Invites - Firstly, decide who you're going to invite - whether you are opting for a family affair or an office Bake Off show down consider how you want the event to flow. It may be that you invite everyone to bake, or you open it up to a select few. You might opt for a few bakers and many tasters, or vice versa - it's up to you. Send out your invitations and be clear on what the plan is.  

Choose a theme - Baking themes can include; cakes, pies, cupcakes, pastries, biscuits or bread (anything baked). Either pick one theme or open it up as 'Baker's Choice'. You could also run a Technical Bake challenge - where each baker is provided a recipe to see who executes it the best (be mindful you will end up with a lot of the same thing to eat!)

Set the criteria - Perhaps the baked good must include a specific ingredient or be baked within a certain time frame (baker's honor). Give each baker the same quantity to present to keep things fair i.e. 12 cupcakes.

Presentation is almost as imporant as not having a soggy bottom! - It's time to bring out the tiered cupcake stands and fancy cake plates! You cannot overdo it when it comes to presentation. As our judge Sue Fleischl attests - you eat with your eyes first. 

You must have bunting - Creating a festive atmosphere is essential and the more baking bling the better. Make sure you have a tasting area set up for bakers to present their bakes (napkins, plates, cutlery etc.)

Get judged - You'll probably have people stabbing each other with cake forks to secure this job at the party. Select a panel of judges and see if you can't even wrangle a guest judge (you may not be able to get Mary Berry but have a bit of fun with this).

Praise be - While most of us will be there for the baked goods do not ever underestimate the fiercely competitive world of the amateur baker. Many of them will be there for the glory alone so make sure you give out awards for Star Baker, Soggy Bottom and any other appropriate awards to suit your theme.

Finally and most importantly, dig in, pig out and have a jolly good time!

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