Highland Shortbread Showdown 2024

Back for 2024, is your shortbread good enough to steal the crown?

In 2023, 8 Highland destinations, 63 entrants and 21 finalists and one winner made the very first Shortbread Showdown such a success we are delighted to be bringing it back for 2024!

Who is up for stealing Head Chef Paul from Mackenzies Bakery on the Isle of Skye's crown? 

Around 800 people flocked to the event in March to taste the finalist's shortbread bakes before the judges, Jeni Iannetta - Bad Girl Bakery, Kirsten Gilmour - The Mountain Café, Craig Wilson - The Kilted Chef  and Steven Trail - Rain Bakery took their place on the stage to taste test every piece before naming Paul the winner.

Shortbread Showdown

Dates for your diary!

Shortbread Showdown Grand Final!

Date : Sunday 17th March 2024

Time : 10am - 2pm

Location: Eden Court

We are really excited to be hosting Shortbread Showdown, round two! Or should we say second bake? Keep your eye peeled below for ALL the details of the day, including who made the final, who's judging and who is hosting.... and more! 

 

 

Shortbread Showdown 2024

Who is taking part in 2024

We are delighted that 11 Destination Management Organisations across Scotland are taking part in 2024. Businesses from each area will compete in a shortlisting event and the top 3 bakes that are crowned during those events will come to the grand final at Eden Court in March.

Read below about the finalists from each destination!

 

Shortbread Showdown 2024

Finalists from Inverness and Loch Ness

Representing Visit Inverness and Loch Ness in the final are :

Hou Hou Mei

Dorothy with R Macdonald & Son

Downright Gabbler

Logo

Finalists from Moray Speyside

Representing Visit Moray Speyside in the final are :

Sandpiper Cottage

Bakes You Knead

Timeless Fashion

visit moray speyside

Finalists from Nairn

Representing Visit Nairn in the final are :

Highland Weigh

Nairn Golf Club

Vitamin Sea 

visit nairn

Finalists from Caithness and Sutherland

Representing Venture North in the final are :

Mrs Baverstock’s Bakery Traditional Bake

Mrs Baverstock’s Bakery Creative Bake 

Black Stairs House

venture north

Finalists from Lochaber

Representing Outdoor Capital of the UK in the final are:

Off Beat Bikes

An Cafaidh Mara

Outdoor capital of the UK

Finalists from Dornoch

Representing Visit Dornoch in the final are :

Oversteps Care Home

Visit Dornoch

Finalists from the Cairngorms

Representing Visit Cairngorms in the final are :

Details coming VERY soon!

Visit Cairngorms

Finalists from South of Scotland

Representing South of Scotland Destination Alliance in the final are :

The Bake Hive

 

South of Scotland

Finalists from Arran

Representing VisitArran in the final are :

Baked By Stacey 

Monamore Guest House

Visit Arran

Finalists from Mull and Iona

Representing Visit Mull and Iona in the final are :

Tobermory Bakery 

Mull and Iona

Finalists from Isle of Skye, Lochalsh and Rassay.

Representing Isle of Skye, Lochalsh and Rassay in the final are :

UHI Portree


Mackenzies Bakery (2023 Winner!)

The 2024 Judges

We have a stellar line up of judges for 2024 and we are incredibly excited to welcome Coinneach, more famously known as The Hebridean Baker as part of our judging team.

International best-selling author Coinneach MacLeod, the Hebridean Baker was born and raised on the beautiful island of Lewis, the most northerly of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Inspired by family recipes, Scottish flavours and the myths & legends of the Hebrides, his three books, Recipes & Wee Stories from the Scottish Islands, My Scottish Island Kitchen and Hebridean Baker at Home have made him Scotland’s best-selling cookbook author for the past three years.

He has had a number of television appearances on This Morning, BBC Travel Show, Steph’s Packed Lunch, Martin Compston’s Scottish Fling, Kirstie Allsop’s Christmas and Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh and has recently returned from his third sell-out North American book tour.

Hebridean Baker

We are delighted that Jeni Iannetta of Bad Girl Bakery, Inverness has returned to the judging panel for 2024 and give her a huge warm welcome back!

 

Jeni Bad Girl Bakery

We have kept KJ's, Kirsten Gilmour of KJ’s Bothy Bakery, in Grantown on Spey in the Cairngorms seat warm so that she can return in 2024 as a judge and we are so happy that she said yes!

KJ

Gary Reid is the director of Scottish Bakers and managing director of infamous Reids of Caithness. Reids is a baking family and was launched bear Thurso in 1966. You may recognise the Reids company by their amazing shortbread, so having Gary join the judging panel was an opportunity we couldn’t miss! 

Gary Reid

Our host for the day!

We are thrilled to be joined by Sarah Rankin to host our grand final at Eden Court Theatre in March! After joining us at our Taster of Inverness event we snapped her up to come and get all the low down on the entrants and meet you all at the final.

Sarah, a finalist of the  popular TV show Masterchef said,

"I’m delighted to be hosting the Highland Shortbread Showdown 2024 and I’d encourage businesses and keen bakers throughout the Highlands to enter. I'm excited to see how the Highland businesses who have thrown their wooden spoons into the ring will wow the judges with their sweet, buttery, crumbly bakes!” 

Sarah Rankin

The Bakes and 2024 winners

We have listened to feedback from the judges, participants and public from last years competition and in 2024 we have some exciting tweaks to the competition entries.

In 2024, we will have more than one prize

  • An overall winner
  • The best traditional shortbread
  • The best flavoured shortbread
  • The public's choice

Grand final Demo

We are so happy to be joined by Fernando Basaldua Bazaldua from XOKO Bakery, Inverness during the grand final. He will be whipping up a delicious baking storm with a baking demonstration. We will release more information nearer the time.

Xoko Fernando

You won't go hungry!

If the shortbread doesn't fill you up or you want some savoury before the sweet, The Highland Food and Drink Trail will be out in full force for the day to make sure no one goes hungry! In the usual spot along the riverside, you will find

Ollies Pops

Oregano 

Angry seagull 

Auld Smokey 

A BIG thank you goes out to our event sponsors for the Shortbread Showdown 2024

Should you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to get in touch!