Falkirk Science Festival: Brenda is Falkirk Bake Off's Star Baker with Kelpies cake

When someone asks if you want to help judge a cake competition, it’s definitely not something you have to think twice about.

Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2022, 12:52 pm

However, the Great Falkirk Bake Off wasn’t so much a taste test but an opportunity for bakers and cake designers to show off their skills.

Those taking part in last Friday’s final had skills in abundance – this was certainly not a case of putting some icing on top of a Victoria sponge. No, this was create a work of art linked to the Falkirk area.

And as if that wasn’t enough, they also had to incorporate their favourite STEM achievement or a moment in the district’s science history.

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Chloe Edwards and her cake depicting the Steeple and surrounding buildings

This event was part of Falkirk Science Fortnight which runs until this weekend and is taking place at various venues.

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For this contest the team at Falkirk Council had organised their very own Falkirk Bake Off Tent on the great lawn at the Helix Park.

Given the difficult task of judging the finalists were Genius Foods founder Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne; award-winning home baker, blogger and chemical engineering student, Sophie Greig; and yours truly. I’m not sure if it was as Falkirk Herald editor the invite came or if they knew about my schoolgirl Saturday job in a well-know Falkirk bakers.

Chris Hughes and his family baked an decorated this cake depicting the Charlotte Dundas steam ship

After a introductions from host Helen Rashad and a question and answer session – lots of queries about gluten-free flour for Lucinda – it was down to the difficult task of judging.

All of the entries were impressive. Shannon McNiven from Grangemouth had been up from 4.30am to produce her Carron Iron Works cake, a sentimental nod to her family members who used to work there.

It was a family affair for architect Chris Hughes, whose fruit cake model of the Charlotte Dundas had lots of help from wife Allana and their two children.

Part of Shannon McNiven's cake depicting Carron Iron Works and the items made over the years

Shannon and Chris were third equal, with second prize going to Chloe Edwards, 22, from Bainsford for her amazing replica of Falkirk’s Steeple, complete with shopfronts and lights.

However, the Star Baker went to Brenda Somerville of Stenhousemuir for her gingerbread Kelpies.

The magnificent sculpted cakes were exquisite in every detail – with even tiny swans made out of icing and jellied spotlights.

A surprised Brenda said: “I’m delighted to win, especially against such wonderful other cakes and bakers.”

The winning cake by Brenda Somerville
13-05-22 Vass Media. The Great Falkirk Bake Off 2022