The Art of Baking

staff enjoying the competition

staff enjoying the competition

Who knew museum professionals could cook? This morning (12/15) five enthusiastic teams of UMFA staff members put their best cooking aprons on for Third Annual Bake-Off competition. Each team assembled an art-inspired culinary creation to impress professional judges from the local Tulie Bakery (

After deliberating on the taste and overall presentation of each entry, the judges awarded the Golden Spatula and a gift certificate to the Cream Puffs for their cookie and cake representation of Wayne Thiebaud’s Bacon and Eggs, a painting from the Museum’s permanent collection. This was the second time the Cream Puffs have taken home the Golden Spatula.

The winning entry

It was not easy to choose a grand prize winner, however. The Tulie Bakery judges commented on how difficult the decision process was given the excellent execution and incredible creativity of other entries. Team Third Time’s the Charm incorporated an AV component with their “Bakeoff Screentests,” a tribute to the baghdad screentests video by Phil Collins that was shown in the Museum’s Then & Now exhibition over the summer. A cake in the shape of a TV completed their entry. Team Voldemort’s entry was a beautiful cake decorated like the intricate parfleche case on view in the Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art exhibition. The parfleche pastry even included gumdrop bugs – a nod to every museum’s fear – bug infestation! The Café Ladies team used their barista expertise as inspiration when creating a huge cake in the shape of a cappuccino mug and delectable, dippable African mask cookie. Finally, Team Jill abandoned the bake-off rules entirely with a conceptual Twinkie piece that took the form of Carl Andre’s bold wooden sculpture, Ferminator.

A good and tasty time was had by all. Happy holidays!

bakeoff screentests

bakeoff screentests



mask and mug

mask and mug

twinkie sculpture

Twinkie Sculpture

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