Cork student named Student Baker of the Year in the ‘CEIST All-Ireland Bake Off’, supported by Odlums

Talented students from Clare and Cork win the ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’, supported by Odlums


  • Aoife Kelly from Co. Clare and Sarah Clifford from Co. Cork claim top-spots to be named Ireland’s ‘Best Student Bakers’


  • Odlum’s Catherine Leyden and Great British Bake-Off contestant Imelda McCarron judged the competition


Two students from Clare and Cork have been named Ireland’s ’Best Student Bakers’ in the ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’, supported by Odlums, Ireland’s favourite home-baking brand.

The students beat off stiff competition from finalists from 13 secondary schools across Ireland who went whisk to whisk to bake an array of delicious creations. The aim of the ‘Bake-Off’ is to encourage a new generation of bakers, with students asked to design, plan and bake a novelty cake. The ‘Ceist All Ireland Bake-Off’ has two categories – Junior (1st – 3rd year) and Senior (4th – 6th year). While students in the Junior category were asked to design, bake and present a cake based on a theme of their choice, students in the Senior category were required to design, bake and decorate a cake around the theme of ‘Family’.

Aoife Kelly from St. Joseph’s Secondary, Tulla, Co. Clare was chosen as the winner of the Senior category for her design, an intricate family tree topped off with delicious green and pick icing.

Sarah Clifford from St Marys Mallow, Co. Cork was chosen as the winner of the Junior category for her design, an adorable white and pink bunny, decorated with swirls of pink, blue and purple icing.

Hundreds of submissions were received from schools nationwide for the ‘CEIST All-Ireland Bake-Off’ and after a tough judging process, these entries were whittled down to just 14 finalists who took part in the ‘Bake Off’ final in Ardscoil na Trionóide in Athy, Co. Kildare. Seven junior finalists and seven senior finalists worked hard to create their cake in front of judges, including Odlums ambassador Catherine Leyden and Great British Bake-Off contestant Imelda McCarron. Over a three-hour duration, the finalists mixed, whisked, baked and iced their cakes to create their shortlisted designs.

For the past four years, Odlums have been a proud supporter of this initiative, witnessing first-hand the truly talented student bakers we have across the country.

Judge Catherine Leyden, Odlums’ brand ambassador and a home baking expert, says: “It is always encouraging to see the high calibre of entries we receive every year from student’s around the country, and this year was no different. Watching our 2019 finalists pour their heart and soul into their designs, their passion for perfection and desire to create something truly unique has been eye-opening. We have a highly skilled and talented number of bakers across the country. Well done to everyone who submitted entries, to those shortlisted and our overall winners Aoife and Sarah, it has been a fantastic effort by all”.   

The 2019 Junior finalists were:

  1. Ardscoil na Trionoide, Athy, Co. Kildare – Amy Larn
  2. Ardscoil Mhuire, Co. Limerick  – Sadhbh Ryan
  3. Colaiste Muire Ennis, Co. Clare – Ciara Mulligan

St Joseph’s College Lucan, Co. Dublin – Heather Burke & Ella Byrne

  1. Presentation Secondary School Thurles, Co. Tipperary – Aoibh Carroll
  2. St Marys Mallow, Co. Cork – Sarah Clifford

The 2019 Senior finalists were:

  1. Presentation College Tuam, Co. Galway – Lora Dimihrova
  2. Scoil Chriost Ri Portlaoise, Co. Laois – Asma Zulfigar
  3. Mean Scoil Muire Gan Smol, Co. Roscommon – Eleanor Walsh
  4. St Anne’s Secondary School, Co. Tipperary – Aine Looby
  5. St Vincent’s Dundalk, Co. Louth – Sophie O’Hagan
  6. Mount Mercy College, Model Farm Road, Co. Cork – Eimear O’Sullivan
  7. St Joseph’s Secondary, Tulla, Co. Clare – Aoife Kelly

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.

CEIST, the ‘Catholic Education, An Irish Schools’ Trust’ is the Trustee body for 110 Voluntary Catholic Secondary Schools in Ireland. CEIST is a joint trusteeship comprising congregations of the Sisters of Mercy, Presentation Sisters, Daughters of Charity, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and Sisters of the Christian Retreat and has been in existence since 2007.