Taste buds were originally a survivalist asset where we would taste things to see if they were safe to eat. Our taste buds would give us a bitter or sour taste to indicate that what we were eating was poisonous. I bring this up because it’s time for our taste buds to do what they were once designed for, and warn us of imminent danger as we taste treats baked by the Dusted team!

Yes, it’s that time again: the Dusted Bake Off, 2018! Last time we had a Christmas-themed chocolate cake competition, with Ollie taking top spot and leaving the two co-founders, Darren and Dave, fighting for second place (possibly unrelated, but immediately afterwards Ollie was sent on a gruelling disciplinary course in Siberia for the weeks that followed). But the past is the past, and the latest Dusted bake off competition is upon us!

This year, the challenge was even simpler than the last, with the only rule being that contestants had to bake cupcakes. They could be any flavour, any size, any colour and, it turned out was necessary to clarify, any alcohol content.

Valiant cake-testers were then called upon to try these cupcakes and rate them on the following criteria:

  • Appearance
  • Structural integrity (not to be confused with spiritual integrity)
  • Texture
  • Taste (double points)

Some incredible effort made this year! On offer were Guinness and beetroot, salted caramel, a cupcake/cheesecake combo, and even some piñata cupcakes. Friendships have cracked, bridges have been burnt, and promotions have been reconsidered, but it was all worth it because we finally have a winner of the prestigious ‘Dusted Bake Off Champion 2018’ award (no monetary value or even physical presence). The results are as follows:

Ranking Dustedian Score
1 Lucy 541
2 Caroline 529
3 Jess 517
4 Tyler 506
5 Leroy 495
6 Ivo 485
7 Ollie 482
8 Darren 457
8 Matt 457
10 Dave 380

Congratulations to Lucy, whose carrot cupcakes with rainbow vanilla frosting (sprinkled with ‘unicorn tears’) wowed the office! Once again, she has proven herself the Dusted baking victrix ludorum, with Caroline and Jess taking second and third place, respectively. Anyone keeping track might remember that Lucy has won the baking competition not once, not even twice, but three times before. After making it a full quartet, she’s definitely the one to beat next year. Expect competitive Dustedians to pull out all the stops. Especially Dave.

Great work to all the Dusted bakers. There were no losers, really, because cakes are great and now, with so many leftovers, the entire office is still bouncing off the walls in a sugar high.

Featured image by Brooke Lark