Bake-Off winners produce ‘Blooming good’ cakes


Young baker Pixie Wallbank has been crowned the overall winner of this year’s ‘Blooming Tamworth’ Bake-Off.

Brownie Pixie saw off the challenge from seven other young bakers to take the title – as well as winning the honour of switching on Tamworth’s Christmas lights on Sunday, November 24.

This year the cakes were of an extremely high standard, with each entrant baking and decorating a cake to represent what is great about Tamworth, honouring this year’s Tamworth in Bloom campaign of ‘Blooming Tamworth, it’s more than just flowers.’

The Girlguiding sections had four individual winners plus an overall Bake-Off champion. Alissa Howell and sisters Poppy and Violet Wain - Rainbows, and Lillian Webb – Guides/Rangers.

All bakers brought their delicious creations to compete for the Bake-Off title as well as the winning honour of switching on Tamworth’s Christmas lights with the Mayor of Tamworth.

Girlguiding groups, leaders and parents from packs across Tamworth flocked to the Town Hall on Thursday, November 14, to see each pack’s best baker compete for the title. Each of the groups had previously held a contest to choose the top baker to represent them in the final.

Lee Bates from Tamworth Community Together CIC, Sarah McGrandle, Assistant Director for Operations and Leisure, Tamworth Borough Council and Mayor of Tamworth, Richard Kingstone, were among the judges who had the honour of tasting each cake. They looked very closely at each of the cakes before cutting a slice and tasting it – marking each one for appearance, taste, relevance to the theme and creativity. They praised the extremely high quality of all the entries, and admitted that choosing an eventual winner was extremely difficult.

Lee Bates said: “This was really hard to judge. What really strikes you is the amount of hard work that goes into each presentation. We judged on a number of criteria - did it fit the theme, how creative was the presentation and of course the taste. The cakes were all so good that we needed the Mayor to help us make the final decision for the Girlguiding Bake-Off"

Pixie Wallbank took the well-deserved honour of overall winner, with her superb sponge cake decorated with delicate buttercream flowers, in a Tamworth Bandstand flowerbed design. She will now be the guest of honour counting down to the Christmas lights switch-on, alongside Mayor of Tamworth, on Sunday, November 24.

The finalists for the Girlguiding units were:

  • Rainbow winners:  Alissa Howell and sisters Poppy and Violet Wain
  • Guides winner: Lillian Webb
  • Overall winner: Pixie Wallbank (Brownie)
  • Highly commended: Rebecca Newbold, Macy Hathaway and Florence Smith.

Mayor of Tamworth, Richard Kingstone, said: “It is amazing to see all the various local Girlguiding units with their leaders, family and friends supporting the Tamworth in Bloom Bake-Off at the Town Hall on November 14. I am honoured to be switching on the Christmas lights for our town with the overall winner, Pixie Wallbank.

“Last year the standard was so high and this year was no exception. All of the cakes have shown the hard work and effort achieved to showcase an amazing Bake-Off success. 

“The cakes all represented what is so great about Tamworth. From castle designs inspired by the Brownies castle sleep-over, to fireworks and St George’s Day tributes, to the Mercian flag and landmarks made of gingerbread showcasing the Town Hall, Tamworth Castle, St Editha’s Church and the Assembly Rooms; it was such a hard decision to choose a winner!

“This Bake-Off demonstrates that Tamworth in Bloom is so much more than just the wonderful flowers. Well done to all the amazing bakers!"