Cookies, Bars & Brownies

a. Flavor – pleasing flavor, use of quality ingredients. You say, “I want more of this!”

b. Baking – appropriate doneness, not burned

c. Texture – flakey or crunchy or soft, depending on recipe

d. Appearance – is it something you just can’t resist?

Cakes &Cupcakes

Please, no whipped cream frostings or fillings.

a. Texture - Fineness, delicateness, soft “crumb”

b. Flavor – pleasing taste, richness, use of quality ingredients.

c. Baking - Appropriate doneness

d. Appearance and decoration – does it make you smile?

Pies & Tarts


We’re protecting the judges from food poisoning here.

a. Overall taste -- flavorful, not too much spice, homemade

b. Crust -- delicate flavor, flaky texture, baked to golden brown

c. Filling – flavorful taste, consistency (not too starchy, not runny)

d. Appearance and decoration – does it make you want to stick your face in it right now?

If your entry requires chilling or staying cold, bring it already cold. We won’t have refrigeration.

LOTS more tips for pie success and free blue-ribbon recipes can be found at

   (plus some extra pie tips are included at the bottom of this page*).

Other Delectables

a. Flavor – is it yummy? Fresh?

b. Baking – is it correctly browned, not burned?

c. Attractiveness – it is something most people would happily try?

d. Originality – have fun here!

Gluten-Free Goodies

a.  Texture -- Is it delicate?  Tender?

b.  Flavor -- does something about this recipe make it "sing"?

c.  Appearance -- would even people who are not gluten-free want to

try this?

*More Pie & Tart Tips

• The crust should be delicate, flaky, and cooked to a light brown. No soggy or pale crusts! If your crust is tough and breaks the judge’s little plastic fork, you can forget it.  Homemade crust is best, of course!

• The filling should taste like the fruit or other main ingredient, not too much spice, and should be whole pieces (such as berries) or cut into pieces that suit that fruit. Please, no canned fillings.

• No pasty or starchy taste. Nothing that will make the judge gag a little.

• The slice should hold together when dished out – like you could almost hold it in your hand -- and what’s left in the pie plate shouldn’t be runny. Hint: Leave enough time for the pie to cool completely and  “set up” before the judging – at least three hours.

• A simple, good-tasting pie or tart can win a blue ribbon, for sure. But to improve your odds, you might make it look good as well, like you’d want to bury your face in it. It should look like Mom or Grandma was there in the kitchen with you when you made it, or maybe you were temporarily channeling Martha Stewart. It’s worth the time to add a glaze or to weave a lattice.

• Meringue? Hopefully it covers the pie all the way out to the inside edge of the crust and won’t have those little drops of moisture (“weeping”) on top of the perfectly golden swirls. Good luck with that at this altitude ;-)   Also, lots of meringue can "wow" the judges!

The judges want you to win!  Here's what they will be looking for:  delicious, fun, & you!

Queer Bake-Off Questions?  contact

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Super important: Remember to bring your goodies, pie, cake or whatever on a plate or in a pan that you are OK with not getting back!!  It will go to the person who buys your recipe (thereby getting the option of taking the goodies, too).