History of Bake Contests

During Brooklyn Park’s annual Tater Daze festival, Eidem Homestead will host its annual bake contest.  Featuring pastries, breads, canned goods, and items made with potatoes, guests will participate in the time-honored tradition of kitchen competition.

Throughout much of American history, bake sales and contests have brought people together for community causes, such a raising funds for a church or school.  Contestants took great pride in their work, and recipes were and often still are thought of as a prized possession.  State and county fairs have also been hugely popular for this, awarding a multitude of prizes, ribbons, and bragging rights for centuries.

To promote its Best Family Flour and celebrate its eightieth birthday, the Minneapolis-based Pillsbury company hosted its first annual Bake-Off contest in New York City in 1949.  Thousands of entries were submitted to this nationwide competition with the winner receiving a $50,000 grand prize.  A hundred finalists won a trip to NYC and a stay in the hotel where the contest was being hosted, a Hamilton Beach mixer, a General Electric Stratoliner push-button range, and a $100 cash prize.  Since that first year, the contest has only grown, boasting celebrity judges every year, traveling to new cities, and now offering a $1 million prize to its first-place winner.  There are two age categories: junior (ages 12-18) and senior (age 19+), just like Eidem’s bake contest has, and the contest emphasizes quick and easy recipes for working America.

The success and popularity of the Pillsbury Bake-Off spurred other companies on to create their own contests, such as the National Chicken Contest, the National Beef Contest, and the Egg Recipe Contest.  Cooking competitions have also filled up television all over the world, with popular programs being The Great British Bake-OffMaster Chef and Master Chef JuniorChoppedTop ChefKids Baking Championship, and (baker’s) dozens of others.

Though competition divides people, food has an unmatched ability to bring the together.  Perhaps that’s why cooking competitions are so admired; despite having winners and losers, everyone always gets something out of it.

The Eidem bake contest has seen more than its fair share of delicious dishes in the last three years since it was started, and we cannot wait to taste everyone’s creations this year!  If you’re interested in participating, get your entry form here and and don’t forget to check out the event on our Facebook page.


Read the other excellent articles that provided the information for this post!  You can learn even more about baking and history.





This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Jenny Cvek. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jenny Cvek

The short and sweet: I'm Jenny. I'm twenty, I'm a junior in college, and I'm from the lovely state of Minnesota. I'm passionate about words, photography, theatre, singing, loving Jesus and loving people. This is not about me. This is all about Jesus. {Profile picture credit to Ri & He Photography}

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