On Thursday, 10 September, 32 Moruya High School food technology students in years 9 and 10 took part in the #YOURCAKE challenge to raise funds for Youngcare, a national charity that helps house young adults with high care needs.
The cake challenge coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, and students created some of the iconic cakes from the cookbook.
“We used 32 packets of cake mix, almost 2kg of margarine, 3kg of butter, more than 5kg of icing sugar, a multitude of food colours, lengths of licorice rope, many cups of Smarties and other assorted sweets, and in the end we had 18 absolutely fantastic cakes,” says Moruya High School’s food technology teacher Sheridan Harper, who coordinated the cake challenge.
Ms Harper was inspired to join the challenge after reading about Youngcare online.
“I had no idea that often young adults with high needs are housed in aged care homes because there are no other options for them to receive the care they need,” she says.
“The cause really resonated with me, thinking about young people who have had a massive change to their health, through disease or accident. To go from being at the top of your game to being completely helpless, it gives me goosebumps because it could happen to any one of us.”
This year has seen some big changes with bushfires and COVID-19 and we’ve all had to adapt quickly, says Ms Harper.
“With 2020 being the year it has been, I thought it would be good to get involved with something a bit different,” she laughs. “It has been incredible to see kids who’ve lost so much and had so much thrown at them still able to give what they can and think of others.”
As well as raising more than $2000 for Youngcare, the bake-off was held as an informal competition within the school, with teachers judging it and a range of Moruya businesses donating prizes, including Church Street Pizzeria, Offshore Surf, Sportfirst, The Parlour Moruya and Moruya High School P&C.
The day was not without drama, according to Ms Harper, and after five hours of baking, both staff and students needed a good sit-down.
“I did notice the kids who work in the hospitality industry were fine with being on their feet for five hours, but the rest of us were crumpling,” she says.
Some cakes had to be baked again after mistakes were made.
“We had one student who added all the icing mixture to the cake mix, which resulted in a very caramelised cake which could not be prised from its tin,” says Ms Harper. “So we re-baked three cakes in the middle of the day.
“But even with mistakes and setbacks, everyone finished by the end of the day. We had some students still putting sprinkles on with tweezers when the bell rang. Without sounding too gushy, I do genuinely think all the cakes turned out great. I’m very proud of all the students.”
Moruya High School’s Youngcare fundraising page is open until Thursday, 17 September. To donate, visit Moruya High School #YOURCAKE Challenge.