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Solihull bakers out for Cake Off

Solihull’s bakers turned out in force for Saturday’s Fairtrade Cake Off at The Core Theatre.  Over 130 people attended the annual event with 40 adults and 16 children entering the competition to find the best cake makers in the borough.

Local mum Olga Li, who runs a home-based pastry studio, won the show stopper category with her Fairtrade Chocolate Flamenco  - a rich chocolate cake with a mirror glaze.  Local nurse Debbie Smith – who works at Solihull Hospital – won the teatime favourite with her triple layered banoffee cake and 11 year old Darcie Janes, from Lode Heath School, won the children’s cake category.

Olga – who is in her 30s and runs a home-based pastry studio in Solihull called La Llyoka - said: “I think the Cake Off is a great initiative, especially for the children as it allows them to learn about Fairtrade and food sustainability in a really fun and engaging manner.  As for me personally it was my first ever competition and I really enjoyed it!  I’d love to open up a pastry studio sometime in the near future.”

Debbie – who is 49 next month – was inspired to enter the competition after reading about last year’s winner: “I didn’t know anything about the Solihull Fairtrade Cake Off until two friends linked me in on Facebook.  I researched it from there and when I read Dayeeta’s story (last year's winner) I was inspired to enter, as like her I just enjoyed baking for family and friends.  I always thought it unfair that communities/countries that produce such invaluable commodities should remain poor.  It’s good to see the unfairness being highlighted.  Never, ever, in my wildest dreams did I think I would be a winner.  It was worth spending all day after my night shift making my bakes!”

Darcie, 11, said: “I’ve always been interested in baking and I’m doing a cake decorating course at Solihull College.  Last year I organised a cake break to raise money for the MS Society which included a bake off.  My dream is to open my own bakery and sell my own decorated cakes!”

Other winners included:

Ruzaz Syed – winner of the children’s cupcakes

Susan Ranju – Adult’s Fairtrade Award

Khadija Syed – child’s Fairtrade Award


The Solihull Fairtrade Cake Off takes place annually during Fairtrade Fortnight. Solihull is a Fair Trade borough and for the last five years Solihull council has been hosting the annual Fairtrade Cake Off to encourage amateur bakers to exhibit their cakes.

Pic shows Debbie Smith collecting her certificate and prize


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