Oxford’s Sweet T’s captures ‘Cake Wars’ win

Published 11:17 am Tuesday, January 31, 2017

An Oxford couple baked their way to $10,000 during the championship on the Food Network’s “Cake Wars” competition.

Jeff and Kathleen Taylor of Sweet T’s Bakery (1512 Jackson Ave W) took home the prize during the show which aired last night, but was originally filmed in 2016. The theme for the challenge was to make a cake based on the work of famous children’s author Roald Dahl (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach”). Dahl’s granddaughter was present for the proceedings and acted as a guest judge. Their winning cake was displayed at the 100th birthday celebration of the writer last year.

Jeff Taylor says that when their name was announced as the winners, the feeling was “indescribable.”

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“You’re standing there and you know it’s close, but to hear your name called, it was amazing,” he added.

Taylor, who is also a firefighter in Oxford, says Sweet T’s has been in business for four years, but that his wife has been creating cakes for at least 20. She started out making them for the Taylor children, friends and family.

“I built cabinets and furniture, baking wasn’t really my thing,” he said. “When they started coming out with all the cake shows and using power tools with cakes, that’s when it sparked my interest. We started doing some of the sculpture cakes and it just grew from there.”

For the Taylors, entering the competition seemed like a no-brainer.

“I’ve always been intrigued with the shows and we’re both competitive anyway,” Jeff said. “To find something that we can do what we love to do and compete at the same time was really cool.”

When the whimsical theme was unveiled, the couple knew that they had struck the creative jackpot.

“I loved the theme,” he said. “I loved his books and his imagination is just over the top. It gives you so much room for creating the cake. Your imagination is really the only limit that you have.”

Their winning design was centered around a tree and incorporated notable Dahl characters like Fantastic Mr. Fox and the BFG.

“To turn his books into a cake was a really fun experience,” Jeff concluded.

This is the second time that an Oxonian has won a cooking competition on the Food Network. In February 2015, chef Dwayne Ingraham, of Sinfully Southern Bakery, won “Cutthroat Kitchen.”