It takes months to plan and implement West Baton Rouge Museum’s annual SugarFest, and the uncertainty of what phase our state would be in due to Covid-19 helped museum staff to think creatively on how to stay connected to the community and to the artists and musicians that make this event so sweet.

Not wanting to miss out on celebrating the event’s silver anniversary, the museum team got right to work with a professional film crew from Fantom Light Productions documenting local folk life traditions and music to present a Virtual SugarFest the first weekend in October.

The event even included the annual Sweets Contest with a unique twist.

By all accounts, Virtual SugarFest is proving to be a sweet success with almost 18,000 views to date on these videos on the West Baton Rouge Museum’s Facebook page and the numbers keep on growing.

Thirty-seven films including Blues, Cajun, and Jazz concerts as well as artist interviews and demonstrations can still be viewed by searching #WBRMSugarFest2020 or on the museum’s YouTube channel. 

As for the Virtual Sweets Contest, there was no baking required this year. Participants sent in recipes to be read by Chef John Folse of Chef John Folse & Company. Chef Folse was impressed with the recipes submitted and said there could have been several first-place winners in several categories.

While all recipes can be viewed at under Events and Programs, here are the winners whose recipes will be included in the November/December issue of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture:


First Place: Maylee H. Samuels, Cane Syrup Ice Cream with Candied Pecans      

Second Place: Karen Messenger, Creamy Chocolate Pecan Fudge                                                                     

Third Place: Tara Messenger, Chocolate Peanut Butter (Pecan) Candy


First Place: Mary Broussard Acosta, A Fantastic Creole Coconut Pie                                                       

Second Place: Dr. Marge Gill, Buttermilk Pie                                                                                                            Third Place: Brigette Larpenter, Cherry Crumble Pies


First Place: Abbie Edens, Honey Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream                                                           

Second Place: Fannie, Easterly, Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting                                      

Third Place: Sheila Alleman, Black Forest Cake


First Place: Christine Laiche, Chococonut Chip Cookies                                                                            

Second Place: Colleen Martin, Blackberry Swirl Cookies                                                                           

Third Place: Chase Berenson & Charla Hughes, The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


Abbie Edens, Honey Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream

The museum staff was drawn to the use of local seasonal ingredients, pecans and raw sugar from the mill at Alma and the history that was included with one particular entry. So, in honor of the 25th anniversary, the staff included a new category:

West Baton Rouge Museum Staff Favorite:

Andrea Normand, Fresh Apple Cake

West Baton Rouge Museum is located at 845 North Jefferson Avenue in Port Allen. For more information, please visit or call (225)336-2422 Ext. 200.

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