The Great Cygnet Christmas Cake Off 2022 winners announced!

After much deliberation, we are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 Great Cygnet Christmas Cake Off!

We received 29 fabulous entries from across our health and social care services. A huge thank you to everyone who took part and made this such a fun and accessible activity for service users and staff teams.

The level of competition was extremely high and we loved seeing all the entries and the team efforts made by service users and staff. The cakes were all scored on service user engagement, design creativity and artistic ability.

So, without further ado, congratulations to our three winning entries and two honourable mentions. Click on any of the images to enlarge.

1st place – Cygnet Hospital Bury

We had four fabulous submissions from Cygnet Hospital Bury. The first of these was from Buttercup Ward. The young people on the ward decided to make a sponge cake instead of a Christmas cake following a vote in their community meeting. They layered it with jam and buttercream then covered the outside with vanilla buttercream and fondant icing to look like snow.

The young people then made 7 different models out of fondant icing. One to represent every young person on the ward. They also made a tree with lights and baubles for them to all sit next to.

The submission from Mulberry Ward saw the young people work together to create a Christmas scene, including Santa riding on the Polar Express, an igloo with penguins and snowmen inside and a melted snowman cake.

The Polar Express is a homemade yule log, which was then carved in to the shape of a train and covered with chocolate and black icing, then details added with piping tubes. Santa is sat on the back carriage surrounded by white chocolate ice cubes.

The igloo is made of a currant panettone which was carved in to a dome shape and then cut out so the handmade penguins could go inside the igloo. This was then covered in butter cream and fondant with bricks carved in.

The final piece from the ward was a vanilla sponge cake with jam and buttercream inside covered with white fondant and then the top coated with icy blue fondant icing. The melted ice look was created using water and icing sugar carefully dripped over the cake.

Primrose Ward made a beautiful Cupcake Christmas Tree which they decorated with icing baubles, strawberry laces and rainbow strips with an icing star on top. The young people on this ward are not allowed many items due to risk so the team removed bun wrappers and used only sweets and fondant to ensure everyone was able to attend the session and have fun.

Wizard House made a vanilla sponge cake with almond flavoured buttercream. The young people drew out the cake plan in advance with notes on what flavours they wanted to use and what animals they wanted included on the cake. The young people made polar bears in igloos using fondant icing to make the polar bears and mini marshmallow as bricks for the igloo. They made snow globes out of plastic jars with fake snow to surround the cake.

All of the young people were involved in the design and baking of the cake. Some ventured on leave into the community to collect all the ingredients before returning to bake and decorate in the ward kitchen.

2nd place – Hope House

The Hope House residents started by drawing a picture of what the cake should look like. One of the residents has been at Hope House since it opened, with a vision that it brings hope and joy to each and every resident, so he wanted a person centred cake to highlight this.

Everyone wanted a traditional Christmas cake full of fruit and nuts, which represents the staff and residents in a good way as we are all unique and individual and we bind together just like a fruit cake which represents a strong foundation on which Hope House stands.

Residents went shopping for the ingredients, helped to make the gingerbread house and make the cake. Everyone had so much fun decorating and baking the cake, although the best part was cutting into it!

3rd place – Trinity House

Last week, the staff and residents at Trinity enjoyed making festive cakes for the competition.

They chose a Gonk cake and also a Snowman cake, everyone helped with the baking and decorating of the cakes.

Honourable Mention 1 – Cygnet Churchill

The service users at Churchill were very hands on – they designed the cake, helped bake the big cake and the little ones, and helped decorate everything! A lot of hard work throughout this week has gone into it.

The big cake itself is a tiered sponge cake filled with jam and other goodies, and topped with different types of icing to create a snowman! The smaller cake and cookies are all different flavours and types, including some vegan options, cinnamon and vanilla!

Honourable Mention 2 – The Orchards

The Orchards had a great time working together for our submission. Everything in the picture was baked from scratch and made by the residents with support from staff.

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