Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Competition
Heads to The Americas Cake Fair

Five teams of professional bakers will showcase their cake decorating skills and compete for $5,000 in cash prizes in contest sponsored by Genera General Mills Foodservice.


General Mills Foodservice is proud to partner with the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) to host the 16th Annual Pillsbury™ Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition, one of the baking industry’s most prestigious competitions for professional bakers. This year’s finale, featuring five two–person teams, will be held Oct.14-15 during The Americas Cake Fair at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

The Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition calls on professional cake decorators and pastry chefs to showcase their creativity, imagination, artistry and skills in three categories: wedding cake, rolled fondant cake and sculpted cake. The 2017 finalists, chosen to compete by either winning a regional competition or via portfolio submission, will bring their original designs to life over a two-day period from the floor of the Cake Fair.

“It is always fun and inspiring to see the extraordinary results that can be achieved with cake, icing and fondant,” said Mark Siracusa, sales manager from General Mills Foodservice, which supplies more than 600 pounds of Bakers’ Plus™ White Cake Mix used to make all the cakes in the contest. “We can’t wait to see what this year’s finalists, representing some of the best cake decorators in the country, come up with at the Cake Fair.”

The five teams taking center stage at The America’s Cake Fair to compete for the coveted Pillsbury Baker’s Plus Grand Champion Trophy and a variety of cash prizes include:

  • Belinda Martinez and Cynthia Velazquez from The Cake Plate, Austin, Texas
  • Alethea Hickman and Elena Vara from Passion for Pastry, Coral Springs, Florida
  • John Natter and Lisa Smith from Ann's Cake Pan, Horsham, Pennsylvania 
  • Megan Bignell and Kyle Baker from The Thirsty Whale, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Diane Ahrens and Daisy Janisch from Piece-A-Cake Bakery, Chicago, Illinois


General Mills Foodservice, which has sponsored the contest for the past 16 years, works with bakeries to supply flour, baking mixes and dough to help them fill their bakery cases each day. For instance, bakeries nationwide depend on Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Cake Mixes to help them turn out high-quality, delicious, moist cakes that serve as a reliable foundation for elaborate decorating.

“We know Pillsbury products play an important role in helping bakeries achieve the quality, taste and consistent results their customers depend on,” said Siracusa, who also serves on the board for the RBA. “This competition gives us an opportunity to celebrate these bakers and showcase how their creativity and talent truly make a difference in their success.”

The Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition is 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.