Tag: baking competition

2024 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests

2024 Minnesota State Fair Special Contests To Feature New Fresh Salsa, Nutty Cookie & Mighty Muffin Recipe Contests

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN – July 12, 2024 – With over 75 baking and cooking categories at the Minnesota State Fair this year, home cooks and bakers will have many ways to win in the kitchen. The annual and much beloved tradition of competing for blue ribbons returns. Home cooks can compete for more than $1,000 in prizes in Blue Ribbon Group special contests and awards.

For the first time in over 20 years, there’s a Fresh Salsa contest thanks to Bushel Boy Farms, a Nutty Cookie contest from the Blue Ribbon Group, and a Mighty Muffin contest from 3 Cricketeers. The general/classic baking categories (divided into “classes”), range from 28 types of bread and 21 types of cookies, to 12 different kinds of cakes, and 3 pie flavors, plus international and gluten-free baking divisions. Let the games, er… Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests BEGIN!

Register by Tue July 30, 2024, 4:30pm; All Special Contests & All Baking Categories Take Place Sat Aug 17, 2024

Rally time is now! Look for these new special contests, each with $100 to $200 for first place, plus runner-up prizes and special awards. Registration is now open. It closes Tue , 2024, 4:30pm CT. All contests happen Sat August 17, 2024, drop off 9:30am to 1pm, Creative Activities Building. Winners announced Thu August 22, 2024. Having trouble finding what you need to participate? Drop us a line here.

Bushel Boy Farms “Fresh Salsa Recipe Rally”

2024 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests
Make a fresh-tasting, crowd-pleasing salsa with premium, locally grown Bushel Boy Farms tomatoes as the star ingredient. Bushel Boy’s tomatoes are grown right here in Owatonna, Minnesota at their high-tech greenhouses and picked at perfect ripeness. Combine them with other ingredients for a masterful and award-winning homemade salsa (refrigerated, not processed/canned). Present with your favorite chips for dipping. $350 in prizes await the top 3 winners, plus bonus prizes for canned salsas (Class 1245 & 1246). Find recipe inspiration @BushelBoyFarms on Instagram & Facebook.

Join Bushel Boy Farms to celebrate opening day of the fair, Thu, August 22, 2024. They will take over the Cambria Kitchen to showcase fresh tomato creations and salsa contest winners, plus offer complimentary samples and other giveaways throughout the day.

Blue Ribbon Group “Nutty Cookie Contest”

2024 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests

Come compete in the “Nutty Cookie Contest” from the Blue Ribbon Group. We want a creative variety of nut-centric winning cookies. Make your tasty treats with your favorite nuts, from peanuts and pistachios to almonds and cashews. Any nut goes and any type tracks. They can be classic or creative: think biscotti, nut clusters, butter pecan shortbread, monster cookies, and more. Wow the judges with your outstanding cookie, how it looks and what they experience biting into it. A unique mix of cookies will win. Prizes are $200, $100 and $50 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively. Find inspiration @BlueRibbonFoodies on Instagram & Facebook.

Join us Sun, August 25 at the fair for our Nutty Tarts & Treats event (Cambria Kitchen, Creative Activities Building). In the meantime, find a fantastic sample recipe to make here.

Mighty Muffin Recipe Contest

2024 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests

Make your 3 Cricketeers Mighty Muffin entry with 3C’s Pure Cricket Powder (1/4 cup or more) and additional ingredients known to give you power and energy, such as nuts, seeds, oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate. Awards: $100 (1st Place), $75 (2nd Place), $50 (3rd Place). Find their online store at 3 Cricketeers. Use code StateFair2024 for free shipping on your first order. Share your creative process by posting on Facebook or Instagram. Tag #3cricketeers

Join 3 Cricketeers on Sat August 24 for a day of demos and free tastings (Cambria Kitchen, Creative Activities Building)

Special thanks to our prize partner and and all-around amazing baking company:

Key Contest Dates to Remember

  • Competitors Register by Tue July 30, 2024, 4:30pm
  • Drop Off Day Sat Aug 17, 20, 9:30am to 1pm
  • View Winner Displays & Recipe Demos Aug 22 to Sep 2 in Creative Activities Building

First Time Participant or Need a Refresher?

All registration goes through the Minnesota State Fair competition department. Registration is free! Once you’re signed up, there is no obligation if you later can’t participate. Go to the Competitions/Creative Activities/Baked Products section at MNStateFair.org to sign up (under the Participants tab).

Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests: Quick-start tips:

  1. Find all baking rules, regs, open classes, and cool special contests here and be sure to download the Creative Activities/Baked Goods Premium Book Section. Jump to pages 12-14 for the special contests, page by page.
  2. Sign up for the Competition Department email list here and be sure to choose “Creative Activities” as your email list.
  3. Create your online account here (then be sure your registration clears and is confirmed by email).
  4. For step-by-step guidance: go here (for a written tutorial) or here (for a video) For FAQ (frequently asked questions) go here.

Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Special Contests: Resources are aplenty, but if you still have questions, never hesitate to ask. The state fair competition office can be reached 651-288-4417 or competition@mnstatefair.org. We are available too, at statefairteam@blueribbongroup.net.

Lime Pistachio Bundt Cake

Lime Pistachio Bundt Cake: this cake, with it’s bright tangy flavor and distinct nutty taste is a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

Overhead shot of Lime & Pistachio Bundt Cake

If you’re a fan of citrus, this is the cake for you. We also invite you to compete at the 2023 Minnesota State Fair, in the new Kowalski’s Markets Citrus Cake Contest. Learn more about the 2023 special contests here.

SPLENDA LOW-TO-NO SUGAR SHOWDOWN 2023

SPLENDA LOW-TO-NO SUGAR SHOWDOWN

Baking Contest Seeks Best Low-To-No Sugar Pies, Cookies, Cakes, Breads, Chocolate Desserts, Citrus Sweet Treats

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN – June 20, 2023 – Watch for the Splenda Magic Baker “Low-To-No-Sugar Showdown” 2023 state fair recipe contest series this summer in 6 different cities in the Midwest and two southern states. If you love cakes, cookies, pies, and other sweet treats but prefer them with little to now sugar, this competition is for you!

$350 in Prizes at Each of 6 Fairs

Six prominent state fairs will host the contest, including Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, and Arkansas. Prizes are $200 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place, and $50 for 3rd place. Judges choose winners for the best flavor combinations, taste and aroma, among other criteria.

Splenda Magic Baker Low to No Sugar Showdown

The pop-up events will feature giveaways of Splenda Magic Baker, the brand’s new zero-calories, zero-sugar sweetener, while supplies last. Splenda Magic Baker comes in 16 ounce bags. It measures and tastes like sugar. Use it 1 to 1 for replacing sugar. You can find recipes and baking tips at Splenda.com.

 

Six Fairs – Six Sets of Prizes

Here’s a quick run-down of when each fair is, a link to their competition department, their contest theme, register by date, contest date, and location at the fairgrounds. Most fair’s require advance registration, which bakers do, directly with each fair’s competition department.

For questions about competing, contact the fair’s entry office or the Blue Ribbon Group here.  If you can’t compete at any of the above 6 fairs, don’t fret. Read below about our bonus prizes for low to no sugar state fair winning recipes.

Want to Win Year’s Supply of Splenda Magic Baker Sweetener?

Bonus Prizes for Sugar-Free Winning Bakers at ANY Blue Ribbon Group Top 30 Fair

We invite you to compete in any general baking class/category at ANY of our top 30 fairs for a shot at winning a year’s supply of Splenda Magic Baker ($96 value). To qualify, use any Splenda product and place 1st, 2nd or 3rd at your fair, in any general baking class/category. Then submit your details, winning recipe, and photo here by 11:59pm on October 13, 2023. We will choose up to 6 winners: 1 for each of 6 U.S. regions, if applicable: Midwest, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast, Pacific, or Rocky Mountain regions. Winners will be chosen and contacted by year-end, by 11:59pm on December 31, 2023.

Good luck to all the participants!

This post was originally published June 20, 2023 and was updated July 13, 2023.

 

Best Cream Pie Winner: Blackberry Mojito Cream Pie

This Blackberry Mojito Cream Pie won our best cream pie contest at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair. The award-winning pie combines a luscious key lime filling with a blackberry mint purée you swirl on top.

There’s a classic graham cracker crust at the bottom and homemade whipped cream on top. You finish this beauty with fresh blackberries and fresh mint as your garnishes. It makes for a striking presentation.

Blackberry Mojito Cream Pie

“Exceptional” was how the deciding judge described this creative key lime pie. And each slice is gorgeous.

Individual slice, creative cream pie

Melinda Chapel is the pie’s creator. She was bursting with pride upon learning she won.

Melinda says you can make the pie with fresh or frozen blackberries. We used fresh in our trial and loved the results. You’ll want to make the fruit purée in advance. You could also pre-make the graham cracker crust.

Sliced Blackberry Mojito Cream Pie

You muddle fresh mint leaves for the blackberry purée. Mint is also featured in the filling, which you make with fresh key lime juice steeped in mint leaves.  Sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks do the magic of sweetening and setting the filling. The result is nothing short of perfection.

Whole colorful pie: Blackberry Mojito Cream Pie

Run, don’t walk, to the grocery store for this winning recipe’s ingredients. And if you’re looking for more Minnesota State Fair winning creations, use the search option and enter “Minnesota,” from any page on our blog. The MN Blackout Cake has been especially popular.

-Cyndi

 

New Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas

Enter Our New Blue Ribbon Group Contests at the 2022 State Fair of Texas

Cash Prizes of $200, $100, $50 Offered in New Cooking & Baking Contests 

Dallas-Fort Worth, September  13, 2022 – Calling all Texas home cooks and hobby bakers! You’re invited to compete in our new Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas. Up for grabs is $350 in prizes in each of four contests/categories, plus bonus prizes and additional ways to win. Do you make great game day foods that are total crowd pleasers? How about some homemade low-sugar sweet-treats? If you do, then these new contests are for you!

Tom Thumb “Blue Ribbon Recipe Round Up” (Game Day Themed Recipes/3 Categories) 10/2/2022

The first Texas Blue Ribbon Group contest is the Tom Thumb  “Blue Ribbon Recipe Round-Up” on Sunday, October 2. With a “Game Day Delights” theme, the Blue Ribbon Recipe Round-Up calls for crowd-pleasing appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. The event is essentially three contests in one. We want to see your best-tasting recipes that are perfect for parties! Each category/type has $350 in gift card prizes, including $200 for 1st Place, $100 for 2nd Place, and $50 for 3rd Place. Plus, bonus prizes will celebrate overall baking category winners (among the fair’s total contest line-up) and offer additional ways to win, even if you don’t compete at the fair.

Splenda Magic Baker™ “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” (Creative Cookies) 10/5/2022

The second Texas Blue Ribbon Group contest is Wednesday, October 5, for the Splenda Magic Baker “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown.” This contest includes a free product giveaway – while supplies last – and calls for CREATIVE COOKIES that are low in sugar or sugar- free! Use any Splenda product, such as Splenda Magic Baker, a new zero-calorie, zero-sugar, plant-based sweetener that tastes and measures just like sugar. The product  is now available from Amazon, Walmart and other grocery stores.

Winner Selections

State Fair of Texas official judges (a varied panel of food professionals, local celebrities, and foodies) will decide each contest’s winners based on evaluating entries with this judging criteria:

  • Unique, innovative, creative recipe (35%)
  • Taste, flavor, aroma (30%)
  • Appearance, color, presentation (25%)
  • Texture, internal appearance (10%)

Extra Ways to Win

Be sure to follow Blue Ribbon Foodies on Instagram and/or Facebook or join our mailing list here for a chance to win one of our $25 gift card giveaways. Whether or not you are competing at the State Fair of Texas, we invite you to take part. We will offer random prizes and perks to our community members and followers throughout the 2022 state fair season, which for us, ends October 22, 2022.

Participation Tips/Guidelines – Blue Ribbon Group Contests @ State Fair of Texas

 All state fair recipe/cooking contest registration and judging goes through the State Fair of Texas Creative Arts Department.

  • Get all the competition details here (Jump to pages 19 & 26, for the Tom Thumb and Splenda Magic Baker contests)
  • Only Texas residents can win at the State Fair of Texas. Advance registration is recommended but not required.
  • When you are ready to register, follow this link (TX Registration Shortcut)

 

Special thanks to our 2022 Texas Contest Partners

 

Sugar-Free Coconut Icebox Cookies with Low-Sugar Cookie Dip

These Sugar-Free Coconut Icebox Cookies are buttery, delicious and made with just a handful of ingredients. They are easy to make and pair perfectly with a low-sugar cream cheese cookie dip

Sugar-Free Coconut Icebox Cookies dip closeup

Icebox cookies simply means you chill the dough after making it and before baking. We shaped ours into a long rectangle but you could do round or oval instead. Then you just “slice and bake” when you’re ready for some fresh-baked cookies. You can even freeze the dough to have on hand whenever a craving hits. 

A Short Ingredient List

For these sugar-free coconut icebox cookies, the short ingredient list includes flour, baking soda, salt, butter, and egg. Instead of sugar, you use a Splenda sweetener, like brown sugar or the new Magic Baker zero sugar baking blend (now available on Amazon and at Walmart or other stores). Then you can flavor the cookies like we did, with a coconut extract, or opt for your favorite flavoring. Personally, we are working our way through our favorite extracts, ranging from coconut and pumpkin spice, to cotton candy and citrus blends.

The cookie dip is such a fun idea, with the best part being you get to choose your cookie to frosting ratio. Or  you can frost each cookie instead. A tip with the dip/frosting is to make confectioners type sugar out of Splenda granulated sugar and cornstarch. And just like with the cookie dough, you can flavor the dip/frosting with your favorite flavoring.

“Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” Recipe Contest

We created this cookie to celebrate the first year of our Splenda Magic Baker “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” and the upcoming contest at the State Fair of Texas. The fair runs Sep 30 to Oct 23 (2022), with the contest landing on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. The fair’s Creative Arts Building is where all their cooking contests happen and they have a terrific line-up. Hats off to all the aspiring blue ribbon bakers and amateur chefs there. We’re rooting for you! 

Whether or not you are competing, we invite you to bake these sugar-free coconut icebox cookies. Be sure to share and tag @BlueRibbonFoodies on Instagram and/or Facebook if you do! You never know when a giveaway will pop up.

And if you are at the State Fair of Texas please join us for all the ”Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” events. 

Splenda “Low-to-No Sugar Showdown” 10/5/2022

@ Contest Kitchen (Creative Arts Building)

  • 9am Entry Drop Off + Free Product Giveaway
  • 10:30am Judging
  • 12pm-ish Awards

@ Celebrity Chef Stage (Creative Arts Building)

  • 4:30pm Sponsor Showcase + Free Product Giveaway
  • Diabetes-Friendly Baking & Cooking
  • Featuring Andrea Luongo; Dieticians of Dallas

 

 

2022 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Competitions

2022 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Competitions Celebrate Home Baking & Cooking

7 New Special Contests & Blue Ribbon Group Baker Awards Offer Kudos & Cash Prizes

$3,325 in Winner Prizes Up for Grabs

Minneapolis – July 24, 2022 – Home cooks from throughout the Twin Cities are hitting their kitchens to vie for big first place prizes and bragging rights in our blue ribbon recipe contest series at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair. The much beloved tradition of competing is a quintessential state fair experience you don’t want to miss.

Calling All Blue Ribbon Foodies & Minnesota State Fair Lovers!! August 20, 2022 is Entry Drop Off Day

In this skill-based competitive event, home cooks prepare their entries at home and deliver them to fairgrounds for judging . You drop off your entry the Saturday before the fair opens , so it’s easy in, easy out. Drop off is 9:30am to 1pm on Saturday, August 20, 2022. You can even have a friend drop it off if you can’t make it. Competition is open to Minnesota residents only. Thousands of items from hundreds of competitors come in. Staff and volunteers sort, tag and organize everything for judging, a process closed to the general public. The Minnesota State Fair then showcases top finishers in window/display cases (Creative Activities Building) throughout entire run of fair (August 25 – Sept 5, 2022). Look also for chef presentations and product sampling among the Cambria Kitchen demonstrations schedule during the fair.

If you are on social media, be sure to follow, post and tag BLUE RIBBBON FOODIES and contest sponsors on Instagram or Facebook (or both =) for special giveaways and more ways to win in the kitchen.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Building on the success of 2021’s blue ribbon baking contest series and our decades of arranging national state fair recipe contests, our 2022 Minnesota State Fair plans include Blue Ribbon Baker Awards to honor each blue ribbon winning baker for their best cookies, cakes, pies, pies, and breads. Plus, we arranged seven (7) new special contests with 1st place prizes ranging from $100 to $200. They put the spotlight on sugar-free baking, classic artisan breads, creative cookies and cakes, energy bars made with cricket powder, and even healthy salads!

Key Dates

**Competitors Register by Tue Aug 9, 2022, 4:30pm**

**Drop Off Day Sat Aug 20, 2022, 9:30am to 1pm**

**View Winner Displays & Recipe Demos Aug 25 to Sep 5 in Creative Activities Building**

*Low-To-No Sugar Showdown – calling for the best quick breads made with Splenda products and no added sugar. Prizes total $350 with $200 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place, $50 for 3rd place. Bring on the baked goods that are perfect for those avoiding sugar or are living with diabetes. Think scrumptious scones, marvelous muffins, and crave-worthy coffee cakes. Quick breads made with fruit, vegetables, or spices qualify too. This contest made possible by Splenda and its new plant-based, zero-calorie, sugar-free sweetener, Magic Baker.

Splenda Low-To-No-Sugar Showdown

*Great Chocolate Cake Contest – prominently feature chocolate as an ingredient and flavor in your cake – solo or with any complimentary flavors. Wow the judges and our taste buds. Entries can be any size or shape: layer, sheet, tube, cupcake or bite-sized. The most unique and most delicious cakes will win. Prizes valued at $175 are up for grabs for the top 3 finishers, plus bonus prizes for broader “best in class” cake winners. This contest made possible by Kowalski’s Markets.

Double Chocolate Bacon Cake

*Supreme Sourdough Bread Contest – the spotlight is on sensational sourdough this year. Enter yours in the new “Supreme Sourdough Bread” Contest at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair. Prizes valued at $175 will go to the best sourdough bread bakers. Plus, bonus prizes will go to the fair’s broader “best in class” 1st place bread winners, from quick breads to yeast breads, sweet or savory. This contest made possible by Kowalski’s Markets.

Sourdough Polish Rye Bread

*Blue Ribbon Best Peanut Butter Cookie Contest – We want to see your tastiest and most unique cookies and cookie bars, any shape or size. Creativity counts! Use 1/4 cup (or more) peanut butter, plus any flavors and any ingredient combinations you love, to wow the judges. Prizes valued at $175 are up for grabs, plus bonus prizes for broader “best in class” cookie and bar winners. This contest made possible by Blue Ribbon Group and King Arthur Baking Company.

Jumbo Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies-from above

*Blue Ribbon Best Cream Pie Contest – Make your creamiest and dreamiest pie entry, any size or shape. Creativity for the win! Prizes valued at $175 are up for grabs for the top 3 finishers, plus bonus prizes for all broader “best in class” pie winners. This contest made possible by Blue Ribbon Group.

Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe Overhead Shot

*Energy Bars & Power Balls Recipe Contest – if you missed last year’s first-ever 3 Cricketeers recipe contest, get cracking on your “Energy Bars & Power Balls” contest entry for the Minnesota State Fair. We want to see creative recipes using 3C’s 100% pure cricket powder and additional ingredients known to boost and energize – peanut butter, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, and chocolate, for example. Your entry can be any shape, size, or style, baked or the no bake kind. This contest made possible by support from 3 Cricketeers.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

*Salad Bowl Tournament – make your best bountiful salad with any Salad Girl™ dressing and any other ingredients, from fresh vegetables, salad greens, herbs, and fruits, to proteins and nuts. Your entry can be in a bowl, or not. We’re looking for nutritious, unique, innovative, and creative recipes. Among the other judging criteria: appearance, color, presentation; texture, balance of ingredients, and flavor, aroma. Prizes valued at $175 are up for grabs. This contest made possible by Blue Ribbon Group with support from Kowalski’s Markets and Salad Girl.

State Fair Baking, Cooking & More

Don’t miss this treasured tradition that hundreds of Minnesotans take part in every year. You’ll rub elbows with like-minded home cooks and hobby bakers on entry drop-off day and once the fair opens see what wins in display cases throughout the Creative Activities Building. The experience is also a wonderful warm-up for the upcoming holiday baking season.

First Time Participant or Need a Refresher?

All registration goes through the Minnesota State Fair competition department. Registration is free! There’s also no obligation if you later can’t participate. Go to the Competitions/Creative Activities/Baked Products section at MNStateFair.org to sign up (under the Participants tab).

Quick-start tips:

  1. Find all baking rules, regs, open classes, and cool special contests here and be sure to download the Creative Activities/Baked Goods Premium Book Section. Jump to pages 12-18 for the special contests, page by page.
  2. Sign up for the Competition Department email list here and be sure to choose “Creative Activities” as your email list.
  3. Create your online account here (then be sure your registration clears and is confirmed).
  4. For step-by-step guidance, go here.

 

 

Splenda Low-To-No-Sugar-Showdown

New Splenda “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” Recipe Contest Celebrates Sugar-Free Blue Ribbon Baking at State Fairs

$350 in Cash Awards for Top Winners in Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Arkansas; Bonus Prizes for Sugar-Free Bakers Nationally-

If you love cakes, cookies, pies, and other sweet treats but prefer them sugar-free or diabetes-friendly, check out the new Splenda “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown.” The state fair recipe contest series takes place this summer and fall at 5 prominent fairs.

  • Ohio State Fair  Runs 7/27/22 – 8/7/22   Judging 7/24/22 in Rhodes Center Building
  • Wisconsin State Fair   Runs 8/4/22 – 8/14/22   Judging 8/7/22 in Grand Champion Hall
  • Minnesota State Fair  Runs 8/25/22 – 9/5/22   Judging 8/20/22 in Creative Activities Building
  • State Fair of Texas  Runs 9/30/22 – 10/23/22   Judging 10/5/22 in Creative Arts Building
  • Arkansas State Fair  Runs 10/14/22 – 10/23/22   Judging 10/19/22 in Arts & Craft Center

Note: Most fairs require advance registration, which bakers do directly with each fair’s competition office. If you can’t compete at any of these fairs, you can still participate. See below.

The Low-Down on the “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” (Product Giveaway!)

  • At each event, home-baking fairgoers receive a free 16 ounce bag of Splenda’s new plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener, Magic Baker (one per person, while supplies last).
  • All winning entries will feature Splenda Magic Baker or some other Splenda product.
  • Cookies, cakes, and diabetes-friendly desserts are among the varied themes at each showdown.
  • $350 in cash awards are up for grabs at each of the fairs.
  • 3 winners will receive cash prizes at each fair: 1st Place is $200, 2nd is $100, 3rd is $50.
  • Judges choose winners for being unique and creative, with great taste, flavor and aroma, as well as presentation and texture.
  • Look for a winning recipe collection on Blue Ribbon Group website and Blue Ribbon Foodies social media channels.

For contest details and complete competition guidelines, contact the fair’s entry office or the Blue Ribbon Group (here).

Bonus Prizes for Sugar-Free Baking Nationally

If you compete with a sugar-free/no added sugar recipe at ANY state fair (one of the above or other) and use Splenda, we invite you to share it with us for a chance to win a $25 gift card. To qualify, post before October 23, 2022 on social media — Facebook or Instagram, using #splenda, #lowtonosugar, #blueribbonfoodies, #blueribbonbaking, #statefair among your hashtags – and submit your sugar-free blue-ribbon-worthy baked good here. We will choose winning recipes (1 for each of 5 U.S. regions, if applicable) and feature them on our website and Blue Ribbon Foodies social media channels. Each baker with a winning recipe receives a $25 gift card.

Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar-Free)

This Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar-Free) recipe is one of the easiest and most delicious quick breads I’ve ever made.

It features – you guessed it – almonds and blueberries. We used sliced almonds and loved the end result. There’s a light crunch when you dig in, creating a delightful texture contrast.

Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar Free) Key Ingredients

Blueberries abound

The bread portion is tender and filled with blueberries, which hold up well and provide a pop of fruity sweetness in every bite. We used fresh blueberries, but frozen would work well too. The batter is thick and spreadable. Because of this, the blueberries suspend throughout the quick bread and don’t sink down to the bottom, as they do often in other quick bread recipes. Here’s a look at the batter before I added the topping.

Thick Quick Bread Batter

How is this recipe sugar-free?

Thanks to the Splenda granulated sugar, this recipe is sugar-free. It bakes fast and gets a beautiful golden brown color. That color comes from tossing sliced almonds in egg white.  With the Splenda granulated sweetener added, that combo gives the coffee cake that fantastic, aforementioned texture contrast.

This type of recipe is called a quick bread for a reason, as it’s quick to make. It took me barely an hour from start to finish.

Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar Free)

This almond blueberry coffee cake (sugar-free) creation was inspired by this one, from Splenda. I substituted heavy cream for 2%, but either will work. With no sugar, this recipe is diabetes-friendly. It’s ideal for my mother, who has type 2 diabetes, which she controls with her diet. According to my calculations, each serving has about 20 carbs, which makes it a sweet-treat that’s relatively low in carbs, especially compared to ones with sugar.

Upcoming recipe contest

Watch for more sugar-free desserts in the coming months as we experiment more with zero calorie sweeteners. Plus we have a 5 state fair recipe contest in the works with Splenda, so stay-tuned for more details on that this summer.

Cheers,

Cyndi

Almond Blueberry Coffee Cake (Sugar Free) Close Up

Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie

This Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie is a Minnesota State Fair award-winning recipe made with fresh blueberries, rhubarb, and strawberries. Recipe credit goes to Faye Peterson, who won best overall pie with it in 2014.

Best Pie at the Fair

The judges, a panel of food science professionals, chose the top pie based on appearance/color, texture/internal appearance, and flavor/aroma. In other words, it is all about execution…as in pie baking perfection:

  • A filling with excellent viscosity. (I love that word by the way; referring it its thickness.)
  • Fantastic flavor.
  • Perfectly browned on top.
  • And no soggy bottom!

Faye says this pie crust recipe, handed down from her mother, is more durable and fool-proof than most. She says this comes from using vinegar, egg, and shortening. Our tasters referred to the crust as “flaky yet firm” and “a perfect compliment to the rich, fruity filling.”

If you’re someone intimidated by home-made pie crusts, give this one a try. We found it forgiving and, so delicious!  You can make the crust ahead and refrigerate or even freeze it. Just bring it back to room temperature before rolling it out. Note: the pie crust recipe is for three crusts, so you will have one extra to make a cream pie, meringue, or some other one-crust pie. You can never have too much pie dough around. Am I right?!

Pro Tip

Using fresh blueberries, rhubarb, and strawberries is best. However, if that’s not an option, thaw and drain your frozen fruits and use the same portions: 2 cups blueberries and 3/4 cup each rhubarb and strawberries.

Bake Your Best

With the state fair season just around the corner and July being peak blueberry season, now is the perfect time to make this award-winning Blue Ribbon Mixed Fruit Pie. Plus, it’s a great practice run if you’re registered for 2021 Minnesota State Fair baking competitions a.k.a. Blue Ribbon Baking Day.

Hint Hint! There is a Best Fruit Pie Contest with $175 in prizes. Register by August 10, 4:30pm. Open to Minnesota residents only.

Enjoy & Good Luck!

-Cyndi

Note: This is an edited re-post from our sister website, StateFairRecipes.com