Karis Dekwant decorated her special occasion cake for the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) in 15 minutes and won gold.

Karis Dekwant said she may have a chance of competing in the world skills competition in Kazan, Russia, in 2019.
Photo courtesy of Karis Dekwant

“It was super tense. I iced my cake in 15 minutes because … I guess I wasn’t moving fast enough!” Dekwant said. “I feel like all of the cakes that I’ve decorated have all led up to me decorating that one cake in 15 minutes. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to do it if it wasn’t for having practiced decorating, like, 17 cakes at a time.”

The 17-year-old Inuvik baker also won gold in the baking competition last year.

“It feels pretty awesome. I actually wasn’t going to do Skills this year because of graduating and all that, but I was like, I’ll just see where this goes,” she said. “I already claimed the title in 2017, so I’ll forever have that, so I was kind of just doing this for fun and I ended up actually winning.”

SCNC is a national, multi-trade and technology competition for students in Canada that aims to provide youth with hands-on experience in trades and encourage students to consider careers in trades and technology as viable options.

The 2018 competition took place in Edmonton June 4-5.

Dekwant said for the competition, she had to make 16 piped shortbread cookies, two loaves of bread, six buns, 10 eclairs, 10 tartlettes and a special occasion cake in seven hours.

“I really don’t know how I ended up repeating my gold, but I did, it feels like a big accomplishment,” she said. “I was 30 seconds late on delivering my cake, but it was only a few points docked off. I just told myself that it needs to be done, and I got it done.”

17-year-old Karis Dekwant had seven hours to complete her competition baking requirements.
Photo courtesy of Skills Canada

She added that one of her favourite parts of SCNC was the Try-A-Trade segment of the competition, which she participated in the day before she competed.

“People walking around can come up and try the trade that we’re in. So we did cupcake decorating … it was so much fun,” she said. “We spent three or four hours teaching people to pipe icing.”

More than 50 Try-A-Trade activities were available at the competition, aiming to promote awareness of the skills showcased at SCNC.

She said during the event, more than 3,000 cupcakes were iced.

“There were pails and pails of icing!” she said. “That was definitely one of my highlights, I love teaching little kids and showing people how to do different things.”

This year is world-qualifying year, according to Dekwant. The worldwide competition will be held in Kazan, Russia in 2019.

“I might have a small possibility of being able to compete there in 2019,” she said. “I’m really excited, they said they were going to contact people in a month or so to start the intense training process, so we’ll see.”

She had advice for those competing next year.

“Stay focused, do what you’ve got to do, don’t pay attention to what they’re baking beside you,”

Dekwant said. “Be on your game and do what you’ve been practicing all this time.”

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