The Ohio Stadium Cake
Press Clippings
2004-2006

The Mt. Vernon News
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Tailgating big part of football season

By Beth Durbin

MOUNT VERNON — It’s not just football, it’s an event. It’s America coming together. The last great neighborhood. Food, fun and football. It’s football season, let the tailgate parties begin.

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At Ohio State, a cake that started as a challenge turned into a fund-raising tradition. The Annual Ohio Stadium Cake, devised in 1991, is a 200-plus pound cake constructed by alumni for display at one home game each year. The design is a detailed replica of the stadium in response to a challenge that it couldn’t be done. The cake has become such a hit with Ohio State fans that the cake crew decided to take advantage of its popularity to raise funds for Ohio State’s Scarlet and Gray Scholarship Fund. Slices of the cake are sold for donation after the game. What started as a tailgate antic has now raised enough funds to fully endow the Stadium Cake Scholarship as a permanent scholarship fund.

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Ohio State Alumni Magazine
October, 2004

A piece of cake

It was a sweet sight in Ohio Stadium when the Alumni Band commemorated the Association's 125th anniversary at the Sept. 4 football game.

An even sweeter sight will greet fans at the Oct. 23 Homecoming game. Stop by the south lawn of St. John Arena to see--and taste--the 14th annual Ohio Stadium Cake.

It's exactly what it sounds like: a cake crafted to resemble the stadium on game day, and apparently only a little bit smaller. Beth Tucker, one of the group of friends who bake and assemble it each year, says the cake measures around four feet long, three and half feet wide, and a foot and a half tall, and weighs about 200 pounds, "based on what the six guys who carry it to the car say."

The eight cake makers start baking the week before the game and typically put in more than 160 hours to construct their masterpiece. "It's a week of bonding," Tucker said.

On game day, they hand out slices in exchange for donations to a scholarship fund.

After renovations to the stadium began in 1999, the crew had to alter their basic pattern to reflect the new look. For the 2000 cake they added a timely touch: construction equipment.

The first cake, in 1991, took 21 boxes of mix and more than five dozen eggs. Here's the grocery list for the new and improved Ohio Stadium cake. All ingredients are donated.

87 boxes of cake mix
261 eggs
1 1/2 gallons each of milk and vegetable oil
124 pounds of powdered sugar
21 pounds of shortening
24 ounces of vanilla

The Logan Daily News
Friday, October 22, 2004

Ohio Stadium Cake will be featured Saturday at OSU

COLUMBUS–The 14th annual Ohio Stadium Cake will be displayed prior to the Ohio State and Indiana football game Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. Pieces of the cake will be served immediately following the game for donations to the Ohio Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund. The huge cake will be located on the south lawn of St. John Arena on the Ohio State University campus.

The 2004 cake is being designed as a tribute to the Neutron Man, an avid Buckeye supported, who passed away recently. The plastic figure of the Neutron Man, which will be positioned on the cake, will be accented with wings and a halo transforming him into the Neutron angel.

In addition, the cake crew is also dedicating a portion of the cake, to a friend who visited them annually on Stadium Cake day, but also died recently.

According to the event organizers, the Stadium Cake was devised in 1991 as a lighthearted means of celebrating the great tradition of Ohio State football. In the fall of 1991, a group of five dedicated Buckeye alumni constructed the first cake replica of the Horseshoe. It was displayed at the Ohio State vs. Iowa pregame tailgate party.

The group of OSU alumni who are responsible for creating the delicacy includes Logan High School graduates Beth Tucker, Mark Tucker, Kim Tucker, MorraLee Holzapfel and Chris Conrad. Additional members of the cake crew includes Conrad's wife, JoEllen Conrad, Brian Papesh and Deb Papesh, friends of the original cake crew.

When asked how did they get the idea to create the Stadium Cake, Mark Tucker replied, "Because one of those skeptical tailgaters proclaimed that it couldn't be done. That was the wrong thing to say to people who worship poisonous nuts," he said.

Although they considered their creation a confectionary masterpiece, like all great artists, the bakers immediately began contemplating improvements. Their ideas and the drive for perfection gave rise to the new and improved second annual Ohio Stadium Cake which was displayed prior to the Ohio State and Michigan showdown in 1992.

By the third year, the annual cake had become such a big hit with Ohio State fans that the cake crew decided to take advantage of the cake's popularity and raise funds for Ohio State's general need-based academic scholarship, the Scarlet and Gray Scholarship Fund. From the third year through the eighth year, slices of the cake were served following the game in exchange for donations to that fund.

In 1999, the Stadium cake crew established the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund within OSU's general need-based academic scholarship fund. The money donated by loyal Buckeye fans since that year have been deposited in the new fund. "With proceeds from the 13th Ohio Stadium Cake, the crew was able to raise enough funds to fully endow the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund as a permanent means of financially assisting worthy Buckeye students. In fact, we just awarded two OSU students with scholarships and plan to award two scholarships each year," Beth Tucker said.

She noted that since all of the ingredients and labor for the Stadium Cake are donated by local businesses and members of the community, 100 percent of all donations are directly deposited in the scholarship fund.

With the stadium renovations that began in 1999, the Cake underwent extensive renovations in 2000, making the 10th annual Cake substantially larger than the past nine. This required the redesign and construction of a new platform for the cake. Consistent with renovations to the "Shoe," the engineers lowered the field and expanded seating in all of "A" deck and "C" deck on the east side of the stadium. "We also redesigned the scoreboard and south stands, she said.

It was necessary for the cake crew to add an expanded "C" deck on the west side of the stadium, luxury suites and a new and improved press box in 2003. As a result, the cake grew to 87 mixes, 261 eggs, one and one-half gallons of vegetable oil, 126 pounds of powdered sugar, 21 pounds of shortening, one and one-half gallons of milk and 24 ounces of vanilla extract.

If planning to attend the football game Saturday, stop by and enjoy a piece if Ohio Stadium Cake while visting with the cake crew members.

Logan Daily Pictures 1Logan Daily Pictures 2

Stadium Sketches available

Columbus–This unique sketch of a portion of Ohio Stadium was drawn by Deb Papesh, one of the Ohio Stadium Cake Crew members. The sixth annual sketch which graces the cover of the 14th annual Stadium Cake invitation may be purchased by making a donation to the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund.

Buckeye fans may order one of the 250 signed and numbered prints for $12 each ($10 for the sketch and $2 to cover the cost of shipping and handling). Orders may be mailed to Ohio Stadium Cake, 3307 Rockland Court, Dublin, Ohio 43017. Make checks payable to "The Ohio State University" and write ""Stadium Cake Scholarship" on the memo line of the check.

In addition, orders may also be placed for the few remaining Ohio Stadium prints commemorating the 10th, 11th and 12th Ohio Stadium Cake. The cost of additional prints is $10 with the shipping fee only added to the first print order. "You only need to enclose $2 for shipping regardless of the number of prints ordered, but be sure to indicate which sketch you are requesting," Papesh said.

Although the Stadium Cake makes its appearance annually during football season, donations to the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund are accepted throughout the year.

Logan Daily Pictures 3

C The Columbus Magazine
August, 2005

10 Things to Do Before You Die

The Rankin (Miss.) Ledger
Thursday, August 25, 2005

Try out 'best free cooking lesson'

By Julie Whitehead

Joe Cahn of New Orleans has a life that dedicated fans of food and football can only dream of--he spends football season traveling around in an RV visiting tailgate parties all over America.

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An account of his visit to Ole Miss, complete with pictures, is on his Web site, appropriately named www.tailgating.com.

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Going to the site and seeing all the pictures of food served at the tailgate parties serves to get you in training for the eating that goes on--the Ole Miss photes feature lots of shrimp, steaks, and ribs, while a photo from Ohio of the Ohio Stadium Cake is not to be believed.

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The Logan Daily News
Saturday, November 4, 2005

Edible horseshoe

By Melissa Cottrill

COLUMBUS, Ohio — What consists of 252 eggs, 126 pounds of powdered sugar, 1.5 and 1.5 gallons milk?

The Ohio State University Stadium Cake, properly shaped like the horseshoe, which is making its 15th annual appearance prior to the Saturday, Nov. 5 Ohio State v. Illinois game. Other ingredients include 84 cake mixes, 1.5 gallons of vegetable oil and 24 ounces of vanilla extract.

Who makes the cake?

The man hours behind the Ohio Stadium cake are courtesy of Christopher Conrad, MorraLee Holzapfel, Beth Tucker, Mark Tucker, and Kim Tucker, all formerly of Logan, JoEllen Conrad, Brian Papesh and Deb Papesh, who both ironically graduated from Illinois — Ohio State's opponent this Saturday, said crew member Beth Tucker. The Conrads, Tuckers, and Holzapfel all graduated from Ohio State.

Five dedicated "nuts"

In 1991, a group of five dedicated Buckeye alums (the Tuckers and Holzapfel are part of the original crew) constructed the first cake replica of the Horseshoe during the week of the Ohio State v. Iowa game. They displayed it at their pre-game tailgate party in the north lot of St. John Arena, according to the OSU stadium cake Web site.

The cake became an annual event when the second one debuted at the 1992 Ohio State v. Michigan game. Since then, the 200+ pound cake has been constructed for display at the creators' tailgate party before and during one home football game each year.

During the third year, the cake crew decided to raise funds for Ohio State's general need-based academic scholarship, the Scarlet and Gray Scholarship fund. From the third through the eighth year, the cake was served following the game for donations to that fund.

In 1999, the Stadium Cake crew established the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund within OSU's general need-based academic scholarship fund. The money donated by Buckeye fans has been deposited into the new fund.

The 13th annual Ohio Stadium cake raised enough funds to fully endow the Stadium Cake Scholarship.

Scholarships for Buckeyes

Tucker works in the financial aid office at Ohio State, so she especially sees how the crew's hard work pays off, she said.

The Ohio State Office of Student Financial Aid has awarded two $1,200 scholarships from the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund for the 2005-2006 school year. The recipients are Allen Shelton, a fourth-year student from Cincinnati, majoring in accounting and Mladen Simic, a fourth-year student from Columbus, majoring in finance, transportation and logistics and German.

Sketchin' the crew

For the seventh straight year, the limited edition print of the Ohio Stadium cake is being offered. The print is drawn by artist and Stadium Cake Crew member Deb Papesh. This year's artwork depicts a view from the Stadium Cake Crew's tailgate spot.

The print appears on the cover of the 15th annual Ohio Stadium Cake invitation. Two hundred limited edition prints of the sketch were available in exchange for a donation to the Stadium Cake Scholarship fund. Tucker said the sketches are almost sold out. Anyone wishing to purchase one, should contact the stadium cake crew.

What's in this cake?

All ingredients and time for the stadium cake are donated by local businesses and members of the community. One hundred percent of all donations go directly to the scholarship fund.

The first Ohio stadium cake, constructed in 1991, was comprised of 21 cake mixes, 63 eggs, .5 gallons of vegetable oil, 36 pounds of powdered sugar, nine pounds of shortening, .75 gallons of milk, eight ounces of vanilla extract, and 58 man hours.

Following the stadium renovations that began in 1999, the cake underwent extensive renovations in 2000, making the 10th annual cake substantially larger than the past nine. This required the redesign and construction of a new platform for the cake. Consistent with the renovations to the shoe, the field was lowered and seating was expanded in all of "A" deck and "C" deck on the east side of the stadium. The scoreboard and south stands were redesigned.

It gets bigger . . .

In 2000, the cake consisted of 81 cake mixes, 243 eggs, 1.5 gallons of vegetable oil, 124 pounds of powdered sugar, 21 pounds of shortening, 1.5 gallons of milk, 24 ounces of vanilla extract, and 167 man hours.

The horseshoe keeps growing

The ingredient numbers grew even larger for the 11th and 12th annual Ohio Stadium cakes in 2001 and 2002 after renovations to the Horseshoe had been completed. The cake crew added an expanded C-deck on the west side of the stadium, luxury suites, and the new press box.

Contacting the crew

If you wish to contact the Ohio Stadium Cake creators or send a donation to the scholarship fund, make checks payable to The Ohio State University. Please use the following street address: Ohio Stadium Cake, 3307 Rockland Court, Dublin, Ohio 43017

The cake crew can also be contacted by e-mail at OhioStadiumCake@aol.com.

15 Logan Daily News Photo 1

Caption: Pictured are the Ohio Stadium Cake crew with last year’s 14th annual stadium cake. First row: MoraLee Holzapfel, JoEllen Conrad, Kim Tucker. Second row: Deb Papesh and Beth Tucker. Third row: Mark Tucker, Christopher Conrad, and Brian Papesh. This year’s cake is the 15th annual and is making an appearance on Saturday, Nov. 5.

15 Logan Daily News Photo 2

Caption: This is the limited edition print of the Ohio Stadium cake being offered by artist and Stadium Cake crew member Deb Papesh. This year’s artwork depicts a view from the Stadium Cake Crew’s tailgate spot.

The Epi Log on epicurious.com
Tuesday, September 13, 2006

Tailgating Mania

Ah, fall. A time of turning leaves, turning kids back to school, and me turning...older. Anyway, for many the cooler weather is a harbinger for one thing: tailgating. I can almost smell the ribs smoking over the asphalt from here. Like the, uh, sport of BBQ, it brings out colorful personalities, one of whom is Joe Cahn, the self-appointed Commissioner of Tailgating. He travels the country meeting other fans and describes it as "the last great American neighborhood...together sharing fun, food, and football! It's families. It's fans. It's a community social. It's pregame, halftime, postgame and more. It's the total game-day experience!" He surveyed 5,000 at tailgating.com and says the average tailgater is:

College-educated male
Between the ages of 25 and 34
Spends over $500 a year on tailgating food
Attends and/or hosts 6 to 10 Tailgate Parties each season.
Travels less than one hour to get to the game
Tailgate party begins 3 to 4 hours before kickoff

My favorite part of the site is Fanatical Food. Check out the Ohio Stadium Cake, started in 1991 and continued as a tradition every year to raise money for a Buckeye scholarship fund. Weighing more than 200 pounds, the cake is a feat of fondant and imagination.

And for those who can't get enough, there is Ultimate Tailgating Chef. Steven Linn has done some hilarious podcasts, the most recent of which is with Tad Cook and John Swazey from Houston, who live in a hybrid smoker-trailer with a sleeper section that accommodates four.

The Associated Press (carried in The Canton Repository, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and The San Francisco Examiner)
Tuesday, October 25, 2006

Behold the mighty stadium cake!

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)--What's brewing today with the 2006 Ohio State Buckeyes . . .

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LET 'EM EAT CAKE: So you think you're a big Ohio State fan, huh?  You make some buckeyes, maybe grill some brats and tear open a bag of scarlet-andgray taco chips and you believe you're in the vanguard of Buckeyes backers.

Prepare to be awed.  The 16th annual Ohio Stadium cake can be seen all day on the south lawn of St. John Arena.

This is not your typical cake, bub.  No way.  How many other cakes have their own Web site?  Or a dozen or so sponsors? Or their own official sketch?

Go to [www.ohiostadiumcake.com].  You'll be awed by what some folks can make out of around 85 boxes of cake mix, 250 eggs, 125 pounds of powdered sugar, 1.5 gallons of vegetable oil, 1.5 gallons of milk, 20 pounds of shortening and 25 ounces of vanilla extract.

Oh, and there's a sad ending.  When the game's over, they cut the cake and serve it up for donations tothe Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund.

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  Stadium Cake Press Clippings