Welcome to the 36th Annual San Diego Cake Competition

We have changed up our competition this year. We have revised our experience levels, streamlined our categories and added all new awards!
Read up on our new competition guidelines and feel free to email Competition@SanDiegoCakeShow.com with any questions.

What do you get with your Competition Entry?

What do you get with your Competition Entry?
Not only do you get to show off your amazing skills and best work, reaping the acclaim and amazement of the public, but all competitors get a Weekend Ticket to the 36th Annual San Diego Cake Show. In addition to your weekend ticket, all competitors will receive a goody bag full of fun decorating items to experiment with and add to their collection!

During the Show Weekend there will be live demonstrations of many sugar arts including various cake decorating styles on the Main Stage.

The Awards Ceremony will be more exciting than ever, with the presentation of the $1000 Cash Prize for the Best of Show Winner and the Sponsored Awards!

This annual event is the largest show of its kind in California. If you missed it last year, you missed out! The cake show this year will be bigger and better than ever!

To enter the Junior Competition

Open only to ages 4 to 16

  • Pre-Junior  Ages  4 to 8
  • Junior Ages 9 to 12
  • Teen  Ages 13 to 16
  • Non-tiered Any non-tiered cake.  Any sugar medium or technique may be used. See rules for full details.
  • Tiered Any tiered cake.  Any sugar medium or technique may be used.  See rules for full details.
  • Sculpted Carved or shaped cakes, 2D or 3D, sculptures. See rules for full details.
  • Novelty Any other dessert style entry, any combination of techniques and edible mediums can be used.  See rules for full details.

To enter the Adult Competition

  • Beginner  Basic skills and techniques. Has taken (1) course in cake decorating, or self-taught using beginner skills similar to those taught in a basic cake decorating course or been involved in any aspect of the craft for less than 1 year
  • Intermediate  Developing skills and techniques. Has gone beyond beginner skills or has won 1st place in Beginner in a previous show or is a beginning culinary student.
  • Expert  More refined skills and techniques. Has gone beyond intermediate or has won 1st place in Intermediate in a previous show or is a mid to high level culinary student or is a past/present teacher decorator for a commercial enterprise (Wilton), or works as a baker/caterer/CFO or in a commercial bakery, or a person in an allied field.
  • Master  High level of skills and techniques. One who qualifies under at least one of the following: certified ICES CMSA, has had the equivalent of 140 hours or more of professional classes or hands-on seminars, is past/present national or international professional teacher, or appeared on television as expert, or is an author, or is a cake show judge or webinar instructor.
  • Non-tiered  Any non-tiered cake.  Any sugar medium or technique may be used. See rules for full details.
  • Tiered  Any  tiered cake.  Any sugar medium or technique may be used. See rules for full details.
  • Sculpted  Carved or shaped cakes, 2D or 3D, sculptures. Entry must include Storyboard Description with a minimum of 5 in-progress pictures. See rules for full details.
  • Foreign Technique  Any entry  consisting of 75% or more of foreign techniques.  Entry must include Storyboard Description. See rules for full details.
  • Showpiece  Showpiece/sculpture/center piece/floral display. Entry must include Storyboard Description. See rules for full details.
  • Novelty  Any other dessert style entry, any combination of techniques and edible medium can be used. See rules for full details.
  • Non-Cake  Non-cake, non-dessert style entry. Any combination of techniques and edible medium must be used. See rules for full details.

To enter the Spectacular Competition

This competition will be judged as a Expert/Master Level Competition. Individual and Group Entries are Judged Separately. Limit 1 entry per contestant.

  • Spectacular Individual  Contestant is the sole creator of the sugar art piece incorporating the Show theme. Detailed Rules – See Spectacular Cake Competition Rules.
  • Spectacular Group  Contestant Group may consist of up to five (5) contestants maximum in creating the sugar art piece incorporating the Show theme. Detailed Rules – See Spectacular Cake Competition Rules.

Please review the Competition Types and Rules before you purchase your Competition Entry.

 Happy Decorating and Good Luck!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Competition 

I see the Rules mention measurements of 24 x 24, those are width and length? How about height?

There is no height restriction/requirement for the Junior or Adult Competition Entries. The base board you use is to be no larger than 24” × 24”, so that if fits comfortably on the display tables. There is only a height requirement if you enter the Spectacular Competition and that height requirement is in the Spectacular Rules.

As a competitor do I need to buy a show ticket? Does my family?

A Weekend Show Ticket comes with your competition entry.  Each competitor will receive their weekend ticket at entry check-in (see The Rules for check-in times).

Your family or any other spectators would need to purchase either a Day Ticket or a Weekend Ticket to get into the Show.

I was thinking about entering the cake competition this year and noticed the theme was Red Carpet Cakes, does this mean all cakes must be "red carpet" themed to enter?

You are only required to create your entry to the “Red Carpet” theme if you are entering the the Spectacular Competition for Individual or Group Division. If you are entering either the Junior Competition or the Adult Competition you can use any theme for your entry, the “Red Carpet” theme is not required.

This is my first time and I am a little confused , are the entries created at the competition or do we create the entries in our own home and bring them completed?

The entries are not generally done at the competition – usually entries are brought completed to the show during check-in hours (see the Rules).  However, we have had some entries brought in during check-in hours on Friday and completed at the fairgrounds. We don’t recommend this as you are then under a definite time crunch and there are plenty of people rushing around getting the venue ready.  However, touch ups and some light assembling is allowed as a lot of our entrants travel quite a distance.  Please make sure to pay careful attention to the check-in end times and allow plenty of time as when we say hands off – that’s it…. no more touching!

Ok... I bought my entry ... now what?

You should receive a notification email confirming your entry.  Then once the entry deadline has passed all contestants will be sent an email with Competition Check-in Instructions. It will include things like where to go with your entry, where to park, what to do upon arrival, where  to get your competitor’s weekend ticket, how to get your competition goody bag, and awards ceremony information, as well as competition entry pick up information after the show, so that you can take your wonderful entry home!

This email will be sent to the same email address you used to enter the competition … be on look out for it a week before the show! In the meantime you can start creating your masterpiece!