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2020 Literary Cake Contest : Home

Entry Form



  • Class with a leading industry professional at the SoFlo Cake & Candy Expo.
  • Gum paste tool kit.
  • Cookbook selected by Chef Kochi.

Lab Hours

AM Lab hours and location:

7 am to 1:00 pm in Bake Shop 2

PM Lab hours and location:

1:30 pm to 7:30 pm in HK4

Decorating and storing cakes will be in the Store Room.

Contact Chef Kochi or Chef Angnardo for more information:


AUI Fine Foods

Our thanks to AUI for supplying the fondant for this year's Literary Cake Contest!


Our thanks to SoFlo Cake & Candy Expo for donating prizes for this year's Literary Cake Contest!

Design Ideas

Look Out Below
Marisa Puizina

Chew and Swallow
Jasmine Lowe & Cashe Clark

Literary Cake Contest Video


The book for this year's Literary Cake Contest is The Little Mermaid


Image result for the little mermaid

Literary Cake Contest Info Session

Judges' Biographies

Shayla Barnes-Holloway is a self-proclaimed cake snob obsessed with all things sweet, beautiful and delicious.  In 2010, Shayla left her demanding career as the Executive Director of SES Operations for The Princeton Review to become super mom to her four little ones.  Her very first mission was planning a fabulous birthday party for her sons, Josef and Rhys.  In her quest to find the perfect birthday cake, she stumbled upon the world of cake artistry and the rest is history.  She is now the owner and lead cake artist of The Buttercreamery Sweets Boutique, a custom cake and confection studio located in Sunrise, FL. 

Shayla is passionate about creating cakes and desserts that are as pleasing to the palette as they are to the eyes, baking cakes from scratch using the recipes and techniques passed down from her grandmother and aunt.  Since 2011, she has grown The Buttercreamery from a home-based cupcake business into a fully licensed dessert studio specializing in lavish wedding cakes, gravity defying three dimensional sculptured cakes and extravagant desserts and pastries. Her cakes and dessert buffets are a favorite among celebrities and Miami socialites.  In addition to having her cakes featured in various publications and blogs, including Essence, The Knot and Southern Bride, she has also appeared on Cake Hunters on The Cooking Channel. 

When she is not elbow deep in buttercream, Shayla enjoys outings with her husband, four children and adorable granddaughter, Sage. You can check out her creations at or throughout social media as TheButtercreamery.

Sarah Lucía grew up in a family surrounded by chefs. Amazed by the wonders of gastronomy, from a young age Sarahlú spent hours immersed in the kitchen, discovering the colors, techniques, flavors, and scents that inspire her work today.

In her hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sarahlú played an essential role in the crew of several well-known restaurants in the city. In 2009, she was trained by Vincent Lacan, the Cacao Barry Ambassador for Latin America, who became one of her mentors and role model. It was not until 2011, that Sarahlú decided to put her entrepreneural spark to the test, starting her dessert catering business, “Sarahlú Confections”.

Sarah Lucía began to work with the famous restaurant company, Peperoni Group, where she trained the pastry staff and created the dessert menu for their restaurant in Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic.

In 2014, Sarahlú moved to Miami to pursue the development of her career, so she continued with Sarahlú Confections and started building her clientele little by little. While she worked on her own business, Sarahlú started working at The W Hotel in South Beach, where she had the opportunity to learn and refine her pastry skills under pastry chef Josh Gripper’s direction. Later on, she decided to focus more on cakes, so she started working in the cake design department at Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, where she was able to perfect her cake confectioning skills and apply that knowledge to her own business.

Danny Malone is from Southwestern Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. His grandmother influenced his decision to lean towards the ‘sweet’ life. He was accepted into a three-year pastry school, Konditor Fackskolan, in Uppsala, Sweden. It was there he found his calling and began excelling in his new profession. Upon his return to the US, Danny operated his own pastry shop in the Pittsburgh area. Feeling the call to develop his talents further, he moved to South Florida and assumed a position as Executive Pastry Chef at the Fontainbleau Hilton, where he garnered praise and accolades.

Danny later became the Executive Pastry Chef at the famed Turnberry Isle Resort and Club. When Turnberry Isle Resort and Club were undergoing a major renovation, he became an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu Miami, helping to develop some of the best new talent the industry receives annually.

Upon returning to The Turnberry Isle Miami, Chef Malone has continued to perfect his craft and skills while wowing guests with his incredible talent.

Melanie Richard and Natasha O'Connor got their sweet start as the owners of Sweet Life Cake and Candy Supply. In 2012, they opened Sweet Life Cake and Candy Supply to fill that void for Miami’s budding baking community, after realizing the need for baking supplies in their neighborhood during their time as stay at home moms with a baking side hustle.

Once the shop was up and running, they attended trade shows around the country and were meeting many insanely talented cake artists and people in the baking industry. After a few years of going to the same trade shows and seeing the same groups of people travel to them, they decided South Florida needed an event its own. They spent hours and lots of late nights brainstorming and planning. In 2014 SoFlo Cake and Candy Expo was born.

This will be the fifth year of SoFlo Cake and Candy Expo and it's South Florida largest and most interactive cake and candy expo. SoFlo Cake and Candy Expo has proven to be one of the most dynamic and engaging events for cake and candy industry professionals, enthusiasts and hobby bakers. It's home to over 200 classes each year, every product, tool, and supply you'd need, and is the scene for several baking celebrity sightings!

Justin Yearwood was born in Kingston Jamaica and first apprenticed in a kitchen at the age of 15. After training in Atlanta in a well-known classical French restaurant, he moved to Barbados, where he worked in La Maritta Italian Restaurant and at Sandy Lane. He moved to Florida, USA, where he attended and graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a 4 year degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He has a Green belt in Six Sigma.  During his time in the university he signed as the assistant director of food and beverage for the equestrian events for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He also worked for Inner Circle and Circle House Studios, where catered for such artist as Enrique Iglesias, Tony Braxton, Shakira, Monique, Aaliyah, Drake, Sean John, and others. At Circle House Studios he manage directly with Sony Records, Atlantic Records, and a many more labels as well as artist and entertainers. 

Upon graduation, he became the Garde Manger Chef at the luxurious Sheraton Bal Harbor. He elevated himself to Executive Chef of the luxurious property, which at the time was one of Starwood’s top 10 resorts in the region. He later traveled for Starwood’s task force to open and manage properties through the east coast of the USA, Caribbean, and Canada.  While on an assignment as an expatriate chef in the Bahamas he accepted the position as Executive Chef for the newest hotel in the Caribbean for the Starwood brand, “Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort.” This property is owned by the Bahamar group and is part of a bigger billion dollar development that will be completed by 2014.  During his tenure as Executive Chef at Nassau beach, he increased revenue, and became number 1 in the region QA and HAACP for Starwood’s. After Starwood, he opened his management operation company: “Maven Operations (MO)”, where he worked on projects from North Dakota, Winnipeg, Bahamas, Panama, Barbados, Texarkana, West Palm Beach, and more. He transitioned the Resort at Singer Island to the Palm Beach Marriott Resort at Singer Island, a luxury franchise brand of Marriott. He consults for Culinary Brands, QA inspection in Resorts, and Secret Shopper for Restaurants Groups. He also has a Culinary Travel Group going to Europe twice a year.


Timeline of Events

Tuesday, February 18 --

Cake Contest Info Session

(1 pm in HK 4)

Friday, February 21 --

Complete contest entry form on this page beginning at 10am on Friday Feb 21. Only the first 12 teams will be entered into the contest.

Tuesday, February 25 --

Give Chef Kochi materials requisition form

Tuesday, April 7 --

Cakes are due in library by 7 pm

Wednesday, April 8 --

8 am to 9 am -- Students can make any last minute adjustments to their cakes. After this time, any adjustments will result in loss of points.

10:30 am -- Tasting cakes are due in library. 

11 am to 12 pm -- Judging of cakes

12 pm tp 1 pm -- Open to the public

1 pm to 1:15 pm -- Awards Ceremony

Judging Criteria

  • Overall appearance (Cleanliness of finished work and wow factor)
  • Portrayal of the book's title
  • Flavor
  • Level of Difficulty
  • Artistry
  • Lab Cleanup

Contest Rules

Contest Guidelines

  1. Entries must be a physical cake. Interior should be Styrofoam, decorations should be made using fondant, gum paste, marzipan, royal icing or any other decorative medium which will display the interpretation of the book.
  2. In addition to a decorated entry, students must provide 1/2 sheet cake cut into bite sized pieces on the contest day. The cake should have a filling and flavors should correspond with book theme. Use of fondant and decor on the sheet cake is optional. 
  3. The contest is open to any JWU student.
  4. Teams may be one, two or three students.
  5. At least one student must be present during judges' tasting so that they can explain their flavor selection.

Photos of Past Literary Cake Contests

Literary Cake Contest JWU North Miami‚Äč 

Design Ideas

The Best of Dr. Seuss
Katherine E. Beers & Krystal C. Forrester

The Cat in the Hat 
Nicole Proske