Hold a bake off

We all love watching it, so how about holding your own ‘Care Home Bake Off’? Residents from one care home versus residents from another? Or you could “Ready, Steady, Bake!” against some of your home’s friends and neighbours.

In Essex five care homes battled it out in style in the summer of 2017. But this mega-contest started with just one resident saying ‘I’d love someone to come and bake with me.’ The local Tesco Community Champion happily agreed to supply ingredients for that resident, and wondered if some other homes would like to get involved too?

Once word spread it more or less organised itself: a date was set for the ‘final’ and each home started designing and testing their bake. Everybody got the same ingredients (three days before) and on the big day one home hosted, throwing a grand tea party for their visitors. The judges solemnly tasted and agreed on a clear winner. After a huge cake swapping session everybody went home happy.

Things to think about

1. The rules
Set out your rules so that everyone is clear.

  • Keeping things to one type of bake (such as a sandwich cake or pie) can help make judging easier.
  • Themes could include an occasion (eg birthday cake) a story or using a local ingredient.
  • What criteria will the judges use to make their decision? Taste? Texture? Decoration? Skills used?

2.  The competitors
Residents and staff in mini-teams? Individual residents with family or friends
      helping? What’s the best way to organise your competitors and be clear about who
      does what?

3.  The ingredients
      Does everyone get the same and the chance to add in some extra? Would a local
      shop be happy to donate them (in exchange for publicity?)

4.  The judges
     Who can cast a steely gaze, prod, taste and pronounce? Residents and staff or a
     local baker, chef or dignitary? What level do you want to take it to?