Ready… Set… Bake!
Last week, Oklahoma State’s College of Engineering and Architecture Technology (CEAT) had their annual baking competition. This challenge gives engineering students and staff a chance to show their creativity in the kitchen.
Those competing turned in their baked goods and to have their items ranked by volunteer judges comprised of CEAT students and Faculty. The winner of each round received bragging rights as the “Best Baker in CEAT” and a custom apron to back up the statement.
This event was created by the United Way event captain Dakota Keith.
“It’s a big stress reliever to students,” Keith said. “I love to see the creativity of these students in making these amazing desserts.”
The competition was fierce as nine bakers had to bake well in three categories: cupcakes, brownies and cookies. Judges then had the hard task of ranking the desserts each competitor made.
“People go all-out on the cupcakes,” Keith said. “The judges definitely enjoy their task.”
Mechanical engineering technology student Dyan Laumbach said she had a blast judging, and some rounds were harder to judge than others.
“Judging the brownies, there was an easy winner,” Laumbach said. “But judging the cookies was the difficult side of this.”
After the competition ended, all leftover or donated baked goods were sold at the Student Excellence Center, and all the profits went to support United Way, a nonprofit organization that provides money to multiple charities in Stillwater.
“Eating these desserts was a blast,” judge Jeff Hopper said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about raising money for the United Way.”
With the threat of COVID looming, Keith and the staff had to think creatively to keep the participants and judges safe.
Everything needed to be wrapped upon its entry for judging, and there was sanitization in every corner. Also, each judge had a time slot of when they could judge the desserts to promote social distancing.
There was even a need to switch rooms due to spacing issues, and yet the event was still a big success. It raised over $100 for United Way and put smiles on the faces of many students and faculty.
“We’ve had a great turnout of participating students this year even during COVID,” Keith said. “There was a lot of joy surrounding this event.”
But what’s a competition without its winners? After 3 hours of judging and close consideration, three winners were chosen.
First place in brownies was Michelle Stewart with her triple chocolate chip brownies.
“There’s a great deep chocolate flavor to this one,” one judge said.
First place in cookies was Siri Schoenknecht, a freshman environmental engineering student, who impressed the judges with her macarons with raspberry and chocolate filling.
“The macarons with chocolate and raspberry filling were killer,” a cookie judge said.
And first place in cupcakes was Reinaldo Sanchez, instructional developer at Fire Protection Publications, with their passion fruit delight cupcakes.
“The passion fruit delight cupcakes had such a unique flavor. They were my winner,” another judge said.
When cookie champion Schoenknecht came to receive her apron after hearing the announcement of her victory, she shared some words about herself while accepting the award.
“I like cake decorating. I have decorated wedding cakes, and I actually worked at a bakery in Tulsa for 2 years prior to coming to OSU,” Schoenknecht said. “I chose macarons because they are really hard to make, and they are fancy. I felt I would win if I made something like that.”
Her technique impressed all the judges.
From eating triple chocolate brownies to strawberry milkshake cupcakes, students and judges enjoyed getting their sweet tooth on before going home for Thanksgiving break.
The competition and bake sale were “icing on the cake,” as Keith described, to help with the stress of this semester as it finally closes.
With the bake sale and competition is held annually, the remaining question stands, who will be the winner next year?