By Kevin Kelley
Joyce Affeldt’s recipe for coconut cake with coconut white chocolate frosting will likely be clipped by many Westshore bakers in coming weeks. Her cake not only won first place in the Westlake residents division of the bicentennial bake-off contest Saturday, judges gave her cake the top score among all 26 entries.
Affeldt said she decided to enter the coconut cake because of the reaction it received from her daughter’s family when they visited from California last year. Her son-in-law told her it was the best cake he ever had in his life, she recalled.
The coconut cake was also the favorite of the Rev. John Butchko. Westlake United Methodist Church, where Butchko is pastor, hosted the bicentennial bake-off as part of its community block party Saturday afternoon. Butchko was one of the contest’s three judges, along with Mayor Dennis Clough, Joe Schott of Gray House Pies and Lysa Stanton of the Westlake Historical Society.
Judges only had cups of water to cleanse their palate between sampling the entries.
“Judging is not as easy as people think,” said Stanton, who reduced her carbohydrate intake for several days in preparation for the judging.
Ellie Peiffer, compassion associate at Westlake United Methodist Church, came up with the idea for a baking contest after reading that Dover Township, the forerunner to Westlake, regularly held its own farm-style fair in the late 19th century.
Peiffer was particularly impressed with the number of entries – eight – in the 16-and-under category.
“We have some competitive bakers out there,” she said.
All the baked goods entered in the contest were auctioned off, with the $142 raised benefiting the Westlake assistance program run by the city’s Community Services Department.
Visitors to Westlake United Methodist Church’s community block party were treated to free food, games and music. A chinchilla and barred owl from the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, and their volunteer handlers, also paid a visit.
BICENTENNIAL BAKE-OFF WINNERS
Westlake Adults Division
1. Joyce Affeldt – coconut cake
2. Thomas Dorsey – neopolitan cake
3. Bettina Nugent – raspberry-topped lemon pie
Friends of Westlake Division
1. Amy Vandenberg – root beer float cake
2. Patty Tolentino – baby cakes
3. Robin Carreon – red velvet cake
The 16 & Under Division
1. Lillian Vandenberg – orange cream-cicle
2. Kat Martin – tic-tac-done!
3. Holly Tomkalski – Holly’s all-star brownie pie