Introducing the Pillsbury™ Bakers’ Plus™ Creative Decorating Competition Winners!

The Thirsty Whale Bakery in Minneapolis has been named the Grand Champion in the 16th Annual Pillsbury™ Bakers’ Plus™ Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition. The annual cake decorating contest, hosted by General Mills Foodservice and the Retail Bakers of America, took place Oct.14-15 at The Americas Cake Fair at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Megan Bignell and Kyle Baker from The Thirsty Whale

Megan Bignell and Kyle Baker from The Thirsty Whale competed among five two-person teams, representing the nation’s top professional cake decorators and pastry chefs, creating cakes in three categories: wedding cake, rolled fondant cake and sculpted cake. The duo won first place in all three categories going on to take the top honors. As the Grand Champion Winner, The Thirsty Whale received a $3,000 Grand Prize and the coveted Grand Champion trophy. Their award-winning cakes included an intricate wedding cake done in red and gold with delicate wafer paper flowers, a Breast Cancer Awareness-themed fondant cake featuring Rosie the Riveter and a magnificent beach-themed surf shack with surfboards for the sculpted cake category.

surf shack

The other 16th Annual Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition winners include:

  • The Second Place Winner, receiving $1,000, is Piece-A-Cake Bakery in Chicago. Diane Ahrens and Daisy Janish knocked it out of the park with a pink boxing glove cake for Breast Cancer Awareness.
  • The Third Place Winner, receiving $500, is The Cake Plate in Austin, Texas. Belinda Martinez and Cynthia Velazquez got the theme right with a race car groom's cake.

"All of our competitors proved that they deserved to be competing in the RBA's National Competition," said Bernadette Haas, director of the Retail Bakers of America. "Their dedication, talent, technique, and creativity truly showcased their talent!"

“Congratulations to all of the competitors in this year’s Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition,” said Mark Siracusa, RBA board member and sales manager from General Mills Foodservice, which supplies Pillsbury™ Bakers’ Plus™ Cake Mix along with a variety of other baking mixes, flour and dough to bakeries nationwide. “We are a proud sponsor of this annual contest that shines the spotlight on professional bakers and their ability to turn cake into a work of art.”

The Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition was open to all professional cake decorators or pastry chefs who are currently working full or part time in a cake/cupcake shop, retail or supermarket bakery and have at least two years of decorating experience. Contestants were selected in the months leading up to Cake Fair in one of two ways: Decorators competed in a local, state or regional RBA sponsored contest; or if no contest was available in their area, decorators submitted a portfolio for consideration online. For more information and the complete contest rules, please visit

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