My Grandma loved going to the fair many
years ago and I loved going with her to watch all the judging of
the entries. One year her white butter cake won and she got to
bake in the Cake Bake Off. That is an experience I will never
I remember thinking that when that day came when my kids were
grown and I had nothing else to do, I wanted to go sit all day
at the fair and watch the judging from start to finish.
I finally got to make that dream come true
this year, plus be a part of it by covering the food portion for
Lincoln Daily News. Nothing could have been more sweet or
decadent than these gorgeous cakes unless Grandma had been
sitting right next to me.
With a county chocked full of outstanding bakers and cooks, the
number of entries rises each year like a five-layer cake! Where do all these prize-winning recipes come from? Like me,
many of the exhibitors of the fair have deep roots in the Logan
County Fair. Generations of family members entering and
winning for all kinds of reasons.
Perhaps for some itís the thrill of the
competition and the cheer of the crowd! For another maybe itís a
family tradition. The competition attracts young and old,
experienced and new bakers alike. How refreshing it is to see
children and young adults taking an interest in baking and
Not only is the cake competition a joy to watch but itís
interesting to see the techniques perfected by the bakers.
Some bakers never use a written recipe; they rely simply on the
feel, smell and taste of their works of art and the recipes in
Those winning cake recipes came from both
newcomers and experienced bakers. It is amazing to see how many
entries there are and it makes one wonder where all of the
recipes came from.
Were they passed down from grandmother to
granddaughter (or grandson)? The contestantsí answers to those
questions vary; some donít use a recipe, some have it all in
their head, some have special recipes in their family cookbook
or recipe box.
This year, not only did the countyís best bakers have to
compete with each other; they had to battle the oppressive heat
Some of the cakes held up surprisingly
well, some of them wilted, along with the interested spectators.
But, even the cakes with the melting frosting merited a prize,
as the taste is what matters the most. The top cake was a Red
Velvet with butter cream frosting and it was sold for $800. Grab
Your Fork and experience some of the Logan County Fair Food in
your own kitchen!