All Things Baking, which took place in Houston on Sept. 9-11, provided thousands of attendees a forum for education, hands-on demonstrations, bakery tours and the latest innovations from leading vendors.

Participants hailed from all across the United States and 27 countries including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Guatemala and Australia.

The education program was a strong draw for attendees. Produced by the Retail Bakers of America, AIB international, and, the RPIA Group, the program offered leading-edge instruction focusing on everything from decorating trends to business management and marketing.

Show organizers were very pleased with All Things Baking 2012. "In light of current economic conditions, this year's show was successful—especially in terms of the quality of buyers present," said Ken Downey, RBA president. "This is a testament to the strength and vitality of the baking industry in North America."

Several sessions were sold out, including the hands-on sessions “Writing Made Easy” taught by Roland and Marsha Winbeckler and “Modeling Chocolate” by Bronwen Weber. Show floor demonstrations were standing room only. This year a general session was added to the education program and keynote speaker, Steve Gilliland, entertained and energized the crowd.

Another new feature for All Things Baking was the Cake and Bread Extravaganza, a competition of finished product sponsored by Johnson Brothers Bakery Supply. Bakers entered their products in four categories: Buttercream, Sculpted Cakes, Kolache, Rosca de Reyes, and Cupcakes.

The winners in the sculpted cake category were Naomi Palombo of Cakes by Julia, first place, and Thomas Baker of Three Brothers Bakery, second place.

Bragging rights for the first place kolache went to John Homrighausen of Ranch Bakery, while second place was claimed by Dawn Nielsen of the Kolache Factory.

In the cupcake competition, Thomas Baker of Three Brothers took first, while Haley Ogle of the The Muffin Top took second.

All first place winners received $250 in cash, while second place winners received gift certificates for merchandise from Johnson Brothers Bakery Supply.