30 Blue-Ribbon Recipes from Fairs Across America (2024)

Home Recipes

ByEmily Tyra

Taste of Home's Editorial Process

Updated: Feb. 04, 2024

    These classic recipes took home the coveted blue ribbon at fairs across the country. Make these blue-ribbon recipes for cookies, cake, pie (and even a big burrito) and you, too, will feel the victory.


    Blue-Ribbon Butter Cake

    I found this buttercake recipe in an old cookbook I bought at a garage sale and couldn’t wait to try it. I knew it had been someone’s favorite because of the well-worn page. —Joan Gertz, Palmetto, Florida

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    Fudge Pecan Brownie Tart

    I love inventing my own recipes and entering contests—I won a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair for this one!

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    Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake

    Inspired by an abundance of zucchini, I found a new way to use it up in this spiced and lightly sweet cake. It even won a blue ribbon at our county fair! —Regina Stock, Topeka, Kansas

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    Frosted Cashew Cookies

    We savor these cookies at Christmas, but they're special year-round with coffee or tucked into a lunchbox. I won a ribbon with these cookies at my county fair. —Sheila Wyum, Rutland, North Dakota

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    Golden Apple Pie

    Pies are the dessert I like best to prepare. This one's the favorite for family get-togethers, and it has been awarded blue ribbons at a couple of local fairs. —Theresa Brazil, Petaluma, California

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    Rhubarb-Filled Cookies

    I won a blue ribbon at our local fair for these tender cookies. They're so pretty with the ruby-red filling peeking through the dough. Try making these special cookies and watch the smiles appear. —Pauline Bondy, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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    Sweet Corn Muffins

    I love making corn bread and corn muffins, but often the results are not moist or sweet enough for my taste. So I experimented until I came up with these light, pleasantly sweet muffins. They ended up winning a blue ribbon at our county fair. —Patty Bourne, Owings, Maryland

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    Texas Pecan Pie

    I won a blue ribbon for this pie at the Texas State Fair. Since I was in the military for more than 20 years, I didn’t really start cooking until after I retired. Now I enjoy spending my time in the kitchen. —Michelle Shockley, Wichita, Kansas

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    Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

    My grandma kept two cookie jars in her pantry. One of the jars, which I now have, always had these crisp and chewy gingersnaps in it. They're still my favorite cookies. My daughter used this recipe for a 4-H fair and won a blue ribbon. —Deb Handy, Pomona, Kansas

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    Blueberry Lattice Bars

    Since our area has an annual blueberry festival, my daughters and I are always looking for amazing new recipes to enter in the cooking contest. These lovely bars won a blue ribbon one year. —Debbie Ayers, Baileyville, Maine

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    Amish Sugar Cookies

    These easy-to-make, old-fashioned Amish sugar cookies simply melt in your mouth! I've passed this recipe around to many friends. After I gave it to my sister, she entered the cookies in a local fair and won best of show. —Sylvia Ford, Kennett, Missouri

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    Sesame Wheat Braids

    When I started making this bread, my husband and our six children liked it so much that I was baking every day! I was thrilled when the judges at our county fair gave these braids both a blue ribbon and a best of show award! —Nancy Montgomery, Hartville, Ohio

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    Blue-Ribbon Doughnuts

    What could be more delicious than a warm homemade doughnut? I've been making these tasty treats for my children and grandchildren for many years. —Kay McEwen, Sussex, New Brunswick

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    Tropical Muffins

    I entered these muffins at our county fair and won the grand champion award for baked goods. They're so moist, they don't need butter. —Sylvia Osborn, Clay Center, Kansas

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    Winning Apricot Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Winning Apricot Bars

    This recipe is down-home baking at its best, and it really represents all regions of the country. It's won blue ribbons at county fairs and cookie contests in several states! Easy to make, it's perfect for potluck suppers, bake sales, lunchboxes or just plain snacking.—Jill Moritz, Irvine, California

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    Muenster Bread

    Many years ago my sister and I won blue ribbons in 4-H with this bread. The recipe makes a beautiful golden loaf with cheese peeking out of every slice. —Melanie Mero, Ida, Michigan

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    Five-Star Brownies

    There's a bit of my state's history behind these brownies' name and shape. In 1990, when I entered them at our state fair, Kansas was celebrating the 100th birthday of a famous native son, Dwight Eisenhower. In fact, that occasion was the theme of the fair. So I renamed my brownies, in honor of the rank he'd achieved as a general and cut them out with a star cookie cutter. They ended up winning a blue ribbon! —Pam Buerki Rogers, Victoria, Kansas

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    Apple-Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

    A layer of sweetened cream cheese topped with a tart fruit filling makes this pie popular with family, friends and co-workers. It won the blue ribbon at a local fair. —Donna Rettew, Jonestown, Pennsylvania

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    Blue Ribbon Beefy Burritos

    I have a son who lives in Mexico, so we don’t see him very often. When I make these burritos, it feels as if he is right there at the table with us, inhaling them. —Marina Castle, Canyon Country, California

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    Corn Chowder with Potatoes

    I developed this soup out of two others to create my own low-calorie recipe. It turned out so well that I entered it in my county fair and won a blue ribbon. —Alyce Wyman, Pembina, North Dakota

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    Blue-Ribbon Herb Rolls

    These rolls have been a favorite of ours for nearly 25 years. I even baked them in an old wood stove when we lived on a farm. I developed the recipe using several techniques I learned while studying the art of bread making. The recipe won a blue ribbon at our county fair. —Mary Ann Evans, Tarpon Springs, Florida

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    Blue-Ribbon Apple Pie

    This pie is special to me because I won a blue ribbon for it at the local fair and was able to compete at the state farm show. —Collette Gaugler, Fogelsville, Pennsylvania

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    Blue-Ribbon Red Velvet Cake

    This two-layer beauty features a striking red interior. It calls for more cocoa than most red velvet cakes, making it extra chocolaty. Feel free to change the color of the food coloring to suit the occasion. This recipe won a blue ribbon in the holiday cake division at the 2006 Alaska State Fair. I think this cake will be a winner in your house, too! —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska

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    Taste of Home

    My biscuits won the prize for best quick bread at my county fair. One of the judges liked them so much, she asked for the recipe! These buttery, savory biscuits go with just about anything. —Gloria Jarrett, Loveland, Ohio

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    Lime Mint Jelly

    This holly-green jelly won a Best of Show at the county fair and I was so thrilled. Flavored with lime, it's delicious on roasted meats. —Gloria Jarrett, Loveland, Ohio

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    Brown Sugar Icebox Cookies

    My daughters and I have been fairly successful competitors at county fairs and baking contests for years. This is one of our winning recipes. —Eilene Bogar, Minier, Illinois

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    Blue-Ribbon Rye Bread

    My kids once had a little bread business, selling homemade loaves to neighbors and people in the community. Many purchased this rye that won best of show at our county fair. —Susanne Spicker, North Ogden, Utah

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    Cherry No-Bake Cookies

    I always loved my no-bake cookie recipe, but I was never able to place at the fair with it. So I mixed in some maraschino cherries, added almond extract and voila! I won a blue ribbon at the county fair in 2010. —Denise Wheeler, Newaygo, Michigan

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    Originally Published: July 08, 2019

    30 Blue-Ribbon Recipes from Fairs Across America (2024)


    Does Linda Skeens have a cookbook? ›

    Skeens, who has been dubbed the “blue ribbon queen,” has penned “Blue Ribbon Kitchen: Recipes and Tips from America's Favorite County Fair Champion,” a heartfelt cookbook that shares not only her award-winning recipes but stories about her life in Southwest Virginia.

    Where is Linda Skeen from? ›

    Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Linda Skeens. Skeens, the 74-year-old from Russell County, Virginia, became a viral sensation after dominating the Virginia-Kentucky District Fair this year.

    Who was a chef who wrote cookbooks on traditional Southern cuisine my most famous cookbook The Taste of Country Cooking was published in 1976? ›

    When Edna Lewis died in 2006, she was among the most beloved figures of American food. The author of four cookbooks—the best known being her 1976 memoir-infused The Taste of Country Cooking—she earned the praise of the food literati of her era, including Craig Claiborne, M.F.K. Fisher and James Beard.

    Did Linda Ronstadt write a cookbook? ›

    Ronstadt, 76, has written a cookbook. But “Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands,” published by California's Heyday press on Oct.

    Who was the first black woman to publish a cookbook? ›

    Malinda Russell (ca. 1812 – ?) was a free African-American woman from Tennessee who earned her living as a cook and published the first known cookbook by an African-American woman.

    Does Six Sisters have a cookbook? ›

    “Once again, I'm thoroughly impressed with the recipes found in the new Six Sisters cookbook. This cookbook though is going to the top of my list. Each recipe is six ingredients or less. To this single, working mom recipes like this are gold to me.

    Who wrote the cookbook taste of country cooking? ›


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