March 16, 2018, by Emma Rayner

Famous faces and gruesome body parts star in annual ‘Cake Off’ competition

A University Cake Off competition that went viral last year with the ‘world’s grossest cake’ has raised the bar this year with a selection of winning entries that would challenge the best TV Bake Off Showstoppers.

Veterinary and Biosciences students at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus staged their annual Cake Off yesterday and raised £880 for Vets In The Community and the Terence Higgins Trust.

A rival to last year’s ‘grossest cake’ won the popular public vote this year. ‘Hany’s Heartbreak’ was a gorily realistic representation of a dog’s heart infected by a nasty parasite, baked by vet students Anna Burrows, Caitlin Glover, Chloe Tredinnick and Liberty Daly. It pulled in votes from all over the world including Australia and the US, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy and the Caribbean.

Hany’s Heartbreak parasite cake

The winning bakers said: “We chose to bake this cake as we wanted to make something that we could make look as realistic as possible and as gruesome. Our parasitology lecturer, Hany, inspired us to use the D. Immitis parasite as our theme to promote the message of how detrimental and possibly fatal some animal parasites can be! We had a great time baking it and enjoyed the looks of disgust that people who saw it gave. We promise it tastes better than it looks! Our key message to everyone is to PLEASE WORM YOUR PETS!”

The categories for baking inspiration this year were Transport to Campus, Scrumptious Science, Blue Planet and a Showstopper section. Sir David Attenborough and Pixar characters Nemo and Dory were among the other stars of the show, with colourful cakes on an environmental theme also winning prizes.

Best overall winner of the four categories was ‘Un-BEAR-able Climate Change’ – a stunningly detailed cake in the shape of the planet Earth with a giant polar bear and cub posed as if clinging to an iceberg (featured photo). Its baker, Hannah Cherry, said: ”I wanted to raise awareness of the impact that global warming is having on the ice caps and in turn the survival of polar bears. I love bears and really don’t want to see these beautiful creatures disappear from the face of the earth, hence why my polar bear is trying to rescue her cub from the edge of a melting earth. I really enjoyed making this cake, I find working with sugar paste and fondant very therapeutic. It probably took me about 10 hours to make all in all.”

A good likeness of Sir David Attenborough in sugar paste

Nemo and Dory


One of this year’s judges was Dr Wendela Wapenaar, Associate Professor at the Nottingham Vet School. Wendela said: “It’s been another great year for the Sutton Bonington Bakeoff. It was impressive to see how some bakers took on the challenging topics for this year; winning cakes were covering topics such as global warming, environmental pollution in addition to the more gory aspects of veterinary medicine. I wonder what Sir David Attenborough would have thought of his representation in ‘Don’t ignore Sir David’s story…Help save Nemo and Dory’! We had better make sure we invite him next year!”

Cake Off committee member Kaitlin Turnbull said: “It’s been an incredible event this year and we are so excited that we managed to raise so much for our two chosen causes. The student committee worked exceptionally hard to provide the best event possible for people to showcase their cake designs. Thank you so much to everyone that supported the day – it was a great success!”

The Sutton Bonington Cake Off 2018 was sponsored by the Old Kingstonian Association.

A video of the competition day is available here.

Save Our Seas cake

Cow Bus Cake

Dogs Dinner Cake

Posted in BiosciencesEventsHealth & medicineSchool of Veterinary Medicine and ScienceStaffStudents