Every December, the Suwannee County 4-H hosts its annual Holiday Bake-Off for members to show off their best seasonal recipes. There are ten categories for entries which include cakes, cupcakes, candies, cookies, pies, appetizers, brownies, specialty items, and breads. Participation in this competitive event is open to all Suwannee County 4-H members ages 5 to 18. Youth participants are eligible to enter one entry per category.
Entries are judged based on appearance, taste, and presentation. Each entry is scored using the Danish system and receives a blue, red, or white ribbon. Cloverbud 4-Hers (ages 5 to 7) participate in their own category. Category winners each receive a small golden spoon. From those category winners, judges select the Grand Champion who will take home the giant golden spoon and bragging rights!
Last year, 49 4-H members participated in the Holiday Bake-Off. Amid fierce competition, Trent Robinson took home bragging rights with his Chocolate Mint Pie.
Learning Life Skills
Through the Holiday Bake-Off youth learn a variety of life skills to help them in the future. For example, youth learn to plan and organize their resources by selecting their recipe and making their shopping list. For larger families, participating members learn time management as they create a schedule for kitchen time to prepare their entries. Many members spend months plotting and testing their entry recipe to make sure it’s competitive. As they bake, youth learn to read a written recipe and measure ingredients correctly.
And because it’s an annual competition, youth have the ability to master culinary skills and try more challenging techniques as they progress in 4-H. Finally, members show off their creativity and holiday spirit by designing their entry presentation display.
This year’s 4-H Holiday Bake-Off will be December 11, 2023 with entries due before 10am for judging. The Awards ceremony is at 6:30pm during the 4-H Holiday Party. While there, participants can taste the best entries of the contest. The deadline to register for Holiday Bake-Off is December 9, 2023.
For more information about joining 4-H, participating in Holiday Bake-Off, or finding other 4-H events, email Katie Jones, Suwannee County’s 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the UF/IFAS Suwannee County Extension office at 386-362-2771.