Calling All Bakers! MFDF Search Is On For The Region’s Best Baker

Calling All Bakers! MFDF Search Is On For The Region’s Best Baker with The Great Manchester Bake Off in Association with Nisbets!

By Steven Pankhurst | 1 September 2016

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Calling All Bakers! MFDF Search Is On For The Region’s Best Baker with The Great Manchester Bake Off in Association with Nisbets!

  • 2nd Great Manchester Bake Off Is Now On!
  • Sponsored by Nisbets Catering Supplies!
  • Prizes include £800 worth of Nisbets Baking goodies (inc Kitchen Aid mixer)
  • First Heat – 11th September @ MilkJam Manchester.
  • Final – Sunday 9th October @ Festival Hub
  • MFDF & Forever Manchester Bake Sale – 9th October @ Festival Hub.
  • Festival calling for budding bakers to enter Bake Off and/or host bake sale stall.

Today the Manchester Food and Drink Festival announced its official quest to crown the very best baker in Greater Manchester, as well as a huge community bake sale to take place at the Festival this October.

For the second year running, the Great Manchester Bake Off is searching for the best home baker in the region… Whether it be the creator of the most extraordinary croissants in Crumpsall, marvellous macaroons in Manchester or the very best brownies in Bury, the Festival wants to hear from anyone who thinks they’ve got all the ingredients to be named Great Manchester Bake Off Champion 2016.

Budding bakers are invited to bring their homemade creation to MilkJam on Oxford Street on Sunday 11th September for round one of The Great Manchester Bake Off – “Sweet Creations!”

The Festival’s specially selected judges will taste entries and decide who gets through to the Great Manchester Bake Off Final taking place at MFDF 2016.
The judging panel is made up of some of the most talented bakers and creators in the North, and includes the current reigning Great Manchester Bake Off Champion, last year’s winner, Francine Conway from Prestwich.

She commented:
“To be able to say I’m the reigning MFDF Bake Off Champion has been amazing.

Friends and family are always kind and say your baking tastes great, but to get some quite prestigious judges saying just that is a massive confidence boost. I’m really excited to take part in this years judging panel, helping to crown a new champion, and of course trying all the cake!”

The finalists will be invited to come to the Festival Hub’s Great Manchester Bake Sale on Sunday 9th October where they will be competing in the Festival’s special final challenge – details to be revealed! The winner will be selected on site and the 2016/7 Bake Off Champion crowned.

There are 30 places in the first heat, these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so MFDF advise budding bakers to register for their place early as last year’s inaugural Bake Off Heat filled up fast!

MFDF judges at the first heat will be looking for cakes and bakes inspired showing as much flair and pizzazz as humanly possible!

To enter, residents of Greater Manchester must visit

register. Unregistered entrants will not be permitted to enter round 1.

The Festival is also calling for bakers to host their own bake sale stalls at the Great Manchester Charity Bake Sale raising money for Forever Manchester on Sunday 9th October at the Festival Hub on Albert Square. The event space marquee will be transformed into a cake-heaven as the charity hosts a big cake sale with all proceeds being used to support grass roots community projects across Greater Manchester. The cake sale is part of their Caketober fund-raising month, which is quite simply all about cake and fancy dress!

To register for your own stall, or to help with the Forever Manchester stall interested parties should email

For those who prefer tasting to making, they should put the 9th October in their diary now for a day totally dedicated to cakes, bakes and even the odd milkshake!

The Great Manchester Bake Sale is free to attend, and is open from 12-6pm on Saturday 9th October.

The Bake Off Prizes…

  • Kitchen Aid K45 Mixer courtesy of Nisbets.
  • Baking Goodie Pack including Mason Cash Mixing Bowl and professional cake pans also courtesy of Nisbets.
  • Half-day chocolate Masterclass for 2 at Slattery’s.
  • Slattery’s Chocolate Cook book.
  • Chocolate Medal from Slattery’s

And more goodies to be confirmed!

The Bake Off Rules….

  • Applicants must be residents of Greater Manchester.
  • Last year’s’ winner cannot enter!
  • Applicants must bring a sweet creation to the first round for the judges to taste.
  • Applicants must bring along the recipe for their creation and proof that they made it – pictures or ideally video on phone are fine!
  • Applicants must be available to attend the Bake Off First Round on 11th September and the Bake Off Final on 9th
  • Applicants must be over the age of 12.
  • Applicants must register in advance of the first round –

No other rules apply – entrants are welcome to bring along anything from a gooey chocolate pud to a 10 tier sponge to the first round! As long as it’s a sweet treat, the judges will taste it!

The judges will be looking for…

  • Creativity
  • Presentation and Appearance
  • Originality

The Judges…
MFDF’s answer to Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood…

  • Charlotte O’Tool – MilkJam baking wonderwoman
  • Claire Kelsey – MilkJam Ice cream wonderwoman
  • Nikki Griffiths – MilkJam Brownies wonderwoman.
  • John Slattery – Proprietor of Slattery’s Fine Patissier and Chocolatier in Whitefield.
  • Charlie Hooson-Sykes – Editor of Gin Fuelled Bluestocking Food and Drink Blog.
  • Alison Seagrave – Owner and Chef at Macroon by Alison Seagrave.
  • Lucy Lovell – What’s On Writer at MEN
  • Simon Binns – What’s ON Editor at MEN.
  • Francine Conway – Reigning Bake Off Champion (2016)

Phil Jones, Festival Director commented:
“After the huge success of our inaugural Bake Off last year we were astounded by the quality and creativity of what was whipped up by our region’s amateur bakers!
We proved that Greater Manchester is full of talented foodies – not just in the hugely impressive professional dessert scene here in the regiomn, but in home kitchens around the region. We can’t wait to taste what this year’s bakers have in store!”