CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off 2019

CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off 2019

Students from thirteen CEIST schools across the country arrived at Ardscoil na Tríonóide, Athy, Co. Kildare on Friday 8th March to battle it out to be crowned Ireland’s ‘Best Student Baker’ in the annual ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’. The  competition is in its fifth year and is organised with the support of Odlums, Ireland’s favourite home-baking brand.

The aim of the ‘Bake-Off’ is to remind a new generation that baking is not just for experts – it’s for absolutely everyone! As well as being great fun, baking also offers a great way to tap into your creative and design skills by simply picking up a mixing bowl and whipping up a storm of baking creations!

The ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’ has two categories – Junior (1st – 3rd year) and Senior (4th – 6th year). This year students in the Junior category were asked to present a cake based on a theme of their choice, while students in the Senior category were required to design, bake and decorate a cake around the theme of ‘Family’.

From the initial entries seven finalists were selected for each category by Catherine Leyden of Odlums. The seven junior finalists and seven senior finalists had three hours to bake and decorate their cakes in front of judges – Odlum’s Catherine Leyden and Imelda McCarron, a contestant in the 2018 series of The Great British Bake-Off.


Catherine Leyden, Odlums’ brand ambassador and a home baking expert, is one of the competition judges and she had this to say ahead of the contest:

‘For four years, Odlums have been a proud supporter of this initiative and I’m delighted to be involved on their behalf. I love witnessing first-hand the truly talented student bakers we have across the country. This year, our aim is to encourage even more younger people to get baking! We want everyone to realise that baking is not just for experts – it’s for everyone! You can make something really delicious out of a few simple ingredients so I’d encourage everyone to pick up the mixing bowl and wooden spoon and get baking!”


Imelda McCarron, a contestant on The Great British Bake-Off and one of the competition judges, said:

“I was absolutely blown away by the calibre of entry we had for the ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’ this year. It was very difficult to whittle the entries down to a shortlist of 14, but we managed it. After my time on The Great British Bake-Off, I know how difficult it is to bake a cake in front of the judges. On that basis, I wish everyone the very best of luck and to remember that taking part is as important as winning!” 

Originally established in Portlaoise by the Odlum family in 1845, Odlums has been an integral part of Irish baking and cooking for generations. To this day, Odlums are dedicated to developing the finest quality ingredients and products at their Mill in Portarlington. Co. Laois.



The finalists were as follows:

Junior Category Finalists

  • Ardscoil na Tríonóide, Athy, Co. Kildare – Amy Larn
  • Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally, Co. Limerick – Sadhbh Ryan
  • Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare – Ciara Mulligan
  • St. Joseph’s College, Lucan, Co. Dublin – Heather Burke & Ella Byrne
  • Presentation Secondary School, Thurles, Co. Tipperary – Aoibh Carroll
  • St. Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow, Co. Cork – Sarah Clifford


Senior Category Finalists

  • Presentation College Tuam, Co. Galway  – Lora Dimihrova
  • Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise, Co. Laois – Asma Zulfigar
  • Meán Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, Co. Roscommon – Eleanor Walsh
  • St. Anne’s Secondary School, Co. Tipperary – Aine Looby
  • St. Vincent’s Dundalk, Co. Louth – Sophie O’Hagan
  • Mount Mercy College, Model Farm Road, Co. Cork – Eimear O’Sullivan
  • St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare – Aoife Kelly


Winning Cakes

Following a busy morning of baking the following students emerged victorius:


Junior Category Results

1st Prize:     Sarah Clifford from St. Mary’s Secondary School Mallow, Co. Cork
2nd Prize:   Ella Byrne from St. Joseph’s College, Lucan, Co. Dublin
3rd Prize:  Ciara Mulligan from Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare

Pictured above is the winner of the Junior Category
Sarah Clifford from St Marys Mallow, Co. Cork with Catherine Leyden of Odlums and Dr Marie Griffin CEIST CEO.


Senior Category Results

1st Prize:  Aoife Kelly from St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare
2nd Prize: Lora Dimihrova from Presentation College Tuam, Co. Galway
3rd Prize: Eleanor Walsh from Meán Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, Co. Roscommon

Pictured above is the winner of the Senior Category
Aoife Kelly from St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare with Catherine Leyden of Odlums and Dr Marie Griffin CEIST CEO.


Speaking at the presentation of prizes Catherine Leyden of Odlums spoke of the high quality of entries and the impressive skills of all students who baked on the day.

CEIST CEO Dr Marie Griffin complimented the organisers of the competition Margaret Cambie McEvoy and Jacqueline Cooper of Ardscoil na Tríonóide, Athy. She also acknowledged the commitment of the teachers and parents who accompanied the students to this years competition.

CEIST would like to acknowledge the contributions of all involved in orgainsing the 2019 Bake Off as well as the teachers and students who entered the competition and Odlums who generously sponsor the bake-off.


Links of Interest

Related Articles

Kildare Now newspaper report

Ardscoil na Tríonóide News

Unique Media News



Please visit the CEIST Bake Off Twitter page for full pictures of the day and events running up to the final.



The Odlums Instagram page shows lots of videos and pictures from the day



The below video was also posted on the Odlums Facebook page