Seven turned out to be a lucky number for local cake decorator Robin VanHoozer, who was the first runner-up in the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition during the 2009 Sugar Art Show in Tulsa on Oct. 4.
VanHoozer, who works downtown at BancFirst by day, turned in a seven-tier cake to win high honors in the 16th version of this Super Bowl of cake decorating. Event organizer Kerry Vincent said VanHoozer "pulled out all the stops” to deliver a stunning interpretation of this year’s theme, "Of Sea and Shore.” "Her mermaids were immaculate,” Vincent said. "Truly a remarkable achievement.” VanHoozer began planning the cake shortly after last year’s competition, which she helped operate but did not enter. "In early November, I found some table covers with a shell theme that I thought would help with the display, and it went from there,” she said. Since the entries are not actual cake but decorated extruded polystyrene foam, construction of the cake highlighted with a lighthouse made of royal icing began in July. She began handcrafting the four mermaids, which were made of gum paste, in August and finished at the end of September. VanHoozer said she invested 300 hours on her entry. "I’ve competed seven times, off and on, since 1999,” she said.
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Grand National Wedding Cake Competition
→Grand prize: Mercedes Strachwsky, Orlando, Fla.
→First runner-up: Robin VanHoozer, Oklahoma City. →Second runner-up: Flora Aghababyan Wynn, Las Vegas. →Third runner-up: Edith Hall, Hallsville, Mo. →Fourth (honorable mention): Amelia Carbine, Salt Lake City. →Fifth (honorable mention): Carolyn Mangold, Montrose, Colo.