September 13, 2007 at 6:43 a.m.
State Fair’s been part of her life for 50 years

Baker racks up #13 in State Fair sweepstakes

Baker racks up #13 in State Fair sweepstakes
Baker racks up #13 in State Fair sweepstakes

It just doesn't get any better than winning the "Best Cake of the State Fair." And, the top honor this year was awarded to a chocolate cake baked by a Lindstrom woman, Dorothy Lindberg. In this day of shrink-wrapped-mass-produced- desserts-to-go, it's a comfort to know the competitive world of state fair baked goods is just as vibrant as ever.

In scrutinizing judges' notes on her scorecard Dorothy is dismayed that there isn't more to go by as far as advice for improvement. The judging of state fair cakes is recorded by totalling two critiques; in one Lindberg got 49 out 50 possible points and 99 out of 100 possible points in the other.

Lindberg-- who has taken 13 sweepstakes cake awards since 1969-- said this chocolate cake had the "best texture" of any cake she has ever made. The only point reduction is under the appearance category but it's tough to know exactly why the judges docked one point.

The Minnesota state fair attracts hundreds of baking entries.

There were 22 cakes alone competing in the chocolate category. Other categories include ethnic cakes, white cakes, chiffon, bundt...well, you get the idea.

For Lindberg's to be chosen the best of all of them is a thrill. Heck, it's more than a thrill, at age 85 this sweepstakes is vindication of her unwavering talent and shows public appreciation for what many consider an art form.

Lindberg made one last trip down to the fairgrounds late last week week to retrieve her top cake, along with other items she entered, both in baking and in handcrafts. She and her husband of 24 years Fillmore, joked that after decades of state fair competition they can practically navigate the route from here to Falcon Heights blindfolded.

So, what's her secret to amassing ribbons?

For one thing she doesn't sweat competition. Having been a baker for decades now, she has great respect for following a recipe exactly and being consistent. "I make one and it goes to the fair," she said of her entries. She doesn't make a bunch of baked items and then try to pick a winner.

She continued, "I always do everything precisely, use the freshest ingredients and every cake is done the best that I know how."

Lindberg's German chocolate cake also took a first place ribbon. And, she excels at handcrafts. The first place ribbon this year awarded to her crocheted placemats is the 10th time she's brought home the blue in handcrafts.

Now; if you've read this far hoping to find Lindberg's recipes in the story, you will be disappointed. She promised her first husband Vern Martinson, that she'd never reveal her recipes and that's a promise she's keeping.

*********

Additional local competitors received ribbons in baking competition, according to the state fair results office:

Ann Rue of Shafer got a red ribbon for her bundt cake and also second place on her chiffon cake entry. Elsa Zinter of Wyoming won a first place ribbon for her ethnic cake,

Colleen Hoffmann, Rush City, won a third place ribbon for her banana bread.

On the beverage side of things under the homemade beers category; Justin Zierhut, Wyoming, won a blue ribbon for his strong Begian Ale. (There were 26 entries.)

And, in an upcoming paper watch for an interview with a local wood worker who took home a special state fair accolade.


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