University students a Mercyhurst North East put their baking skills to the test. A dessert wars competition had the students creating cheesecakes to parfaits on Wednesday.

They presented their work to a panel of judges in the Stone Chapel Dining Room.
The judges considered visual appeal, flavor, texture, garnish and overall quality. 

Allyson Kraft of North East, was one of the five students in the Principles of Baking Class, that participated in the competition.  
She says, "I just love the concept of creating our own dessert, plating it and presenting it. Growing up watching Chopped, that was just what I wanted to do with my life. The bake off was very stressful. The stress you see on TV is not fake by any means, but I wouldn't change what I did for the world."

It was a close competition. Hannah Alleva came in first with her pumpkin cheesecake, topped with chantilly creme and a pinch of cinnamon. Terrell Stonewall of Erie, came in second with a pineapple upside down cake. 

Kraft made a grasshopper parfait with mint candies and chocolate ganache; Olivia Thompson of Wattsburg made a yellow cake with frosted animal crackers; Fawn Rolfe of Meadville created tiramisu cheesecake bites with truffles. 

The event culminates a semester of baking lessons.