The Land Cookery

 The Land Cookery Competition is sponsored by The Land newspaper. The competition is is open to any person residing in NSW or ACT. Contact your nearest branch for information on the local competition. Entries for the cake decorating section (Section 6) can go straight to State Finals and do not need to go to branch or group competitions. State Finals are held at the Annual Conference in May.

Below is The Land Cookery Schedule.


Fruit cake tins:  Some being presented in tins which are smaller on the bottom.  We realise it may be difficult to purchase the original straight sided tins but these are much preferred - same size, top and bottom.

Chocolate in fruit cakes: The use of chocolate in fruit cakes is not acceptable for competition.

If a recipe states "sugar", it means white sugar and of course most people prefer to use caster sugar as it dissolves more readily.  If icing sugar or brown sugar are called for, then it will stipulate this in the ingredients list.

Loaf tins and bar tins: Certain recipes will call for either a loaf tin or a bar tin. A loaf tin is slightly flared so your loaf is wider at the top than it is at the base and had rounded corners. A bar tin is the same width at the top and the bottom with sharp tight angled corners.

‘The Land’ Cookery Schedule 2021/2022

Reproduction of a vintage Land Cookery Schedule in celebration of CWA of NSW 100 years. There are no required or suggested recipes this year - use your own favourite recipes. 

A colour printable version of PDF of The Land Cookery 2020/21 can be download here.


Please read carefully

1. This Contest is conducted by the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales.

2. The Contest is not restricted to members of the CWA; it is open to any person residing in NSW and ACT.

3. Entries at branch level to be accompanied by 10 cents entry fee. Entries at state level must be accompanied by the official printed current 2021-2022 coupon which will appear in “The Land” newspaper, otherwise they will be disqualified. Each entry requires a separate coupon. Entries must be lodged with the Cookery Officer of a CWA branch and contestants may enter in one branch and one group only. Entries in state finals must be accompanied by an original coupon.

4. Each branch conducts its separate contest at any time that is considered suitable. First and second prize winners must be two different competitors who will then be eligible to enter group semi-finals. This is a competition that is conducted from branch to group and then to state level.

5. First prize winners only of group semi-finals are eligible for the state final conducted concurrently with the CWA Annual General Conference. (This does not apply in section 6).

6. Additional classes, other than those on the schedule, may be included in branch contests, and additional prizes awarded locally, but prize winners in such classes will not compete in the semi-finals or state finals of the contest.

7. Branches and groups will appoint their own judges, BUT judges and stewards for the state finals will be appointed by the CWA State Land Cookery Committee Chairperson.

8. All exhibits entered in this contest (except in Section One, Classes A and B, and Section Seven) may be sold at branch and group level. All exhibits (except Section Six, Classes 6A & 6B) become the property of CWA at state level.

9. The judges’ decisions are absolutely final and not to be questioned or discussed with the judges.

10. The 10 cents entry fee with each entry, plus proceeds of the sales of entries, and any other monies raised at the same function, shall be sent through group treasurer to CWA State Office.

11. All entries in the state finals will be displayed and then sold except Section Six, Classes 6A & 6B. Proceeds of the sale to be added to the Cookery Committee funds.

12. No ring tin to be used throughout the contest. NO RACK MARKS ON ENTRIES.


14. Owners may purchase their exhibit, if they inform the steward when entering their exhibit at state level.

15. All entries must be accompanied by a filled in CWA approved label.

16. IMPORTANT All fruit cakes and sultana cakes must be entered uniced. ALL FRUIT CAKES MUST OBSERVE THE ½lb. BUTTER BASIS as standard mixture for size and weight. Tins may be square or round. The method of cutting right through the centre of the cake must be observed. NO CUT CAKE WILL BE ACCEPTED AT STATE FINALS but fruit cake, sultana cake and fruit pudding CAN be entered cut at group semi-finals.

Section One—Fruit Cakes

Prizes in Class (a)—First $30; Second $10; Third $6.

Prizes in Class (b)—First $20; Second $10; Third $6.

Class (a) Rich Fruit Cake (Dark)

Hints to the Competitor: In Rich Fruit Cake, nuts, if used, should be cut to a size that will not interfere with the cutting of the cake. Slow baking is necessary to bring out the colour and texture. A suggested guide for ½lb. butter basis is: ½lb. butter, ½lb. sugar, 2½lb. fruit.

Points to be looked for in judging: Smooth, even top, well risen and slightly rounded towards the centre, but not peaked. Smooth, even sides with no white patches or blotches on the surface. Browned evenly on sides, top and bottom. Texture should be fine and even, with no holes or tunnels; moist but not heavy or doughy. Fruit should be evenly distributed, and a good balance of fruit and mixture apparent. Should not be over-flavoured with spices and essences so that the natural flavour of the fruits is lost.

Class (b) Sultana Cake

Hints to the Competitor: The competitor must observe the ½lb. butter basis as standard mixture for size and weight. A suggested guide for proportion of fruit and mixture is ½lb. butter, ½lb. to 1lb. sultanas, ½lb. sugar.

Points to be looked for in judging: Evenly cooked on top, sides and bottom, and light in colour. Texture fine and even with no holes or tunnels; moist, but not heavy or doughy. Fruit should be evenly distributed and a good balance of fruit and mixture apparent. Peel optional. Almonds on top only will not disqualify entry. Cherries are not acceptable.

Section Two—Butter Cakes

Prizes in each Class—First $20; Second $10. Total $90.

Important: In judging, the method of cutting right through the centre of the cake must be observed. CAKE SHOULD BE PRESENTED AS BAKED, NOT TRIMMED.

Class (a) Orange Cake—Must be iced or frosted on top and may be decorated with grated rind, or rind cut in fancy shapes ONLY. It must be baked in a loaf, deep square or round tin.

Hints to the Competitor: In Orange Cake, grated rind adds a more definite flavour than juice alone.

Class (b) Chocolate Cake—To be iced on top only. May be simply decorated with nuts, dried or preserved fruits, nonpariels, coconut or chocolate, or a simply piped design. May be baked in any shaped deep tin excepting a ring tin. Approximately 2½” minimum depth of cake is desirable.

Hints to the Competitor: In Chocolate Cake, if cocoa is used for flavour and colour it should not be sifted and added to the flour but blended with the liquid. Chocolate (block) if used should be melted.

Class (c) Plain Butter Cake—There must be no fruit, nuts, cherries or peel in or on cake. Must be simply iced on top only, but NOT decorated. Essences may be used if desired. Approximately 2½” minimum depth of cake is desirable.

In Plain Butter Cake essences may be used is desired.

Points to be looked for in judging: ALL butter cakes: There should not be any large holes or tunnels. Cakes should not have hard crusts, be sugary or sticky. Cooking should be even right throughout, and the cake should not be crumbly or soggy. Each variety should have a definite flavour. Chocolate and Orange Cakes may be slightly raised towards the centre but not peaked.

Section Three—Scones

Prizes—First $40; Second $16; Third $8. Total $64.

The best twelve (12) scones from a one pound white flour mixture to be entered using a plain basic scone recipe, without eggs. A round cutter of two inch (2”) diameter should be used.

Points to be looked for in judging: Fine texture, even rising, golden brown on top and bottom. Scones should be placed on a baking tray, close but not touching. No marks or flour should appear on the surfaces.

All these points, together with palatability, will be looked for in judging.

Section Four—Biscuits and Shortbread

Prizes in each Class—First $20; Second $10. Total $60.

Important: Biscuits must be displayed in boxes no larger than 14” x 8” and containers will be sold with biscuits. Contestants using larger boxes will be disqualified. Contestants are advised that the ordinary shirt box, suitably covered, is recommended. A minimum of 6 different mixtures must be entered in class (a). There must be a minimum of 6 samples of each type of biscuit. The biscuits must be protected by a transparent, removable cover.

Class (a) Assorted Plain Biscuits—There must be six distinct different types of mixtures, NOT one basic recipe with six different varieties of flavouring. They may be any fancy shape but not joined together with icing in a sandwich style. Biscuits containing crystallised fruits, nuts, etc., baked in with the mixture may be included in this class.

Hints to the Competitor: Examples of Assorted Plain Biscuits are as follows: plain shortbread, plain forcer, Anzac, rolled, sliced-refrigerator and drop biscuits.

Class (b) Plain Shortbread—One round or square of shortbread. Approximately 7” minimum across.

Hints to the Competitor: Shortbread should be pale straw colour, crisp in texture and should be un-iced. For judging, shortbread is to be broken, not cut.

Points to be looked for in judging: Shape, daintiness and delicacy of colour to be considered. Eating quality is most important.

Section Five—Lamingtons (Chocolate Coating Only, tossed in fine white coconut)

Prizes—First $20; Second $10. Total $30.

Eight (8) cakes must be presented. The basis must be a plain butter cake with no jam filling.

Points to be looked for in judging: Daintiness of size (approximately 1½” square), texture of cake, quality of finish and general presentation.

Section Six—Iced and Decorated Cakes

Prizes in class (a)—First $35; Second $25; Third $15.

Prizes in class (b)—First $30; Second $20; Third $15; Fourth $5.

Important: Entries must be clearly identified in their right class. Entries in this section may be retained by the competitor or donated to the CWA for sale, but must be clearly marked accordingly. Exhibits in this section may be entered directly into the Finals and need not pass preliminary judging in branch or group contests, but entries must be made through a branch or group Secretary.

Class (a) One-Tier Special Occasion Cake—A Special Occasion Cake may be made for a 21st birthday, a wedding anniversary, a christening—any special occasion, and decorated to suit that occasion. The basis must be a fruit cake. This is a championship class.

Class (b) Decorated Iced Cake—This class is for competitors who have never won a first prize in Section 6 at State level. The basis must be a fruit cake.

Section Seven—Steamed Plum Pudding

Prizes—First $20; Second $10. Total $30.

Important: In judging, the method of cutting right through the centre of the pudding must be observed. Competitors must observe the ½lb. shortening basis as standard mixture for size and weight.

Points to be looked for in judging: The pudding should have a rich dark colour, and colour should be even throughout. There should be no holes in the mixture and no soggy, wet or mouldy patches. It should have a good well-balanced fruity flavour.

Section Eight—Jam and Sweet Mustard Pickles

Prizes in each class—First $10; Second $6. Total $32.

Important: Jam and pickles should be presented in approximately 250ml size glass containers with screw-on non-commercial tops. They must be securely sealed and labelled. If contestants cannot obtain the usual 250ml screw-top jars, commercial tops must be painted or otherwise attractively covered.

Class (a) Dried Apricot Jam

Hints to the Competitor: It is advisable to retain some unopened jars of the same batch, as jars opened at branch or group contests are not eligible for the finals. Fruit should be thoroughly washed and drained.

Points to be looked for in judging: Flavour is the deciding factor, but general appearance is important and consistency should be neither sticky or syrupy.

Class (b) Sweet Mustard Pickles

Hints to the Competitor: Vegetables should be cut into “bite” sized pieces. They should be firm but well cooked. Over sharpness and sweetness of flavour should be avoided.

Points to be looked for in judging: Sauce should be smooth and of medium thickness. Colour should be attractive with an appeal to the palate. Flavour and general appearance are all-important.

Section Nine—Date and Walnut Roll

Prizes—First $20; Second $10. Total $30.

Hints to the Competitor: To be made in roll tin only.

Points to be looked for in judging: Roll should not have any large holes or tunnels and should not have hard crusts. Texture should be even and reasonably fine with fruit and nuts evenly distributed. Colour should be even and not blotchy.

Section Ten—Special Section for Young Competitors

Prizes in class (a)—First $20; Second $10.

Prizes in class (b)—First $10; Second $5.

Total $45.

Class (a) A Simply Iced Orange Butter Cake

Hints to the Competitor: See Section 2, Class (a).

Class (b) Cooked Coconut Ice

To be presented in an attractive box with transparent lid. Box approximately 8” by 5” and 1” deep.

Hints to the Competitor: Only fresh desiccated coconut should be used. To preserve whiteness it is advisable not to use an aluminium saucepan as it may cause slight discolouration.

Points to be looked for in judging: Texture—the sweet should not be hard, sticky or candied (showing sugar crystals). The white layer should be really white, not faintly grey. The pink layer should be only delicately coloured. Pieces should be of neat size and cleanly cut.

Special “The Land” Awards for Branches Judged on Ration of Members Entries

Branches with 15 members and under with most entries in Cookery Competition: First $150; Second $75; Third $25. Total $250.

Branches with 16 to 25 members with most entries in Cookery Competition: First $150; Second $75; Third $25. Total $250.

Branches with 26 to 50 members with most entries in Cookery Competition: First $150; Second $75; Third $25. Total $250.

Branches with over 51 members with most entries in Cookery Competition: First $150; Second $75; Third $25. Total $250.