The National Capital Area Cake Show 2014

National Capital Area Cake Show

I recently attended the National Capital Area Cake Show at the Fairfax High School in Fairfax, Virginia excited to see the cakes, friends and what the numerous instructors were teaching.

In addition to a cake competition that attracts top notch entries, NCACS offers a wide variety of classes at very low prices. While the longer, three hour classes allowed students more time for hands-on instruction, the one hour Creative Station classes gave students an opportunity to learn a new skill for a mere $20.

Teri Tarbox was kind enough to get me a press pass, so I spent the weekend popping into several different classes, running up and down the long school corridor.

A Peek at Some Cake Decorating Classes


Sidney held a Creative Station class that taught students how to pipe melted chocolate into a filigree butterfly shape and use a cocoa butter transfer sheet to apply a pattern to the butterfly. Students left with cupcakes topped with their chocolate butterflies and monograms.

filigree chocolate class with Sidney Galpern


Word on the street is if you have an opportunity to take a class with Mari Senaga, don't pass it up. Mari doesn't disappoint as she teaches students how to create realistic looking football mums using modeling chocolate. If you could never imagine your modeling chocolate flowers looking so life-like, you're over due for the plethera of tips and tricks Mari offers in her classes.

chocolate mums class with mari senaga


Buttercream Flowers Class with Melissa Payne

Having worked with more buttercream in my life than any other medium, I was excited to see the outpouring of students in Melissa's class who were anxious to learn how to make buttercream flowers. Melissa's students piped ruffled leaves, hibiscus, lily of the valley,and hydrangea.

buttercream class with Melissa Payne

Pulled Sugar Flowers with Dana Herbert

Dana's class learned to create pulled sugar roses using Simi Isomalt. Prior to class starting, the isomalt sat melting under heat lamps in silicone cups. Student pulled, cut and shaped petals that were attached to the rose center.

pulled sugar flowers class with Dana Herbert

I also had the privilege of assisting my piping friends, Kathleen Lange and Dawn Parrott.

Wedding Cake Embellishments with Kathleen Lange

Kathleen showed students how to do brush embroidery with piping gel and embellish the piping with gold and silver highlights to add a luxurious detail to a wedding cake.

wedding cake embellishments class with Kathleen Lange


Filigree Box with Dawn Parrott

Dawn's student piped and assembled a royal icing, filigree box. You can learn more details about the filigree box class here.

filigree box class with Dawn Parrott

I also paid a visit to Sarah Myers who was teaching students how to make edible frames with Icing Images® iDesigns™ and Spellbinders® Sweet Accents™ system. Michelle Curran (Chef Mitchie) introduced Icing Images ' new product DECOgel™ through a class in Super Hero cupcake toppers. You can read about my visits to their classes on the Icing Images blog.


I am a big fan and long time admirer of Colette Peters, so I just had to stop in to see what she was showing her demo attendees. Colette showed her audience how to create fun bows with different colors on the inside and colorful dots on the outside.

fantasy bows demonstration with Colette Peters


Amoretti came to NCACS for the first time and offered a baking competition using a wide variety of unusual flowers. Marilyn Bawol, who won with two of her entries in the cake competition, gave a demonstration using their flavors. FYI, cake decorators, Amoretti happens to make red and black food coloring that will color white fondant to true black and red!

Amoretti demonstration with Marilyn Bawol

Norman R. Davis was the master of ceremonies during the live challenge event for Icing Smiles. Four teams competed, creating teddy bear theme cakes to benefit children at local hospitals. The teams were: Zane Beg and Michelle Sohan; Michelle Boyd and Kim Simons; Jay Qualls and Dana Herbert; and Karen Vazquez and Sarah Myers.

At the conclusion of the live challenge, awards were presented for the various categories. Kathleen Lange received The Sweet Life Award for contributing exceptional service to the cake decorating world.

Sachiko Windbiel took first place in the wedding cake division.
cake by Sachiko Windbiel

Avalon Yarnes' octopus cake won the People's Choice Award.

octopus cake by Avalon Yarnes

Marilyn Bawol took first place with her sculpture of a girl holding a firefly.

girl with firefly cake by Marilyn Bawol

Kim Simons' Indian Cake was the Grand Prize Show Winner and Best of Masters Division.

Kim Simons Indian cake

I can’t say enough about how helpful the show staff and volunteers were throughout the weekend. They supplied whatever the instructors needed and were there to assist with supplies and clean-up throughout the classes.

And here are just a few more fun pictures from a show that created great memories for many. I look forward to returning to NCACS in 2015. Thank you to everyone who helped make the show possible and all the cake decorators who share their love of the art.


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