RENOWNED food writer Matthew Fort took his expert tastebuds to the White Swan Inn, Pickering, as local bakers competed in a three-heat Jubilee bake-off.

As judge, Matthew tasted dozens of home-made Victoria sponges made by enthusiastic competitors from as young as five.

Entrants had already baked through previous rounds, creating a tray bake and a cheese scone before tackling the ultimate baking challenge: the perfect Victoria sponge.

Winners were chosen from three age groups. Joyce Cass came first in the over 16s category, winning a trophy and a meal for two at the White Swan Inn. In the 11-16 years age group, Laura Boyes, 11, won a lunch for four at Feast, and in the final category, six-year-old Rebekah Hogg won the Under 11s competition with a prize of lunch for four at Feast. Matthew also commended Isla John, the youngest contestant at five years, for her baking talents.

Marion Buchanan, from The White Swan Inn, said: “We are delighted to have been able to bring together Pickering’s finest bakers and showcase their skills to such a reputable judge.

“I would like to thank Matthew for giving up his time to come to Pickering and celebrate our community’s culinary skills.”

Matthew said: “The winning cake was as light as feather and with the perfect quantities of jam and cream. It was a delight to the tastebuds.”

Matthew Fort has been food and drink editor at the Guardian for more than 20 years and has worked in food writing and broadcast television for 30 years.