Blog: Competitions

Need one of Julia’s foolproof recipes? Some stunning cookie decorating ideas? Or a quick fix on Julia’s latest news and events? Well then, you’re in the right place! Here, you can stay up-to-the-minute current on everything that’s happening in Julia’s kitchen and studio – and in that always-churning mind of hers! IMPORTANT: Julia is still formatting blog entries prior to 2021 to conform to the new site layout. Please don’t be surprised if some back entries look a little wacky, and please be patient as she edits them over time.
Julia M. Usher

Julia’s Cookie Art Competition 2023

After two years of running her annual cookie art competition online due to COVID, Julia returned with her judging team to That Takes the Cake (TTTC) Show in Round Rock, Texas at the end of March 2023. The turnout was

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Julia M. Usher

Cookie Connection Challenge #57

This 57th Cookie Connection Challenge (the seventh in the new-ish Watch-Learn-Create series) has a fun twist. Regular challenge host Manu Pezzopane assumes the role of featured guest while past challenge guest Evelin Milanesi steps in as the special guest host.

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Julia M. Usher

Cookie Connection Challenge #56

Organized by host Manu Pezzopane, this 56th Cookie Connection Challenge (the sixth in the new-ish Watch-Learn-Create series) focused on how to add elegance to simple cookies with finely piped ruffle borders. And its featured guest was none other than the

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Julia M. Usher

Cookie Connection Challenge #55

This 55th Cookie Connection Challenge, organized by host Manu Pezzopane, centered around dimensional mixed media cookies and featured the very talented Carmen Urbano of Inspirations by Carmen Urbano. Born in Mexico and currently residing in San Diego, California, USA, Carmen

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Julia M. Usher

Cookie Connection Challenge #54

Organized by host Manu Pezzopane, this 54th Cookie Connection Challenge featured Anna Oliinyk of Sunday Cookers. Anna is an award-winning cookie artist who earned first place and Best in Show in Julia’s 2022 and 2023 cookie art competitions. In this challenge,

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Julia M. Usher

Cookie Connection Challenge #53

Wow! This third challenge in Julia’s new Watch-Learn-Create series was a real gem! Hosted by Manu Pezzopane on Julia’s community-based site Cookie Connection, this challenge kicked off like every other with an instructional video by a noted cookie artist that was designed

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Julia M. Usher

Cookie Connection Challenge #52

Julia couldn’t have been more excited to announce the second featured instructor in her Watch-Learn-Create series! Hosted by Manu Pezzopane on Julia’s community-based site Cookie Connection, these challenges kick off every two months with an instructional video by a noted cookie artist

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Julia M. Usher

Cookie Connection Challenge #51

Earlier in 2022, Cookie Connection’s popular Practice Bakes Perfect challenges got a makeover, and Challenge #51, which opened on July 20, was the first challenge bearing this brand new look. Woo hoo! Hosted by longtime Cookie Connection contributor Manu Pezzopane,

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Julia M. Usher

American Cake Awards 2024

Julia is beyond-excited to return to the American Cake Awards in 2024 for an evening of celebrating North America’s finest cookie and cake artists! Sponsor, judge, and presenter, Julia is honored to wear so many hats at what is one

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Julia M. Usher

American Cake Awards 2023

After a successful sold-out launch event in 2022, the American Cake Awards was back in 2023 with a magical night of celebration with North America’s sweetest cookie and cake artists! Julia and many other sugar heroes were in attendance for

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Julia M. Usher

American Cake Awards 2020 in 2022

Join North America’s sweetest sugar artists for a night of celebration at the brand new American Cake Awards. The culmination of a rigorous online competition, these awards recognize North American talent in the sugar arts across a spectrum of categories and

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Julia M. Usher

Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #50

With the help of three different challenge hosts over the years, Cookie Connection is now celebrating its 50th Practice Bakes Perfect challenge! Woo hoo! Challenge #50 is commemorating that milestone by giving entrants the opportunity to revisit any of the past

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Julia M. Usher

Julia’s Cookie Art Competition 2024

Ready for it?! Julia and her judges certainly are! This year, Julia M. Usher’s Cookie Art Competition™ returns online, where Julia plans to keep it in perpetuity! The online format allows anyone anywhere in the world to enter, and Julia

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Julia M. Usher

Julia’s Cookie Art Competition 2022

After a false start at its usual in-person home at That Takes the Cake (TTTC) Show, Julia’s annual cookie competition went virtual in 2022. (When TTTC canceled due to COVID for the second year in a row, Julia insisted that

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Julia M. Usher

Julia’s Cookie Art Competition 2022

Important Update: Unfortunately, That Takes the Cake Show canceled on January 16 due to COVID, and so this in-person format of the competition was also canceled. But there’s good news: Julia will be re-launching her 2022 competition in a virtual

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Julia M. Usher

Julia’s Cookie Art Competition 2021

Due to COVID, Julia’s annual cookie competition went fully virtual in 2021. The call for entries closed on October 15 with a record-high number of entries from all over the world. After much deliberation and some extremely difficult decision-making, Julia’s

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