Share Your Reason, Share Your Recipe

TV3’s Catherine Leyden pre-heats the oven for the National Big Bake 2012

The gentle hum of pre-heated ovens, the irresistible aroma and the distinguishable taste of piping hot goodies fresh from the oven, the childhood memories, the tradition, the challenge, the pleasure, the therapeutic process, the creative licence and artistic expression, what ever your reason, it’s time to take out your recipe, share your secrets and apply for the National Big Bake 2012.

As unique as varying methods, styles and ingredients, baking has a different meaning to everyone. The Big Bake, organised by Age Action and supported by Bluebird Care is now searching for Ireland’s favourite family recipes. To enter send us a photograph of the mouth-watering treats and a short piece on what the recipe means to you, in 50 words or less. Entries can be submitted online, posted or emailed and cost €10 each.

The top ten entries will be invited to come to the Cooks Academy, South William Street, Dublin, where The Big Bake Off will take place on Thursday, September 27. It will be judged by award-winning celebrity chef Gary O’Hanlon. The overall winner will then be invited to cook their recipe on TV3’s Ireland AM with Catherine Leyden, on Wednesday, October 3.

Otherwise known as ‘The Queen of Baking’ Catherine has a huge following of baking enthusiasts. Having worked with Odlum’s for over 40 years Catherine is renowned for traveling the country sharing her top baking tips and techniques, as well as her regular appearance on TV3’s Ireland AM over the past 10 years.

“For me baking grew from a pastime, to a passion to a wonderful career. It is a great way to connect with people through the traditions, nostalgia, creative process and indeed sharing the home baked and tasty results fresh from the oven.

“With economic benefits, and increasing health benefits baking has come back into fashion within many of the country’s kitchens. With our baking fruit favourites including apples, blackberries, kiwi, lemons, melons, nectarines, nuts, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries , rhubarb, strawberries to name but a few, in full flavor in the September season, it would almost be rude not to get the crumbles, pies and trifles whisked up.

“The Big Bake orgainsed by Age Action is a fantastic initiative, engaging and inviting people to share their baking reasons and recipes from all corners of the country and all in support of Positive Ageing Week. I love getting involved every year and with this year marking the 10th anniversary of Positive Ageing Week, it will be even more exciting. So get those ovens pre-heated, the sleeves rolled up and cook books out and apply now for the National Big Bake 2012.”

Applications are now being accepted for The Big Bake 2012. Recipes must be completed within a cooking time of three hours and will be judged using the following categories: taste; creativity/originality; texture; consumer appeal and overall presentation.

To apply now logon to or to submit your online application. Alternatively you can submit your application by

  • By Email: Download the application form, complete and send to
  • By Post: Download the form, print, complete and post to The Big Bake, Age Action, 30/31 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2. Or phone our helpful fundraising team on 01 475 6989 who will be happy to post an application form to you.

For more information logon to or contact Rhona O Connor on 01-4756989, 086 2575632 or email



The Queen of Baking Catherine Leyden pre-heats the oven for the National Big Bake 2012