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Winner: The Cake Illusionist

Hannah Edward-Singh, the woman behind The Cake Illusionist, took inspiration for her nostalgia-themed cake from her mum’s famous picnics, which are now bringing joy to her children as well.

Nanna’s picnics, as they’re now known, have everything in them from jam tarts to ice cream, fondant fancies, pork pies, Scotch eggs, sandwiches, chicken drumsticks, and more – all of which have been lovingly handcrafted by Hannah from sugar paste.

The Cake Illusionist lived up to her name and the judges were blown away by the realism of the picnic items on the cake, with care and attention paid to every single element from the beautifully crafted picnic basket to the opportunistic wasp nestled on a strawberry.

The cake took around 100 hours to create, with techniques including sugar paste modelling, hand painting, air brushing, and weaving on display. The detailed textures on some of the baked goods are created by pressing tin foil and cling film into the sugar paste.

Away from the Baking Industry Awards, Hannah works exclusively with public relations and events clients, specialising in illusion cakes as part of advertising campaigns and press launches.

Hannah works specifically on highly sculpted cakes and prefers to use cake as the base, rather than rice crispy treats, which Hannah admits makes her life more difficult but has helped cement her reputation in the industry. With the decorations being so complex, The Cake Illusionist sticks to homemade, simple cakes underneath.


Finalist: Elaine’s Creative Cakes

Elaine Hamey embraced the nostalgia theme by honouring her favourite movie series – Indiana Jones. She has many happy memories of watching the films with her son and watches them whenever they are on. Indiana’s hat, the rolling boulder, monkey brains, and of course a snake are among the items she has handcrafted in honour of the franchise.

The judges praised the sheer number and expert execution of techniques on display, including chocolate work, sugar paste moulding, pressure piping, hand painting, and sugar work.

A previous category champion, Elaine was a lecturer at Tameside College where she taught confectionery. She now puts her skills to use in her shop in Urmston, Manchester, from which she creates a multitude of cakes including multi-tiered bespoke wedding cakes to children’s birthday cakes, as well as cupcakes and scones for local coffee shops.

Her knowledge of the market she operates in really impressed the judges, who praised the personal touch she offers every customer walking through the door.


Kerry Smith holding her nostalgia themed cake with characters from 1980s TV shows and movies on

Finalist: The Berkshire Bakesmith

The Berkshire Bakesmith, based in Wokingham, is run by Kerry Smith with the help of a part-time assistant. The business is operated from her home – a decision she made to balance the business with life as a single parent.

Kerry’s nostalgia-themed cake took inspiration from the 1980s. The centrepiece is inspired by the clock tower from Back to the Future Part II, while there are also nods to some of her favourite kids TV programmes (such as Button Moon and Fraggle Rock) as well as the Rubik’s Cube and everyday activities like using a pencil to reel in a cassette tape.

The judges were impressed by her use of signature models and colourful designs, with techniques including air brushing, sugar paste modelling, piping, and painting on display.

Kerry said she is not afraid of a challenge and loves working with clients to create a design which exceeds their expectations. She specialises in celebration cakes, which are topped with handmade edible models, but also enjoys working with sugar flowers, isomalt, and learning new techniques.