A Phoenix-based baking team has taken the cake at the National Gingerbread House Competition for the second year in a row.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the highly competitive contest was held mostly virtually. However, this year bakers from all around the country traveled with their fragile gingerbread masterpieces to the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.
For the 29th anniversary of the competition, baking teams submitted more than 120 entries, all hoping to win a slice of $25,000 in prizes. Each entry was required to be 75% gingerbread and 100% edible. On Monday, Nov. 22, judges awarded honors to the very best gingerbread designs.
Phoenix-based team, The Merry Mischief Bakers, took the top prize with their intricate carousel, named "Christmas 'Round the World."
Phoenix bakers take the top prize
The winning team includes Tim Stewart of Scottsdale, Evonne Darby of San Diego, Calif., Sachiko Windbiel of Santa Monica, Calif., and Adam Starkey and Ted Scutti, who own the Sugar Sugar Cake Studio in Phoenix.
Their bakery, located on Second Avenue and Fillmore Street in downtown Phoenix, specializes in elaborate and colorful wedding and celebration cakes.
On their competition-winning gingerbread design, delicate monkeys, elephants and lions dance around a carousel with little elf figurines climbing all over. Miniature wreaths and Christmas trees decorate the scene.
For Scutti and Starkey, this is the third year they have entered the competition and the second year they have won the top title. Last year, the team's winning design, titled "St. Nick's Christmas Decor Shop" featured a sugar and gingerbread Santa, children, parents, a micro gingerbread house village and a cat in a Christmas tree.
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Following their 2020 win, Scutti told The Republic that "The band is staying together. We love the competition and we want to keep sharing the love of gingerbread."
They accomplished that once again with their show-stopping gingerbread carousel.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix bakers won the National Gingerbread House Competition 2021