilia Lane, Round Rock, TX  78665 Fax: Print our 2015 Competitor Registration and Release Form and fax to (512) 301-3766 Please be sure to read the rules fully. The Rules can be downloaded here. General Competition Rules 2015
Setup Entries must arrive and be set up by 10 am Saturday, February 21, 2015 Check-in and Set-up hours are: 5 pm to 8 pm Friday February 20, 2015 and 7 am to 10 am Saturday February 21, 2015
Removal/Tear-Down – Cakes will not be permitted to be removed before 5 pm on Sunday February 22, 2015.
More Information Visit – – or – Call – Make It Sweet at (512) 371-3401.


2015 T3C Photo Release

2015 T3C Photo Order Form

ACD Release Form_TTTC2015 (needed to be able to publish your entry in American Cake Decorating if chosen)

2015 Competitor Entry Form


  • The Awards Ceremony will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015 at the Round Rock Sports Center. 
  • Child and Junior Divisional Competition entries will all be recognized with a medal.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Divisional Competition entries will be recognized in all other divisions for each style.
  • One Best of Division entry will be chosen from each division with the exception of Child and Junior Divisions.
  • The Best of the Divisional Competition will be chosen from the Best of Division winners.
  • Trophies, cash and prizes are awarded to Best of Division and Best of Divisional Competition.
  • Decorators whose Showcake entry scores 10th through 4th place will be recognized during the awards ceremony; 3rd through 1st place will be awarded trophies and cash and prizes.
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Tasting Competition entries will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony and will also be awarded medals and King Arthur Flour Gift Cards – $75 for each 3rd place, $150 for each 2nd place, $250 for each 1st place and Best of Tasting Competition $250.
  • Each entry will be entered in a special decorator’s only drawing for prizes.
  • Ribbons, awards, or prizes not claimed by the close of show will be forfeited.
  • In addition to prize packs, the minimum cash prizes are as follows:  Innovation Award $250; English Style Award $250; Best of Division (Teen to Masters) $250 each; Best of Divisional Competition $750; 3rd Place Showcake $500; 2nd Place Showcake $750; 1st Place Showcake $1000.


General Competition & Rules

These rules apply to both the Divisional Competition and the Showcake Competition


  • The entry must be the sole and original work of only the person listed on the Registration Form.  An adult can help bake the cake for a child/junior entrant.  The child/junior must then complete the entry themselves – carving, icing, decorating, etc.
  • All entries must be the original design and work of the competitor.  Taking inspiration from others’ work and techniques is acceptable, but copies are not acceptable.
  • Unless specified, entries can be comprised of real cake, a substitute (such as cereal bars) or Styrofoam dummies.  If a cake substitute or a dummy is used, it must be a design that could be duplicated with real cake.  Entries in the Sculpted Cake style must be made with real cake.
  • All entries must be completely edible except for items such as columns, cake toppers, supports, wires and stamens.
  • Ribbons, tulle, etc. may be used to carry out a design. Don’t use non-edible items in place of sugar mediums; for example, plastic pearls instead of fondant pearls.  Cold Porcelain is not allowed.  “Edible Images” are allowed and will be judged in context with the entire entry.   Use of other substances may cause the entry to be disqualified.
  • Each entry must have the competitor name, address, phone number, division and style on the underside of the display board.  No personal or business identifying marks, advertisements, special backdrops, photos (other than for the sculpted cake category), etc, will be allowed to be displayed along with the entry.


  • All entrants must sign a Registration and Release Form.  Early registration is encouraged to help plan space needs.  Even though any number of entries is included in one registration fee for the Divisional and Tasting Competitions, please only register for items that you anticipate entering.
  • While we encourage entries of new work, entries from other shows are acceptable.  Entries from prior years of this Show can only be entered if the entry has been substantially re-worked and the entry did not receive an award.
  • Entries may be removed after 5:00 pm and until 7:00 pm on Sunday, February 22, 2015.  Any entries left after 7:00 pm will be considered to be forfeited and become the property of the event organizers.
  • Entrant grants Capital Confectioners a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, sublicenseable and transferable right and license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, distribute, and publicly display any photos taken by Capital Confectioners staff, volunteers, or contractors.
  • Although precautions will be taken, event organizers and sponsors will not be responsible for theft or damage.
  • Entrants are responsible for any and all safety issues pertaining to their entries and absolve Capital Confectioners, the show organizers and sponsors of any liability related to damage caused to persons or property by the entry.


  • Judging of the entries will be completed by teams of qualified judges selected by the Capital Confectioner’s Show Committee.  The judges’ decisions will be final.  The judges will complete a comment sheet for each entry; those sheets will be distributed to the entrant after the Awards Ceremony.  Judging will be conducted consensus style.
  • The judges and Show Committee enforce policy and procedures.  Any issues regarding proper placement, originality, etc. brought to the attention of the Show Director or Show Committee during the show will be directed to the head judge so that a determination can be made.  Any entry deemed in poor taste will be disqualified and removed.  Judges and/or Show Committee have the right to re-classify an entry if necessary.  If an entry is deemed by the judges to be a copy of someone else’s work, the entry will be disqualified.


DIVISIONAL COMPETITION – Rules and Information

Divisions & Styles

  •  Entries are classified by Division (the experience/skill level of the entrant) and Style (the cake structure and type).
  • Competitors may enter only one division but submit as many style entries in that division as they choose.  Review the division and style information and choose the division that most closely matches your skill level.  It is the responsibility of the entrant to accurately and fairly place themselves in a Division.  Extra consideration should be given to other applicable skills – for example a competitor who has an art degree and has worked with clay sculptures for 5 years should be entering in the Advanced or higher Division even if they have only been working with cake and edible media for a short time. 
  • Entrants must move to the next higher division once they have won first place in any style in their division for 2 consecutive years or if they won best of their division.
  • Entrants who compete in other similar competitions should be competing in an equivalent division and in no case can enter this competition in a lower division.
Children (6 years and under) One category – not divided by style.  Children may have an adult assist with baking the cake.  Each child must ice and decorate their own entry.
Junior (7 – 12 years) One category – not divided by style.  Juniors may have an adult assist with baking the cake.  Each junior must ice and decorate their own entry
Teen (13 – 17 years) Each teen must bake, ice and decorate their own entry. Open to all styles.
Culinary Student Currently enrolled culinary school students.  Open to all styles.
Beginner Basic skills.  2 years or less decorating experience; self-taught or less than 30 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction – including online courses.  Open to all styles.
Intermediate Developing skills. 2 to 4 years cake decorating experience; 30 to 60 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction – including online courses.  Open to all styles.
Advanced More refined skills. 4 to 6 years cake decorating experience; 60 to 90 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction. Open to all styles.
Professional High level of skill.  Over 6 years decorating experience.  More than 90 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction – including online courses.  May be decorating for profit or working as a decorator.  Open to all styles.
Masters Expert in sugar art. Is known to have mastered specific mediums and techniques. May be an author, instructor, or work in the sugar art business. Has more than 120 hours of instruction. Open to all styles.
Special Occasion- Novelty One Tier Any basic shape single tier or sheet cake with a theme such a Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Wedding, Graduation, etc.  Any sugar media or techniques may be used.
Sculpted Cakes Shaped or carved cakes, 2-D or 3-D cakes and sculptures. Entries must be real cake.  Minimal use of cake substitute such as rice cereal treats or Styrofoam is allowed to complete entry.  Any sugar media may be used. Must display 3 in-progress pictures showing the cake carving alongside of the entry.
Special Occasion- Novelty Tiered Cakes Cakes with two or more tiers.  Can be stacked or tiered.  The Novelty Style does not include wedding or anniversary themes.  Any sugar media or techniques may be used.
Buttercream Only Cakes Any non-tiered cake with any theme decorated using only buttercream icing.  No fondant, non-edible decorations or other sugar media will be allowed.
Wedding Tiered Cakes Cakes with two or more tiers decorated specifically for weddings or anniversaries.  Any techniques or sugar media may be used.
Special Techniques Not-On-A-Cake Entries in this style include displays of fondant techniques, gumpaste flowers, sugar molding/modeling, color flow, royal icing, Isomalt, chocolate showpiece, etc.  A combination of techniques and media may be used, but it must be presented alone and not as part of a cake.
Confections Cupcakes, cookies, cake balls, cake pops, candy, chocolate, etc.  A combination of techniques and media may be used, but it must be presented alone and not as part of a cake.
Dessert Table A combination display that will be judged on techniques, the overall display and application of the theme – Once Upon a Cake – see full description under the Showcake Competition.  The display must include at least 4 unique dessert type elements – for example – a cake, cookies, pastries and a candy.  All of the 4 elements must be handmade.  Other items can be included to enhance the display and the theme such as colorful purchased candies, display stands, packaging, etc.  The display must fit within the 30” x 30” space and table coverings over the white base tablecloth is allowed.
Fairy Tale Gingerbread House Gingerbread house entries must be 100% edible – non-edible supports are not allowed.  Use of purchased candies and other edible items is acceptable but higher consideration will be given to entries where all elements are handmade.  The base must fit with the 30” x 30” space.  Any sugar media may be used along with the gingerbread.
Display Table This table is for displays not being judged.

Divisional Competition Rules continued…


  • Entries should fit in a 30” x 30” space.  Contact us for approval if the entry is larger.  Electricity is not available for divisional entries.  Table dressing such as decorative fabrics or mirrors are allowed, but not required.  To conserve room for all entries, table dressings should not extend past the allotted space.
  • Entries may be put under plexi-glass or other such cover, but judges must be able to view the entries without interference.  The covering must be able to be easily removed.


  • Entries will be judged on the following criteria – precision of techniques used, originality, creativity, skill, color, design, difficulty, number of techniques used and overall eye appeal.  Judging for the Divisional Competition is not based on taste.  Entries are only judged according to the criteria and against only those entries in the same Division and Style category.



The Innovation Award and the English Style Award are both conducted from within the Divisional Competition.  At check-in, competitors designate if they want their entry to be considered for either of these special awards.  Specially selected judges will review the entries and determine a winner.

INNOVATION AWARD – Sponsored by the Capital Confectioners Cake Club

If, for your entry in the 2015 “That Takes the Cake!” Sugar Art Show and Cake Competition, you have developed a new technique, a new use of an existing medium, or a new tool, you meet the criteria to apply for the That Takes the Cake Innovation Award, which is unique to this show. A team of judges will review the entries in this special cross-divisional category to determine one winner. Competitors wishing their entry to be judged for this award must indicate this on their Entry Form, and be available to meet with the judging team between 2 pm and 6 pm on Saturday, February 21nd, 2015 to explain the specifics of the innovation.  Entrants for the Innovation Award are encouraged to provide in-progress photos or other documentation along with their entry. This documentation along with signage designating the entry as an Innovation Award contender will be on display at the table with the entry.  The decision of the panel of judges is final and the award may not be given out if the panel determines that no entry meets the criteria. The winner will be announced during the Awards Ceremony.

English Style Techniques Award – Sponsored by Kathleen Lange, Owner of Confectionary Chalet kathleenlogo

In honor of Kathleen’s 50th birthday, and her 35th anniversary as an instructor teaching these classic techniques, this special award is designed to encourage and recognize entries with some form of English style techniques included in or highlighted on the entry.  English Styles include:  Lambeth – very ornate designs with fine overpiping and ornate gumpaste work – precision and accuracy are key elements with at least 5 layers of overpiping present somewhere on the entry.  Nirvana – typical techniques include totally encasing a geometric shaped cake with run sugar splays, collars, side panels and risers.  English Method – a modified Nirvana style is most commonly with a run sugar 3D scene atop a collar and sides that are decorated with simple piping.  South African and Australian Methods – these techniques include ornate and elaborate filigree work frequently with large wings, lace pieces and architectural work done with very fine piping tips and/or delicately molded gumpaste flowers, sprays and bouquets.  The entries for this award can be from any division and any style or the showcake competition.  Competitors wanting their entry to be judged for this award must indicate that on their Entry Form at check-in.  Entrants for this award should provide a separate detailed description of media and techniques used and the application of the English Style to display along with the entry.  Judging will be done separate from the Divisional and Showcake Competition and will be on a point system basis.  Up to 5 points will be awarded in these categories -  overall general appearance, neatness and precision, creativity and originality, application of method techniques, balance of design, proper use of color for desired effect, neatness of cake covering, difficulty of techniques and design, innovation of techniques and judge’s discretion for a maximum score of 50 points.   The decision of the panel of judges is final and the award may not be given out if the panel determines that no entry meets the criteria. The winner will be announced during the Awards Ceremony.  All entrants into the English Style Award Competition will be entered into a special drawing to be held on June 1, 2015 for a grand prize of one 8-day Lange/Lambeth Style Boot Camp with Kathleen Lange at her Confectionary Chalet Studio in San Diego, California (or) an equivalent to be used towards Kathleen’s Boot Camp Classes in areas where Kathleen will be traveling and teaching.  Value – $1600.00

School Spirit – Sponsored by Make It Sweet MakeItSweetLogol

In this special category, students from high school culinary programs are challenged to present cakes that represent their school.  More than just school colors or mascots, these cakes should tell the story of the school.  There is no limit to the number of entries per school but entries must be registered by each individual competitor by February 15, 2015.  This is an individual competition – not a team competition – all work must be the work of the entrant.  The Divisional rules and judging criteria above apply for these entries.  Additionally, the entry must be a minimum of 12” tall, and the base must fit within the 30” x 30” space allocated.  There is no fee to enter this special competition.  This special category will be reviewed by a selected panel of judges who will determine a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner.  Winners will receive a prize pack and Make It Sweet Gift Certificates in the amounts of $100 for 3rd place, $150 for 2nd place and $250 for 1st place.  Certificates can be used for supplies and/or classes at Make It Sweet.  Both the student and the school will be recognized at the awards ceremony. top

Tasting Competition – Sponsored by King Arthur Flour King arthur Flour

Entries are judged on taste including flavor, crumb, texture and density and appearance but not decorating skill.  The entry (except candy entries) must include the use of King Arthur Cake Flour and/or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour in the recipe.  The entry can include icings, fillings, flavored syrups, fruits, crunches, nuts, coconut, chocolate chunks, etc.  Cake mixes, even King Arthur Flour Cake Mixes, cannot be used for any entry.  King Arthur Flour has generously offered to make flour available for competitors to use for their entries.  After 1/1/2015, competitors who are registered for the Tasting Competition can pick-up one complimentary 2 lb box of King Arthur Cake Flour and/or one 5 lb bag of King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose at Make It Sweet or contact us to have it mailed. Little Miss Muffin – Muffins are better than curds and whey!  This category isopen to any type of muffins or quick breads. Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake – baker’s man, bake me a cake as fast as you can.  This category is for cakes with 6 ingredients or less.  Icing or glaze ingredients count into the total!  Even if it is used, water does not count as an ingredient. Blackbirds Baked in a Pie – Four and twenty apples would be better.  This category includes any type of pie. The Gingerbread Man – Any type of gingerbread cookies – shaped or plain – just make them delicious to eat. Candy Man – The Candy Man can!  This category is open to any type of candy.  Flour is not required for the candy entries.

Entering the Tasting Competition

  • Only one type of confection can be included in each entry. For example, you cannot place cookies and candies in the same entry.
  • The recipe must accompany the entry. The entry and the recipe become the property of the Capital Confectioners Show and King Arthur Flour. Recipes submitted must be the original creation of entrant and the recipe must not have been published previously in the same or substantially the same form. Entrant cannot have won prizes or awards in other contests for the submitted recipe. The recipe must be printed on a standard 8.5? X 11? sheet of paper with NO identification as to the entrant.
  • For Muffin/Quick Bread entries, bring a whole quick bread loaf or individual pieces enough for 10 servings
  • For Cake entries, bring a whole cake, 6? to 9? round size – it will be cut for judging
  • For Pie entries, bring 1 full pie – it will be cut for judging
  • For Cookie and Candy entries, bring one display with 10 pieces
  • Entries can be brought between 5 and 8 pm on Friday, February 20th and 7 am to 10 am on Saturday, February 21st.
  • Please note that all entries will be stored at room temperature only.  Do not submit any entries that require refrigeration.
  • Judges reserve the right to disqualify any entry that they deem to be potentially unsafe to eat.
  • Judges will determine a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner for each category.
  • Entries, platters/plates, etc. will not be returned – please place the entry on a disposable plate.
  • Entrant further understands that their recipe may be used in whole or in part by Capital Confectioners and/or King Arthur Flour for any advertising or promotional purposes whatsoever in any and all types of media with no compensation for such usage. The entrant name will be included along with the recipe whenever a recipe is published.


Showcake Competition

A Showcake is the centerpiece of a special event.  Showcakes are showstoppers that make people wonder if it is really cake and how it was made.  You have seen Showcake style works of art created on Food Network Challenges, TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off and Ace of Cakes type shows.  A Showcake might be for a wedding, 1st, 16th or 80th birthday, a retirement, a baby shower, a corporate event, an anniversary or any special event.  One defining element is that Showcakes have a very specific theme that is carefully incorporated into all aspects of the cake and the cake display.

2016 Night at the Museum

Where Cake meets Art!

When you spend your magical night in a museum, what wonders of cake art will you create?  Will you bring to life giant dinosaur skeletons or gleaming suits of armor?  Will you demonstrate your decorating talents through classic paintings and sculptures or evoke the past, present, or future of scientific endeavors?  Or will you encapsulate the glory and majesty of museum architecture itself?  Show us what museums mean to you in a magnificent melange of sugar arts techniques designed to inspire and delight everyone who seeks broader horizons.

In addition to the General Competition Rules, the following rules apply specifically to entries in the Showcake Competition.


  • Any sugar media is allowed.


  • The entry needs to meet minimum height and serving requirements.  The minimum finished height is 24” and the entry must be of sufficient size that it would meet or exceed a minimum of 100 servings.


  • Each entry will be displayed on an individual 48” round, standard (29” – 30”) height table.
  • The entrant will be responsible for providing their own table covering, dressing and decorating the table.  The decoration of the table should complement the decoration of the cake to complete the theme of the entry.  Judges will consider all table decorations as a portion of overall eye appeal criteria.  If table decorations are made of sugar mediums, that will add into the number of techniques used, originality, creativity and difficulty judging criteria.
  • Electricity will be available for the Showcake entries only.  Please let us know in advance if you need electricity.


  • Judging for the Showcake entries will be based on a point system.  100 maximum points with points awarded based on the following criteria – application of the theme (15 pts), precision of techniques (15 pts),  originality and creativity (15 pts), appropriate design – size, shape, colors, table decorations, etc. (15 pts), difficulty of techniques (15 pts), number of techniques used (15 pts), and overall eye appeal – judge’s discretion (10 pts).

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