Creativity will take center stage at the 2013 International Baking Industry Expo (IBIE), as 12 of the country’s top professional cake decorators prepare to challenge each other to a contest of imagination, artistry and skill during one of baking’s most prestigious competitions.

The Retail Bakers of America’s (RBA) 13th Annual Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Decorating Competition will once again be a featured event at IBIE, the baking industry’s triennial international event, scheduled for Oct. 6-9 in Las Vegas. This year the contest will get an even bigger spotlight at IBIE, thanks to a revamped presentation on the show floor designed to elevate competitors and their creations and provide them with a better opportunity to show off their talents.

Another change for 2013 opens the competition to a wider field of professional decorators. Unlike past years, when entry was limited to members of RBA, the upcoming contest will give non-RBA members the opportunity to participate, provided they are currently working full- or part-time in a cake/cupcake shop, retail or supermarket bakery and have at least two years of decorating experience.

Contestants can enter this year’s competition in one of two ways. RBA members can compete in a local, state or regional RBA-sponsored contest. If no contest is available in their area—or the contestant is not a RBA member—they may submit a portfolio for consideration online at Application by portfolio must be received by June 1 and should include two images from each of the five competition categories: wedding cake, rolled fondant, sculpted, creative design and floral design.

The 12 finalists will consist of regional winners and top portfolio entries, and will compete in all five categories. Cake, icing and fondant will be provided on site, but contestants must bring their own tools and specialty items. There is no limitation on the use of molds, impression mats and fondants rollers, which can be used in all five categories.

The highest scoring individual, as determined by a panel of judges, will be awarded the coveted Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Trophy. Gold, silver and bronze medals, along with cash prizes will also be awarded for the highest three scores in each category. All contestants will be provided with four nights lodging at one of IBIE’s host hotels.

The competition, which enjoys sponsorship from heavy hitters General Mills, Bakery Crafts, Chefmaster, DecoPac and Pfeil & Holing, is a popular feature of IBIE and is expected to draw interest from across all industry segments. And as RBA’s partnership with IBIE continues to strengthen, show producers expect even greater participation from the retail baking sector in 2013.

RBA, which joined the American Bakers Association (ABA) and Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA) as an IBIE association sponsor in 2010, will also be bringing its world-class educational programming back to the event in 2013. More information on content and speakers will be available as details are finalized. Please visit for more information.