Brittany McGinnes, 25, from Sonora, baked her first cake – chocolate with chocolate frosting and adorned with edible flowers – for her grandmother’s birthday

“It probably didn’t look great because I was 13, but it tasted… well, I think she said it tasted good,” McGinnes said with a laugh. “It’s just something I love to do, it pushes me to try new things and have fun with it.”

Since then, baking cakes and other creative sweets has been McGinnes’ main pastime, whether she, her family, or her Christian Heights Assembly of God students eat.

This passion for cooking cakes has earned him a shortlist for first place in an online baking competition called “The Greatest Baker”, which will ultimately select a winner who will be featured with a two-page broadcast in Bake. from Scratch Magazine and a $ 20,000 prize.

“I really like to cook. It’s something I do when I’m stressed out or when I’m bored. I just like to come up with new things,” McGinnes said. “Sometimes it works and sometimes they’re disgusting and I let go and start over. That’s how you learn. I’m like in a different world when I’m cooking, it’s fun.”

McGinnes grew up in Sonora and was homeschooled throughout his elementary schooling. Subsequently, she attended the Groundzero School of Discipleship in Marlton, New Jersey, where she obtained a degree in Biblical Studies.

She is currently working as a youth director at Christian Heights Assembly of God in East Sonora and plans to become a full-time youth pastor.

Just this week, McGinnes was selected as one of the top 10 female competitors in her group, which appears to have 34 members. She is currently in third place in online voting (anyone can participate to vote by logging into The Greatest Baker website and voting once per day), and is vying for the top five, which ends at 7 p.m. Thursday.

McGinnes said she has created various cakes based on topics selected by the top baker since mid-March. There are several groups in the competition after her group has picked a big winner, although it has so far eliminated more than a few thousand other competitors, she said.

After the 5 best votes, she will probably prepare another one before another vote.

“Basically I cooked different things to keep people up to date with cooking stuff,” she said. “They had a lemon week, a chocolate week, that sort of thing. That way we all have fun and do it together.”

McGinnes calls the online contest “a tasting through the eyes”.

The first week, McGinnes made a chocolate cake with Baileys buttercream frosting and a drizzle of salted caramel. She then baked a lemon cake with raspberry cream cheese frosting, a red velvet cake with Baileys buttercream and a drizzle of espresso, and a “painted cake” with sunflowers.

Her main profile photo is a cake she made for a friend’s wedding: a three-tiered red velvet wedding cake with whipped cream cheese frosting adorned with fresh sunflowers and baby’s breath flowers.

“It makes me hungry just thinking about it,” she said.

McGinnes said if she wins the global competition, she plans to donate the $ 20,000 to a family she is friends with and one member of which has recently been diagnosed with cancer.

“Instead of keeping it to myself, I want to help them pay for the treatments,” she said. “That way they don’t have to worry about finances or anything.”

But whether or not she wins the contest, McGinnes plans to continue making baking a lifelong passion and hobby.

“I prepare them for family, friends and sometimes new students eat them too,” she said. “Whoever eats it, I love it.”

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