These were the entries for the 2016 Michigan Birthday Bake Off.
Marisa’s Sweet Bites
I enjoy decorating sugar cookies the most so naturally I chose to create a 2 foot tall sugar cookie in the shape of Michigan. Both the Upper and Lower Peninsula were cut by hand and covered in fondant after they were baked. The cookie was then sprayed with a pearl sheen to give it a snow covered look. Circular cookies were decorated with royal icing to represent some of the different aspects the great state of Michigan has to offer. These include Pictured Rocks, the Mackinac Bridge, a Petoskey stone, a lighthouse, cherries for Traverse City, a tulip for Holland, and a car for Detroit. Each cookie was placed where it is located in the state, and a star was placed to represent the capital, Lansing. Happy 179th birthday Michigan!
I based my cake from old vintage postcards. It started with a simple wooden dowel structure which helps to give the floating support of the Upper Peninsula then I built up the base with pound cake. This cake stands upright and measures over two feet tall. Using food grade gels on rolled sugar paste, I hand painted vacation spots and things that make Michigan the state I am proud to live in. The surrounding Great Lakes were achieved by poured sugar and Aqua blue gel color. My passion is edible art and making this cake based on my home state was a real joy.
“Let them eat cake that shaped like Michigan” Pinky Queen of Cakes.
Apples represent a great part of Michigan. From the blushing buds that emerge in the spring to the wafting smells of a cinnamon-dusted pie coming from the oven, apples represent Michigan. Michigan is the third largest producer of apples in the United States, growing an average of 900 million pounds of apples per year. Their crispy crunch is an integral part of our economy and means a lot to Michigan. I have had the privilege of working very closely with a local apple farm, Phillips Orchard, located in St. Johns, Michigan. This partnership has opened my eyes and given me a new appreciation for family-run orchards that exist all over our great state. My dessert is an homage to these family-run fruit farms. I chose to create a brown sugar blondie, made with sugar from the Pioneer Sugar Company, produced in Bay City, Michigan. From there, I topped said blondie with sautéed apples procured from Phillips Orchard. The apples were accompanied by Arcadia Ale’s Nut Brown Ale, a brewing company found in Battle Creek. To amplify the nutty notes in the beer, I also threw in some walnuts, which also grow naturally in our beautiful state. The final layer of my dessert is a handmade cider caramel, using cider pressed from Phillips Orchard. The cider was reduced to a syrup, and then by adding more sugar, butter, cream, cinnamon, and salt, a gorgeous confection emerged. To finish off my Caramel Apple Cider Blondie, I fashioned a small apple branch with blooming blossoms from fondant. Dusted with a little bit of luster dust, the branch is a reminder of what spring brings to Michigan. My tribute to our Awesome Mitten on its 179th Birthday – the Caramel Apple Cider Blondie!
Lisa Gross, Culinary Staff at The Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
Becka’s Cookies (by Becka Bohl)
Masen James Bakery
When we think of Michigan, there two things that come to mind – sweet summer strawberries and craft beer! Our entry is a mix of classic and modern, in the sense of the summer tradition of picking strawberries and the year round adventure of traveling throughout Michigan to taste the great craft beer that our state has become known for. It’s a craft beer brownie made with Saugutuck Brewery’s Neapolitan Stout topped with dried Michigan strawberries. Each serving is an individual 2 inch by 2 inch square. The edges are chewy and the center is fudgey, almost soufflé like. While we make our brownies with various Michigan craft beers, the Neapolitan Stout is one of our best sellers!
Amazing Taste, AG, LLC
My entry is “Michigan is bursting with love” a gluten, dairy, egg and soy free cake which is infused with Michigan strawberry jam! The cake is frosted with butter creme frosting with cute sugar cookie fish cheering on an explosion of hearts.
Our beautiful state is filled with family, friends and no one stays a stranger long because of our habit of open and caring hearts. Caring about the quality of life of other people that have food allergies like myself, is what compelled me to start my baking business Amazing Taste, AG. Seeing a huge smile on the face of a child when I give them one of my cakes, who has never had a “real” birthday cake before is a joy beyond words!
The cake is made from a gluten free flour mix, coconut milk, sugar, Michigan strawberry jam, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla.
I love Michigan and it was so much fun to make this cake! Michigan’s abundant wildlife and beautiful countryside mean a lot to our family as do the four seasons. Spring represents the top layer which is maple snow cake with whipped maple cream frosting with a tom turkey, morel mushrooms, Trillium flowers and fiddleheads beside a waterfall that flows into the second layer, summer. This cake’s flavor is full of summer with peaches and blueberries, in a vanilla cake and a praline flavoured filling. A rainbow trout is in the stream ready for fishing. The fall season is the third layer with a black bear walking in the fall leaves. This cake is an apple sauce cake with cranberries and walnuts. The bottom layer is winter with a white tailed deer on the edge of a cornfield. It is a chocolate fudge cake with whipped mint cream filling with chocolate shavings. The animals are made with Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal treats, gumpaste, pretzels and a bit of wire for the antlers and back legs of the deer. The trees are made of white chocolate, covered in modeling chocolate and fondant. Thanks for the opportunity to make something dear to my heart!!
The Sugar Bowl Bakery
Having lived in Michigan all our lives, we wanted to celebrate why Michigan is so wonderful every day. The top tier represents the coasts, beaches,
dunes and Great White Pines; the second tier celebrates the Great Lakes and clean, fresh water; the third tier is for our love of fishing and sight-seeing the things that are indigenous, such as, Michigan’s waterfalls, wild life, and Petoskey stones. This three tier butter cake is designed in buttercreme frosting with hand-made gum paste adornments.
Indulge A Little (*Under Review*)
My dessert is an 8 inch white, two-layer cake, filled with white buttercream, also frosted with white buttercream. Attached to the front of the cake is a wave of modeling chocolate as is the waves on the top of the cake. The sand is brown sugar and the seagulls are made with Wilton fondant. On top of the cake is an image of the Mackinac Bridge made with a half cake round covered with fondant, hand painted with edible paints from Americolor and the bridge is made with modeling chocolate. The seagulls are also fondant. I attached dowels covered with plastic wrap and fondant into the cake round and cake to stand up-right. I covered each of the boards with fondant, airbrushed, and then attached each lag bolt to the corners with the washers and nuts. I made the lighthouses from Rice Krispie treats. Then shaped, attached shot glasses to the top section, attached the lights, ran wires down the middle of the lighthouse and covered each lighthouse with fondant. The brown accents are modeling chocolate. Each lighthouse is drilled to fit onto the bolts. The sailboats, waves and posts are all modeling chocolate. The tree is constructed with the cloth coved wired twisted into a tree shape, covered with modeling chocolate and the leaves are Rice Krispie treats which I then attached and airbrushed a leaf green. Lighting effects are created by attaching the wires to a battery and securing to bottom of lower cake board. The Happy Birthday Michigan plaque is modeling chocolate shaped with a Michigan cookie cutter. The words are piped with buttercream.