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13 June 2024

Apprentice Takes Top Prize in Britain’s Best Cake Competition

A skilled apprentice achieved a slice of success in the first ever Britain’s Best Cake competition.

Coleg Cambria learner Naomi Spaven, from Mold, won the Fruit Cake category with a dark chocolate, orange and ginger Bara Brith.

Naomi, who works as head baker at Wylde Bakery in Bebington, was also named among last year’s Rising Star finalists by the Baking Industry Awards.

Currently studying a Level 3 Apprenticeship with the college, she was joined at the event – held at the Birmingham NEC – by judge Daryl Stephenson, a Cambria work-based learning assessor and one of the most respected names in the industry, with more than 20 years’ experience.

Naomi, who turned to baking following the death of her mum three years ago, was thrilled to win the section and finish second in the overall standings.

“I honestly was over the moon to win Best Fruit Cake, especially with the recipe being a Bara Brith,” she said.

“I’ve made this cake countless times over the years and I’m so pleased that the judges enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed baking it.

“The support I have received from Daryl and the college has been second to none, and I wouldn’t have even known these competitions existed without his guidance. It’s been great to be able to study for a qualification whilst working too.

“I’ve already started planning my bakes ready for next year’s competition.”

Daryl, who regularly visits her on the Wirral to assess progress and support her academic journey, said she is a ‘star of the future’.

“I obviously didn’t judge Naomi’s category but was there running my eye over other competitors and she was up there with the very best of them,” he said.

“It’s a pleasure to see how talented, hard-working and passionate she is, she has come a very long way in just a few years and is already making her mark in the UK and on the international stage.”

Naomi will soon begin a new role at Cambria’s Iâl Restaurant in Wrexham, as lead baker and patisserie chef.

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