Let Them Eat Cake 2019 Rules & Guidelines

If you are participating in Let Them Eat Cake 2019, you're in the right place! This page has just about everything you need to know about the contest and the day-of the event.

If you have any questions, please contact Ceree Wilkerson, Development & Communications Manager at c.wilkerson@midwifecenter.org or 412.321.6880 x208.

General event info

Let Them Eat Cake: Once Upon a Time
14th annual fundraiser for The Midwife Center

Friday, October 18, 2019 at Hotel Monaco, 620 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

4:30 - 5:30 pm | Cake drop-off
6:00 pm | VIP Champagne Reception & Dinner with VIP ticket
8:00 pm | Cake Reception (Main event), included in baker entry fee
9:30 pm | Awards
10:30 pm | End of event

Theme: Once Upon a Time 

This year's theme celebrates children literature in all of its many forms: iconic picture books like Goodnight Moon and Snowy Day, a fantastic tales from both traditional (Hans Christian Anderson) and modern (J.K. Rowling), classic tales like Peter Rabbit, Charlotte's Web, and Alice in Wonderland or the imaginative poems of Shel Sliverstein and Roald Dahl. We hope our bakers are inspired by their youthful favorites to create a cake that highlights the humor, creativity, and brillance of children's literature. This could include cakes inspired by a specific children's book or author, cakes reflecting beloved characters or scenes from popular stories,or cakes representing the beauty of readers, books, and libraries.

You are encouraged to express your uniqueness and creativity when it comes to the theme. You will also have the opportunity to express the theme in your cake name and description. 

Applying for the contest

Who can apply
Both professionals and amateurs may apply to compete under their own divisons for the Taste or Decorated categories. 

How to apply
Step 1: Fill out the online application form
Step 2: Pay application fee and purchase a reduced-price ticket for a guest (optional). Click here to be taken to our secure payment page.

Typically, participants apply to enter one cake in either the Taste category or Decorated category. You may apply to enter one cake in each category, however we cannot guarantee we’ll have space for both of your cakes. We will do our best to accommodate both cakes.

You may not enter multiple cakes in one category.

Application fees & tickets for bakers and their guests
$25 - early application fee is closed
$35 - application fee if submitted between August 1 and September 2, 2019

If your cake is accepted, one ticket to the Cake Reception is included in your application fee. In most cases you (the entrant) use this ticket. You have the option of purchasing one Baker Guest Ticket for the Cake Reception at the reduced price of $35.00 (regular price $75.00) for a guest. Additional Cake Reception tickets are regular price.

How our application process works
The Midwife Center will collect and review applications from June 18, 2019 until the early application date of July 31, 2019. On a rolling basis, we will notify applicants who apply before the early application date if their cake has been selected by September 6, 2019. The Midwife Center will continue to accept applications until the final application date of September 2, 2019. The Midwife Center will let you know if your cake has been selected no later than September 6, 2019.

Please apply as soon as you can, as we fill up each year.

We will select cakes according to the following criteria:
- Applicants who apply by the early application date, July 31, 2019, will be given preference. We have limited space and our contest fills up every year. We strongly encourage you to apply as early as possible.
- We will review your cake description on your application. You don’t need to have your recipe or design completely finalized, but the more you can tell us, the better understanding we’ll have of your cake.
- We will give preference to applicants who have won an award at a previous Let Them Eat Cake event. That said, if you have never entered a cake or won an award at Let Them Eat Cake, we encourage you to apply. Every year we have new bakers and decorators be a part of the contest and win awards.
- If you have never participated before and would like to apply this year, we strongly encourage you to email us photos and/or descriptions of your past creations. Photos can be emailed to Ceree Wilkerson at c.wilkerson@midwifecenter.org

The Midwife Center reserves the right to decline any cake, leading up to the event or at the event, for any reason and without explanation. Your application fee will be refunded as soon as possible.

Cake drop off

Your cake must be dropped off at Hotel Monaco on Friday, October 18, 2019 between 4:30-5:30 pm. Volunteers will be available to help you with your cake. 

If your cake requires additional assembly, this must be completed by 5:45 pm.

You may take your leftover cake home after the event is over. We will dispose of any cakes remaining after the event. We will not be held responsible for any non-disposable cake containers, plates, or stands left by bakers, so please make arrangements to collect these at the end of the night.

Contest categories & cake specs

Let Them Eat Cake has two categories, Taste and Decorated. The following specifications apply to ALL cakes, both Taste and Decorated, and must be met for your cake to be accepted.

- Your cake design/recipe, name, and description must reflect the theme
- You may not use rotating or moving cake stands.
- You are required to follow all applicable food safety regulations in the preparation of your cake.
- You cake cannot be offensive or discriminatory. Please contact us with any questions.
- Previous winners of the Let Them Eat Cake contest are asked NOT to submit cake designs or recipes that have won in previous Let Them Eat Cake events.

Taste Cakes - additional specs and rules
- You must prepare two identical cakes.
- Your cake cannot exceed 12” in diameter or in length and width
- Your cake stand or plate should not exceed 14” in diameter or in length and width.
- Your cake must be fully baked, edible, and made entirely by you.
- Your cake will be cut up into small sample-sized cubes for judges and guests to taste.
- Your cake cannot require refrigeration. Your cake will be at room temperature for 5-6 hours. You may deliver your cake in a container if you wish.
- Your cake must be entirely edible. You are welcome to add decorative elements to your cake, however these elements must be edible and they will not factor into the guest scores. You may not use wire or other non-edible materials in your cake, as this could pose a danger to judges and guests.

Decorated Cakes - additional specs and rules
- Your cake cannot exceed 12” in diameter or in length and width
- Your cake stand or plate should not exceed 14” in diameter or in length and width. There are no cake or stand height restrictions.
- Decorated cakes will be displayed on round tables. Guests will be able to view your cake from all sides. Please design your cake accordingly. 
- Decorated cakes can be made in traditional or “novelty” shapes.
- Cakes cannot be interactive
- Your creation will not be sampled for taste, however the visible, decorative, and external elements of the cake must be edible and made by you.
- You may use actual cake, icing, fondant, marzipan, sugar glass, and any other type of edible material.
- Regarding the inside of your creation: in place of actual cake, you may use foam or other materials. However, supportive foam or other similar materials cannot be visible. 

Judging & Awards

This year the cake contest will be People's Choice only. Guest will vote for their favorite Taste Cake and for their favorite Decorated Cake for both the Professional and Amatuer divisions during the Cake Reception, The Baker /Bakery name will be displayed along the cake name and description. Each guest vote is worth a single point. We will encourage guest to consider use of theme, originality, design, taste, and skill when voting.  

All participating contestants will receive:

  • Free valet parking at the Hotel Monaco.
  • A fabulous thank you bag, including gift certificates and other great items from Square Café, My Goodness, East End Food Coop, Mon Aimee Chocolat and Penzey’s Spices – a value of over $60.
  • A complimentary ticket to the Cake Reception and option to purchase an additional ticket at the discounted price of $35 ($75 value).
  • Tickets include cake tasting, two drink tickets, hors d’oeuvres, music and silent auction.
  • Opportunity to promote your cakes and bakery (if a professional baker) by displaying your business cards next to your cake, having your name projected throughout the event, and listed in the program book and on the event website.
  • Opportunity to interact with event attendees that will include past event judges and food critics, Midwife Center clients, donors, and corporate sponsors.

Winners for the Amatuer and Professional divisions for both the Taste and Decorated categories will receive:

  • Hand-crafted glass plates from Riverside Design that will be custom-engraved with the name of the winners.
  • Gift cards from Square Café, My Goodness, and Target totaling $75 for 1st place winners and $65 for second place winners.
  • Announcement in Midwife Center social media and other media outlets.
  • Past examples include; The Midwife Center Wesbite Pittsburgh Post Gazette Pittsburgh Post Gazette Tribute to the 80s

    Taste Cake Awards for Amatuer and Professional 
  • First Place - based on the highest number of guest votes within the Taste Cake category
  • Second Place -based on the second highest number of guest votes within the Taste Cake category

Decorated Cake Awards for Amatuer and Professional 

  • First Place - based on highest number of guest votes within Decorated Cake category
  • Second Place - based on the second highest number of guest votes within Decorated Cake category

    More details
    - Guest votes will be counted by volunteers. The results will be reported to designated Midwife Center staff and the anouncer before the anouncements are made.
    - All results are kept confidential by event volunteers until the announcement at the end of the event. Any interaction between unannounced winners and event photographers, judges or guests is coincidental and not driven by scoring results. 
    - Winners will be announced at end of the event and may be reported in media outlets. Winners will also be announced in The Midwife Center’s email newsletter, website, and social media.

Please note: The Midwife Center reserves the right to change any of the information found on this page. We will notify applicants and/or participants of any significant changes ASAP.