Posted by: familiabencomo | Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Serendipity Bake Off


So, the other day as I was checking out various baking blogs, I came across this AMAZING post that just left me numb with awe – CakeSpy’s Batter Chatter: Interview with Elisa Strauss of NYC’s Confetti Cakes. The cakes this artist makes evoked emotions ranging from pure green-eyed jealously to utter adoration. As you can tell from the sampling below, I lack a certain…. humm…. shall we say “talent” when it comes to cake decorating.

As humbling as it is to post these photos of my obviously homemade cakes, the thought occurred to me that we all started somewhere – just some of us are more inspired than others (and have a steadier hand with icing!). I further thought if they can do it, then so can I!!! Right?

Later, as I was reflecting on the various combinations of sugar, eggs & butter, it occurred to me that it would be fun to host a virtual Baking Contest. Why not? So…… with the help of The Soap Chix at Serendipity Soap, we are hosting a contest for the Most Pleasing Dessert – baker’s choice of what to prepare. Then, take at least one photo during its preparation process (so we know you didn’t go to Confetti Cakes for it!), photograph the finished treat & share the recipe and your experience with us on your blog*. In the end, we all win, right? However, since it is a contest, the prize will be 3 To-Die-For products from Serendipity Soap.

The Contest Rules are simple:

  • All entries must be posted or emailed to us ( bencomobaby AT hotmail DOT com & soapchix AT gmail DOT com)* by February 29, 2008
  • By entering this contest, you agree to divulge your secrets (ie. your personal recipe or its source)
  • If you are friends, relatives, neighbors, or mere acquaintances of any of the judges (Amy, Ash or Tiff), then you not only qualify to participate in this contest, but are strongly encouraged to do so (this means you Mom & Aunt Jenny!).

* We know not everyone has a blog. Please use our email addresses to enter & we will post all outstanding entries sent to us via this method.


These Serendipity bath products (Bath Bombinos – $10, Honey Almond Oatmeal soap – $6.50 & “Gimme Some Sugar!” Body Scrub – $26.00) aren’t just some sweet smell’n bath essentials, they’re a little bit of heaven here on earth! I use ALL of these products ALL the time & can tell you with certainty that they are the best out there. The lavender lemon is my favorite scent for daily use, honeyed ginger for when I’m feel’n fancy, honeysuckle for the days I’m nostalgic for the South & pear for those days that I want to add a spring to my step. My husband uses the honey almond oatmeal (unless he’s out & then he uses mine!). The kids use whoopsie daisy. And, I love to have a sampling of “surprise” in my soap orders so that I can try something new or always have a little gift for someone special. The one WARNING that I have insisted that these ladies put on their products for years is that your skin is so darn smooth & heaven scent your husband is unable to think about anything else other than you! Be forewarned.


the prize!



  1. Inshallah indeed! thanks for visiting our family site! i didn’t know you had one, too. I bet Rob knew and didn’t tell me.

    I was just telling a friend a few weeks ago, about the apple peeler that you gave me for our wedding- and how i have never even met you and how sweet you are. *hehe* so, we’ve got to meet one day in person. 🙂 love, Inés

  2. Hola, mi cugina,

    I know an apple peeler probably isn’t one of the top gifted items for a wedding….. I hope you use it to bake a pie this month! Apple pie is Alfredo’s favorite & I swear it is one of reasons we have a happy marriage.

    Muchos besos to all!

  3. what a great idea amy… although i’m even more challenged at decorating than you are!! ;p he he!! if i think of something i’ll try my best!! {{{{HUGS}}}}

  4. I am so in!!! I’ve got a great one–Amy I used it for your baby shower!!! It’s gorgeous and very edible as well….more on this later.

  5. OMG! My favorite soap company EVER! What a terrific and fun idea, my friend. If it’s okay with Ashley, I will link your contest to my blog later this afternoon. LOVE your cakes, Amy. Cute, cute, cute designs! I have a question about that one green guy up in the right hand corner. Now that I have looked at him closer, it’s not Shrek… is it Yoda?

  6. Yay, we have some bakers!!!

    Lisa, just give it a go & try anything. Your cupcake cones were great & that was the first time for you.

    Mom, yay! I knew I could count on you!

    Jane, YES, that’s Yoda! Shrek?!?!? Please go ahead & add this contest to your cool, crafty blog.


  8. I’m supposed to be on a diet, Cuz, but this sounds fun. I’ll try out a new recipe this weekend and send the recipe/photo to you. Are we judged on the recipe or the beauty of the final product?

    Love ya!

  9. Aunt Jenny, I’m soooo glad Uncle Tony isn’t having a Baskin Robbins cake this year! I know he loves ice cream, but it’s FEBRUARY!!!

    Hey, cuz, you can bake whatever you like. There are some healthy baking blog sites ( that will keep your diet on track. AND, you don’t have to do it this weekend – you have until the end of the month. Take at least 2 photos & email it to me so that I can post it for you. Big hug & kisses, Cousin Stacey!

  10. Thanks for visiting my blog and I’m glad you liked the Elephant Cake!! Will have to see if I have the time to take part in your contest – sounds like a great deal of fun!! Take care now!

  11. Amy, what a cool contest! I will try to join!

    I also wanted to let you know that I just tagged you, check out my blog for more details – the blog entry is

  12. […] have a front runner! My cousin Stacey was the first (& only so far) to submit something to our Serendipity Bake Off. I know from private conversations & emails that she was worried about her diet (we both share […]

  13. I would love to participate in this event, I have just started baking in earnest and am still learning and wouldn’t really stand a chance of winning anything.

    so hope it’s ok that I’m from India and you don’t have to really worry about posting the prize all the way!
    I just want to participate for the fun of it! hope that’s ok?

  14. Dharm, I hope you have time to participate – you definitely have a skilled hand with icing! Your elephant cake was no doubt an elephant….. you see want I have done with cakes. One of my best friends thought Yoda was Shrek!

    Carolina, please try something. Your card crafts are amazing & I can only imagine what you do with desserts.

    Miri, I just checked your great site & having an international flavor to this contest is just what we need! Serendipity Soap Co ships everywhere…. no worries.

  15. […] my sister’s blog « and so it begins… ack! a baking contest! February 5, 2008 And the prize is so fantastic!! […]

  16. Hi Amy,
    Found the bake-off on DB & at Miri’s…can it be one I made a few days ago? If yes, then I’ve got it on & ready for your great event!! Just gotta link it…do let me know…LOL

  17. Good morning, all! Oh, it’s so wonderful when I see that this contest is listed on other sites (the one 2 above is a ping-back) besides my best friends’ who I coerce with threats & cookies.

    Deeba, you are very welcome to use a dessert you’ve already posted as long as the posting is within the month of February 2008 & you mention the Serendipity Bake Off in you posting. (I took a peek at the trifle & it’s gorgeous!!!)

  18. […] And I’m not just saying that because I’m co-sponsoring it, and donating some of my best phthalate and paraben free skin care products from Serendipity Bath Co. No, I say that because I’ve seen some entries already, and they are some pretty kick ass deserts. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the dealy-oh, from Miss Amy’s blog: […]

  19. […] anyhow… i am blogging about my special red velvet valentine cupcakes!! i originally bought the feb 2008 issue of better homes and gardens to re-create the cupcake on the cover for valentine’s day. a sugary dessert for my family to share on this sweet holiday to celebrate our love. however, right after i bought the issue i came across the serendipity bake-off on my friend’s blog, familia bencomo. […]

  20. Looks fun! I hope I can make something to enter in this.

  21. […] I’ve been instructed to enter this baking contest by one of the Soap Chix themselves. Apparently, friends, relatives, and acquaintances of the judges […]

  22. Ok, I’m in. Or rather, my Twink is. Check out my blog for details. 😉

  23. […] Posted on February 21, 2008 by NinaBeth I am entering this dessert in the wonderful Serendipity Contest.  This is a contest to make the “most pleasing dessert”.  ::crosses fingers and […]

  24. […] Dos Mas!!! We have more entries for our FABULOUS Serendipity Bake Off! […]

  25. […] to have an assortment of friends, relatives & virtual strangers show an enthusiasm for our Serendipity Bake Off. Thank you all! This has been a great way for me to collect tried & true recipes. Recently, we […]

  26. I finally uploaded my pictures! In the 11th hour!

  27. Hi, everyone! Since today is the final day of the Bake Off, please submit your entries by either linking it the this post so that we get a pingback notice or by leaving a link in the comment box.

    I will do my best to quickly create a post with all the remaining desserts so that there is equal representation.

    Thank you, Julie, for posting your dessert! It looks yummy.

  28. […] Paris Cake February 29, 2008 I know – cheater cheater. I’m using this as an entry in a dessert contest – though I did make the cake two years ago. I wasn’t a blogger at the time – so I […]

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