The Great Persona Bake Off 2019

Posted on
15 October 2019

This year's bake off was even bigger than last year's; by 1.30pm The Green Cafe was bursting at the seams and there were eleven cakes and bakes awaiting judging for the 'autumn' theme.

Four more cakes turned up in the course of the judging and everyone waited with bated breath to hear the judges' comments on their entries. Entrants could bring along a signature, a showstopper or try the technical challenge, which was fruit cake this year.

Judging 2019's bake off were Jean Foster, from the Friends of Persona and Beverley Walter of Cups and Cakes Bakery.

The bakes were (left to right):

Elton Community Centre's Autumn Apple & Cinnamon Cupcakes, made with apples grown by Graham

A nice even bake, with all the muffins equally sized; they look good and are nice and light. A strong flavour; the sweetness counteracts the tang of the apples - a belting breakfast bake!

Grundy Day Centre's Chocolate Orange Fudge Cake

Pretty, well-decorated with a nice address to the autumn theme.  A lovely, light texture and chocolatey flavour with a hint of orange. Moist to the middle; an all day, every day cake!

The Rammie Bowl and Spoon Lickers' Chocolate Hedgehog (Ramsbottom Centre)

Very autumnal, with excellent shape and good use of coconut and chocolate buttons. A nice even bake with an evenly baked firm texture and chocolate flavour, it scores extremely high on presentation. Rammie rocks on this cake!

next, from left to right, we have:

Peter & Lorraine's lemony tray bake (representing Supported Living)

A well-presented bake with a nice drizzle crust; light as air with a true lemon taste and even pieces of cake - the taste of this cake lives up to its looks!

Helen Yates's Toffee Apple Cheesecake

A great, firm, delicious cheesecake where the tang of the apple combines with the lovely crumble topping and caramel covered base. A fabulous, autumnal cake we quickly learnt to love!

Jenny Urwin's Bonfire Cake

Evenly baked, moist and with clever use of almonds; a lovely apple and toffee flavour with well distributed apple, addressing the autumn theme.

Sunnybank Community Centre's Carrot Cake

Great use of autumnal decoration and lovely and moist throughout; baked to perfection with a nice even layer of icing in the middle with a tangy cream cheese frosting to counteract the sweetness - eating this brings sunshine into our lives!

Susan Ruddock's Mars Bar Space Cake (representing the Friends of Persona)

A rich, chocolatey topping on a deep bed of popped rice; consistent and uniform and decorated with chocolate flakes - there's lots of space in the stomach for this cake!

next up is:

Rob Laing & Deb's Vegan Chocolate Brownies

Rob's autumnal, leaf shaped brownies are rich, dark and densely delicious with a firm, moist texture - Rob's brownies rock! (Far left of photo.)

Deb's well-presented brownies with lovely frosty toppings are nice and nutty, well baked and Deblicious! (Far right at back of photo.)

Pinfold Lane Day Centre's Horace the Hedgehog

A well presented cake with lovely decoration and good shape, which meets the autumn theme. A light fruit cake with two hits of flavour; the fruit evenly distributed, covered in chocolate and with a hint of orange. Highly commended for the originality of the presentation - Horace hits the heights!


Spurr House's Windsor Wonders - vanilla cake, lemon drizzle loaf and victoria sponge

The vanilla cake is a lovely frosty, sparkly cake with beautiful decoration; a good firm sponge, well-proportioned with a vanilla tang offset by the jam and frosting - it's a Windsor Wonderland! (Below, front left.)

A nice, level lemon drizzle cake with a light, golden texture, subtle lemon flavour and a tangy icing - it Spurrs our tastebuds on! (Below, far right.)

A good, old-fashioned victoria sponge of the highest quality; light as a feather and nice use of jam and cream - it makes us wonder if we have room for any more! (Above, far right.)


Bolton Road Master Bakers 'Living the Values' Hallowe'en Showstopper

An excellent presentation; well covered and meets both the theme and the Persona colours. Great use of different coloured sponges and fillings; nice even layers and a lovely vanilla flavour - a beautiful rainbow effect and a surprise in the middle - this cake has mastered every aspect of the competition!

The winners, who won an engraved wooden spoon and £25 gift voucher for The Lamppost Cafe at Burrs Country Park are:

Bolton Road Master Bakers for their rainbow showstopper

with runners-up, who won an engraved wooden spoone each:

Helen Yates for her toffee apple cheesecake 


Rammie bowl and spoon lickers' chocolate hedgehog cake


Thank you to everyone who took part; the standard was fantastic and our judges found it very difficult to choose the winners.  Thanks also to Supportive Stem for hosting the bake off, and to Jean and to Beverley for judging the awesome bakes.