The first-ever Lillian Wald* Birthday Cake competition was held on May 6th at Henry Street Settlement's lively Lower East Side block party. What the competition lacked in quantity (though 20 people registered, only seven brought cakes) it made up for in creativity. The judges faced some tough decisions but, like the cakes, rose beautifully to the occasion.
The winning cake, Lilies for Lillian (pictured above), a vanilla custard layer cake with chocolate mousse and fresh strawberries, was entered by bakers Jillian Besemer (a reader of ACakeBakes!) and Chris McKeever. Second place went to Peggy Coon for her chocolate frosted banana cake, and taking third place was Kira Wizner (assisted by daughters Leilani and Cecily) for a lemon pound cake presented as a page from Lillian's journal.
|Judges, from left: Traven Rice, Ed Litvak, Rozanne Gold, Arthur Schwartz and Tara Bench.|
|The decoration of the third place cake was inspired by a page in Lillian Wald's book.|
|Peggy Coon's Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting took second place.|
|My vote for the most interesting birthday cake. This Rhubarb Custard Tea Cake was presented in baby food jars adorned with photographs of Lillian Wald.|
|David Garza, Executive Director of Henry Street Settlement, with first place winners |
Jillian Besemer and Chris McKeever
*Lillian Wald, whose 145th birthday the block party was celebrating, founded Henry Street Settlement in 1893.