The Retail Bakers of America (RBA) has announced the contestants for the 13th Annual Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Creative Decorating Competition to be held on October 6-9 at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in Las Vegas, NV. The twelve contestants will compete head-to-head for the coveted Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus championship title and $14,000 in cash prizes.

For the first time ever, the contest opened the competition to a wider field of professional decorators, giving non-RBA members the opportunity to participate, provided they are currently working full- or part-time in a cake/cupcake shop, retail or supermarket bakery and have at least two years of decorating experience. The following contestants were selected based on portfolio submissions:

Elizabeth Balderaz of Three Brothers Bakery, Houston, TX Deanna Gin of Artistic Bites, San Leandro, CA Emily Pille of Karen’s Bakery Café, Folsom, CA Stephanie Wertman of Sugarland, Raleigh, NC Shanon Buckner of Sweet Nothings Fine Cakes and Desserts, Wyandotte, MI

In addition to the portfolio submissions, seven contestants were chosen through the traditional RBA Affiliate Competitions:

Keeann Richards-Cramer representing the Upper Midwest Bakery Association from Jerry’s Foods, Edina, MN Mariah Carey representing Southeastern Retail Bakers Association from Cothran’s Bakery, Gadsden, AL Tamara Mugerauer representing the Wisconsin Bakers Association from Tamara’s the Cake Guru, Oshkosh, WI Emma McAdow representing the Greater Cincinnati Retail Bakers from Busken Bakery, Cincinnati, OH Karen Thomson representing the Ohio Bakers Association from Ele Cake Company, West Carrollton, OH Ashley Spitzer representing the Chicago Area Retail Bakers Association from Creative Cakes, Tinley Park, IL Krystina Gianaris representing the New Jersey Bakers Board of Trade from Cake and Company, Teaneck, NJ

The competition will be held on the IBIE tradeshow floor for 12 hours over a three day period with contestants creating decorated cakes in five categories: Floral Cakes, Wedding Cake, Fondant Cakes, Custom Design Cakes and Sculpted Cakes.

The highest scoring individual, as determined by a panel of professional judges, will be awarded the coveted Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Trophy, sponsored by General Mills. Gold, silver, and bronze medals will also be awarded for the highest three scores in each category. Winning contestants will share in $14,000 in prize money.

Sponsors of the contest include General Mills/Pillsbury and the Retail Bakers of America along with category sponsors, Bakery Crafts, Chefmaster, CSM Bakery Products, DecoPac, and Pfeil & Holing

For a complete list of cake decorating demonstrations taking place at IBIE click here.