I love a good show and the Cake Bake and Sweets show is one of my favourites to attend. This weekend is their third year running at good ole Sydney Olympic Park and I’ve managed to attend every year so far & have never been disappointed. I’m a huge baked goods and sweets fan and even though I’m only now finishing up my chefing qualification, I’ve been an avid home baker since I was a child and have the huge tonne of baking gear at home to attest to it. I’m the sort of person who always receives cookbooks and cooking knick knacks every year for Christmas and birthdays, much to my delight.

One of the reasons I really enjoy attending the Cake Bake & Sweets shows every year is because it brings together all of my favourite cook/bake shops in the one location, not to mention at pretty good prices. Your ticket cost also includes access to tonnes of workshops with plenty of guest celebrity and expert bakers sharing fabulous tips on how to make the perfect goodies at home. Best of all, after watching the demos you can find the ingredients and kit at the show at various stalls which can often be difficult to source from regular supermarkets, shopping malls and kitchen shops.

To make sure I didn’t blow out my budget, I had a look at some of the stall listings that were going to be at the show on their site (link here) and had a think about what I wanted to purchase before visiting. I like saving money on gadgets and usually shop around before buying ingredients or gear for myself at home by checking out different shops/suppliers that I know of before making a purchase. I’m very lucky that in my line of work, I’ve been required to shop for certain tv shows or events that required very unusual or specific ingredients, which led me to some really great supply shops I never would have discovered on my own.

Like yourself I’m sure, I’ve often found certain shows, events, markets etc will say you’ll be getting a good deal on a something (like Easter Show bags or pricey caramelised balsamic vinegars you find at the supermarket for half the price a week later) but it won’t often actually be the case. So the big question of value for me at the CB&S show was whether the ticket price would actually be getting you access to some good quality deals on bakeware and other baking specific ingredients (like couverture chocolate, fondant, silicone moulds, nut meals and more).

I did a little online research about what items I was interested in purchasing at the show beforehand to see what sort of prices I could expect to pay for said items at regular shops/suppliers and jotted it down in a notebook which I brought with me on the day, cynically expecting that I wouldn’t find anything much cheaper than my trusted suppliers.

I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few stalls actually were a good deal cheaper than what I normally purchase at (and unsurprisingly others did not). It was really useful for me to know what to expect $ wise, because if certain brands I was interested in buying which weren’t heavily discounted I wouldn’t bother buying on the day (since I could always get it later), but other products that were cheaper than my usual suppliers, it was BUY, BUY, BUY.

My top two recommendations for suppliers on the day are Southern Cross & Red Spoon Company (sorry – didn’t get a pic of that stall). I absolutely love Red Spoon Company and they are the type of shop that doesn’t typically put things on sale as its more like a specialist ingredient store, but they had a few awesome items available and on sale from their usual prices (think, feuilletine, pop rocks, crispy pearls, Callebaut choc callets, silicone moulds, pistachio paste, hazelnut praline paste & loads more). From Red Spoon I bought 400g matcha for $39.95 as well as some awesome silicone mould shapes (19.95 each or purchase 3 and get 20% off all three).

Southern Cross Company totally beat every other stall in terms of pricing. They had 1kg of icing sugar for $3, almond meal at $12 per kilo (absolutely insane price – at Coles it’s $12.65 for 400grams) Callebaut crispy pearls (0.8kg packs) for $22 (I’ve seen these usually retail at $30+) as well as couverture chocolate at $8-8.50 per kilo (normally priced at about $15+ p/kg depending on brand). I was incredibly excited, especially since I’ve been meaning to practice chocolate tempering and baking macarons at home. They were also selling packs of Bakels fondant in all colours at $6.50 per packet. From all the cake decorating shops I’ve visited in the past, they generally sell for about 8-10 per pack, so I was pretty impressed. If you’re into chocolate, nuts, fondant I would definitely recommend a visit to this store. Bring bags! Haha.

Aside from all the shopping at cake suppliers, there was also plenty of eating to be done with so many delicious looking offerings from tonnes of bakeries, patissiers and other sweet specialists. In previous years, the savoury options were a little limited so I was pretty happy with a Vietnamese food truck, several cafes open as well as savoury pies & more available to give you a break from sweets.

Pork Banh Mi ($11) available from The Lantern Food Truck.

Boscastle Pies

And of course there were plenty of sweet offerings in the form of halva, fudge, cupcakes, doughnuts, cannolis and a thousand other varieties of pastries, sweets and baked goods.

Ilias the Greek – love their costumes!

Doughnuts from My Donut Box!

Cannolis from Mezzapica (Also available to purchase in regular size).

Sweet offerings at the Adriano Zumbo Patisserie section. 

Cupcakes from The Art of Baking.

Sparkle Cupcakes, $4.80 each.

Finally, there are so many great workshops to attend at the various stages littered around the arena to keep you busy. I went to three demo classes – Lyndey Milan’s demonstration of her French Savoury Loaf & Trainwreck Slice & Kirsten Tibballs Berry & Custard Tart (both at the Delicious Kitchen) as well as another Kirsten Tibballs (I’m a fan!) demo at the Celebrity Kitchen, where she made a beautiful mini gateaux in the shape of a flower.

Lyndey Milan, my old boss, at the Delicious Kitchen

Lyndey’s French savoury loaf demonstrated at the Delicious Kitchen

Lyndey’s Trainwreck slice demonstrated at the Delicious Kitchen

Kirsten Tibballs demonstrating at the Delicious Kitchen

Kirsten’s Custard and Berry Tart demonstrated at the Delicious Kitchen

Kirsten demonstrating how to make tempered chocolate petals at the Celebrity Kitchen

All in all, I had a great time at the Cake Bake & Sweets show and definitely recommend a visit if you’re a fan of baking, sweets or cake decorating. Tix are $28 and the show will be open at the Sydney Olympic Park from 3-5 June.

My top tips for visiting the show
-Plan ahead and make a budget if you’re planning on buying any fun items so you don’t overspend.
-Have a look at the stalls available, and check out their websites to see what sort of things they sell.
-Take a bottle of water. Trust me, you’ll need it and they are about $4-5 on sale at the show.
-Bring cash. Some stalls take card, but others don’t and you’ll want to avoid the lines at the ATMs.
-Wear comfy shoes as you’ll be walking around a lot.
-Plan ahead and write down what shows you want to see and at what time. It’s a little easier than coordinating yourself at the day and easy if you have somewhere to glance at instead of fumbling around with the map they give you on the day.
-Come early to avoid extra crowds.
-Take public transport to avoid the $25 parking fees. However if you have a car and can carpool with friends, it makes lugging heavy shopping around much easier!

Cooking Crusade attended the Cake Bake & Sweets show as a guest but this post was unpaid for and the opinions in this piece are her own.