Imagine this: You walk into the Tennessee Terrace concourse at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville greeted by long tables filled with children’s books and colorful, creative companion cakes! And then you know: Reading really is in a sweet spot!
It’s all part of a major fundraiser for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program that provides new books to children under the age of six in Knox County, Tennessee. And with over 3,000 people in attendance, the net estimate of $25,000 by Mary Pom Claiborne (marketing director for Knox County Public Library) may be low since cakes, donated baked goods, and t-shirts were on sale, too. (Click here: News-Sentinel: Cake Bake a sweet event to benefit Imagination Library.)
The main goal, of course, is to encourage reading at a young age, and, judging from the kids and grown-ups we saw, children (of all ages) were eager to dig into books as well as cupcakes, cookies, and cakes.
We were also anxious to see what this year’s competition would bring since our blog post Books and Buttercream at The Great Cake Bake (Click here) nabbed the highest views of any post in 2013. And, this year, we were definitely not disappointed. In fact, if you had followed us around, you would have heard How’d they do that? multiple times since the mysteries of fondant, frosting, and flourishes escape us. Here are our favorites, but who’s to say, right? Thank goodness we weren’t asked to judge.
Ranging from average size to toweringly tall, wedding cakes were judged in two categories: buttercream and fondant.
Cakes could be submitted in four categories: Professional, Intermediate, Beginner, and Junior.
The tiniest creations in the show were submitted in the Cupcake category with these divisions: Cake Pops, Intermediate, Beginner, and Junior
A new category this year, Diaper Cakes, first involved supporters who donated $150.00 so that volunteers could create “cakes” out of diapers. Yes, diapers. After being carefully rolled and stacked to form “layer cakes,” diaper cakes were decorated based upon the theme of a beloved children’s book.
T-shirts were everywhere — on volunteers, Cake Bake attendees, etc. Parker Foppiano manned the table full of t-shirts (royal purple this year!) emblazoned with the Great Cake Bake logo.
And baked goods were on sale for grown-ups who couldn’t pass up a bargain at the end of the day. Like husband Bert who toted home cookies, oatmeal bread and a carrot cake at the insistence of long-time supporter of Friends of the Library, Bonnie Naugher.
Thanks to sponsors Sugarbakers and Food City and the many volunteers and Friends of the Library, the fifth annual Great Cake Bake is history — and a profitable one for a good cause, too.
If you missed this year’s Cake Bake, make a note for next year. After all, who doesn’t like to have their cake and reading, too?
For more information and pictures:
Check out my Pinterest Board: Fancy Cakes for pictures from The Great Cake Bake as well as other creative cakes I’ve found on the Web: http://www.pinterest.com/rushasams/fancy-cakes/
For the News-Sentinel article by Mike Blackerby “Cake Bake a sweet event to benefit Imagination Library,” click here.
For more on Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, click here.
For more on Friends of the Knox County Library, click here.
26 thoughts on “Reading is ever-so-sweet at The Great Cake Bake”
Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist
Wow! Those are some pretty detailed cakes! The Calvin and Hobbes one is definitely deserving.
Thanks for taking a look. I loved the cakes, too! And I really didn’t have a favorite this time — many good features on several of the cakes. You’ve mentioned one of them!
These are just wonderful – and I’m with the majority on the Calvin and Hobbes cake. My favourite too. 🙂
So glad you commented on the Calvin and Hobbes cake — one of my favorites. But so many cakes, so little time!! I loved a lot of them. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.
Thanks Rusha. I was thinking about your post the other day when I baked a cake for my partner’s birthday. It tasted pretty good (banana cake with salted caramel frosting and walnut praline), but looked pretty lame – especially alongside those wonderful, whimsical masterpieces you photographed. 🙂
I only wish I could roll a flat square of fondant out on a table just so I could say I did! I don’t make fancy cakes, but really love looking at them. So much creativity. But now that you mention it, I think I’d rather eat a banana cake with salted caramel frosting!!! Happy baking!
I know what you mean; I’ve only once managed to ice a Christmas cake with marzipan and fondant in such a way that it didn’t look like I’d dropped it in gravel first. And according to my boys, the banana cake was pretty good (though my son pointed out that those from the cafe it was modelled on are waaay better). Hope you have a great weekend. 🙂
They look so good that I wouldn’t bear to see them eaten! Guess if Piggletino had seen these, he would’ve taken so many photos!
I’ve never even eaten a cake adorned with fondant, but I’d like to try! It was a great event, and I’m glad you stopped by to take a look!
What fun . . . .and those yummy cakes.. . . .
It was a fun event — lots of great children’s books featured with all those yummy cakes! I wanted something sweet to eat at the end!
I enjoyed looking through all your images of the event. So many wonderful entries! I have pinned to our Great Cake Bake board on pinterest! http://www.pinterest.com/greatcakebake/great-cake-bake/
Thanks so much for looking through the pictures and then adding them to the Great Cake Bake board! It was a wonderful show, and a great event to promote reading. Thanks for all you do!
WOW!! So many beautiful cakes and cupcakes. I think it’s cool that diaper cakes were also represented. Looks like it was a very fun day. You took great photos. Thanks for sharing.
And thank you for reading! It was a fun event, but more importantly, I think it raised a good bit of money for a good cause.
It really was a wonderful day, and I wish I could make just one cake as cute as the ones we saw. So glad that so many young people are getting into reading and cake baking! Thanks for reading!
Beautiful cakes! So very creative. Love the idea of reading.
The first one is really cute! Thank you for sharing, Rusha!
I hope we continue this tradition in Knoxville for a long time. I love these cakes, too! Thanks for reading!
Beautiful cakes! I really love the connection to reading. I’m an author and I work in a library 🙂
I’m an English teacher, so I love the tie-in, too! So fun to see what people can concoct. The creativity was amazing! Thanks for reading!
I love that last wedding cake. Makes me want to get married again, to my husband, just to celebrate like this 🙂
Well, you don’t have to have a fancy wedding cake to get married all over again to the man who makes you happy. But this would be a nice cake to share with everyone! I loved it, too!
Oh, Rusha! Amazing! You photographed them so very well!
Thanks, but it wasn’t easy. So many cakes line the tables that it’s hard to focus on just one. Plus, the light was streaming in through big windows causing shadows or washing out the colors. Oh, well. It was fun getting up close to these cute cakes. Thanks for reading!
Pride in Photos Photography
Thanks for reading. Wish I could say I could make cakes like these. But just taking pics of them is about all I can do! Glad you enjoyed!