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I have been talking about wanting to go to a baking convention for some time now.   Anytime I’ve seen pictures of them, or hear people talking about them, they seem like such fun experiences.  Well this weekend, I finally got my chance!

The Atlantic Baking Expo 2012 was held this past Sunday and Monday in Atlantic City, NJ.  Honestly, one of my first questions was… why on a Monday, and not Saturday/Sunday?  I later found out from a vendor at the expo that as it turns out, most bakeries are closed on Mondays, which is why they held it on Sunday/Monday… who knew!

Walking into the Expo was sensory overload – it was a huge huge space with what seemed over a hundred vendors. The smells, the sights… I didn’t know which way to turn first!

Dawn Foods was sponsoring the event, so I saw that name almost everywhere.  One of the firs things that caught my eye was their buttercream display where they were hosting a cupcake contest.  See all the blank cupcakes in the background?

Speaking of buttercream, check out these gigantic buckets of flavored frosting!  I tried every tactic to get hubby to go for the Oreo Cookies & Cream bucket, but he was a firm “no”.  Party pooper.

This Expo is geared more towards restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores, so most displays had rather large quantities of product.  Fruit filling anyone?

There were displays of beautiful desserts everywhere you looked.  These stunning pieces are from Elegant Desserts.

These mini cakes were really cute too.  I loved the ruffles on the Barbie ones, so adorable.

Then, I saw it… my fantasy come true… baking pans for days!!!  I never seem to have enough cake pans lately.  That front/left silver pan makes 72 cupcakes at once!

Then I got into the heavy machinery area.  Some of them were so massive it really had me chuckling. Industrial egg cracker? Check!

This one gives a whole new meaning to stand mixer.

I’m not sure where I’d find room for this massive two-tiered oven, but it would be so fun to have!  It must smell heavenly when its baking rows of bread; too bad it was sold… maybe next time.

Oh yea, remember that cupcake decorating contest I mentioned?  Here are the winners… so creative!

By far, the most amazing find that I discovered… Guittard flavored “A’Peels”!  I was shocked at how accurately smelled… the strawberry melts smelled just like strawberries! (Cue Willy Wonka… the snozberries taste like snozberries!). My mind was instantly reeling with cake pop flavor combos to try.

In the back of the Expo room, there was a cake decorating contest where entrants brought in cakes they had made back home. Ho-ly mo-ly!  They were so amazingly outstanding, I made a photo album of my top faves.  Here is just one of them… such talent!

Even though I was there for two days (six hours each day), there were so many things I didn’t get to see or spend enough time at.  There were so many amazing vendors, its hard to choose a favorite.  I had so much fun exploring this new world, I can’t wait to go to another expo!