Junior Bake Off Takes Off


We might not have had a marquee and Mel and Sue larking about, but we had all the other key ingredients for a Great Junior Bake Off at the Hall on Sunday; eleven finalists that you couldn’t help but take to your heart, two delightful judges and a bunch of showstopping cakes.

GBBO’s (and our very own lovely, local lass) Kate Henry gave a masterclass, showing our keen cooks how to pipe icing and decorate some fresh sponge cakes. The kids got creative and produced stunning cakes to be sliced and sold to the expectant crowd.

Kate and Green MP Caroline Lucas had the tricky task of judging. They did a brilliant job of giving detailed feedback on look, taste, detail and skill and let each nipper know where they’d excelled; all star bakers in their own right. Scoring highly in each area, Freddie Eatock, Year 4 pupil from Stanford Junior, scooped the coveted title of Exeter Street Hall Junior Bake Off winner and picked up his cookbook prize. Congratulations, Freddie, on your delicious blueberry and marshmallow creation!


In a fascinating Q&A session, Kate revealed what it was like to bake under the scrutiny of a camera crew and the watchful eyes of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. The kids kept firing questions and there were some funny and moving stories about her experience on Britain’s best-loved cookery programme.

MASSIVE thanks to Kate and Caroline for making the event so exciting and rewarding for the kids. BIG thanks too to our friends on the Stanford Junior PTFA for all their help with our joint first round cake sale competition and to Stanford Infant PTFA for inviting entries. These events don’t happen without the tireless commitment of our own volunteers, so we take our HATS OFF to Simon Hudson who organised the event and are extremely grateful to Iain Chambers (particularly for the cake…!), Polly Stebbens and Marianne Craig.

Check out the photos. We were blown away by the incredible, inventive and original array. Who knew sponge could take on so many different forms? Well done, kids.

And as Iain says, “The amazing standard of cakes presented by the 11 finalists at the Junior Bake Off in Exeter Street Hall would’ve had Mary Berry herself purring with delight. It was certainly a very difficult decision for the judges Kate Henry, from this year’s Great British Bake Off competition, and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas to pick a winner. Freddie’s incredible Marshmallow and Blueberry Cake triumphed, and then the task of eating all the cakes began! Kate also gave the finalists a lesson in cake decoration and answered their questions, giving a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes at GBBO.”