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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Cakes are judged during a competition at RootsTech in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — Kermit the Frog, an elephant, a lighthouse, a Santa, the USS Enterprise from “Star Trek” and many flowers adorned some of the 60 cakes at the first RootsTech family history and technology conference cake competition on Saturday at the Salt Palace, which was judged by “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bakery and cooking show star.

Valastro, whose flight was delayed getting into Salt Lake City Friday, judged the cake-decorating event Saturday morning before speaking in the opening session.

“I was floored by the talent,” he said. “I’ve got to up my game.”

There were four categories: wedding, birthday, holiday and graduation.

Valastro said early Saturday that two of the four competition categories were a very close competition. He said he looked at the cakes and narrowed down the ones he wanted to taste. He was looking for a moist sponge with good flavors.

The winners were announced Saturday afternoon with BYU’s Vocal Point and Noteworthy groups singing a song for each cake competition theme. Each of the four category winners won $2,000.

Brenda Francis was the winner in the birthday category for her cake with layers that looked like cut tree logs and a watering can.

Elly Carter won in the holiday category with her spooky house.

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Carisa Brisk’s graduation cake with layers that were shaped into a vintage trunk and books topped with a spinning globe, won in that category.

"Fun fact, did you know BBQ rotisserie motors can also spin cakes?" she posted on Instagram.

Fun fact, did you know BBQ rotisserie motors can also spin cakes?

A post shared by Carisa Brisk (@carisascakes) on

Betheny Tomseth won for her "Something Blue" wedding cake with flowers and other embelishments.

Carter's cake was also the people's choice winner, which was selected by RootsTech attendee. The prize was a Thermador range and dishwasher donated by Orson Gygi.

Carter shared on Instagram that this was her first cake competition.

Email: rappleye@deseretnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye