Each year, area residents enter the many competitions and exhibits at the Florida Strawberry Festival. This year, the 1st Place winner and Grand Champion in the Youth Division of the Cake Decorating Competition is 7 year old, Madelyn Malin. Not only was this Malin’s first cake decorating competition, but she was scored in the Advanced Category because of the type of material she used to decorate her cake. Malin was the youngest competitor.

Malin created a whimsical and complex Unicorn Cake using Gum Paste and frosting. The stunning cake is truly a work of art. In order to be considered for an award, each participant must demonstrate their skills to the judges. Malin said, “I was very nervous when I did my demonstration, but the judges were very nice.”

Malin won a ribbon and $30 for her Unicorn Cake which is on display at the family’s custom bakery, Petite Madelyn’s Bake Shoppe, located at 1017 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.

Malin said that she was inspired to enter the contest after visiting the Florida Strawberry Festival last year. “When we went to the festival last year, I looked at the cakes, and one inspired me to do this.” Malin gave advice to anyone considering entering. “Do not be afraid. If you believe you can do it, you probably can.”

Megan Malin, Madelyn’s mother said, “She saw the child’s cake at last year’s festival, saw their age and said, if she can do it, I can do that.” Megan added, “I have heard others say the same thing and they are planning to enter too.”

Malin is in the second grade at Alafia Elementary School. She likes to play with her friends and art is her favorite subject in school. When she grows up, she plans on being a teacher and a baker.

Malin grew up around the family bakery. She helps at the bakery by taking orders, doing chores and helping to cut out sugar cookies.

When asked how she learned to decorate such a fabulous cake, Malin said, “It runs in the family.”

For more information on the Florida Strawberry Festival, please visit www.FLstrawberryfestival.com.