|Welcome to the world of DPC challenge participation. Although a basic camera may impose limits on the technical aspects of exposure (range of aperture, ISO setting, available focal lengths, and flexibility with flash equipment), elements of composition are mostly independent of the camera. If you get a chance, take a look at “The Photographer’s Eye”, a wonderful book that will change how you look at all kinds of artwork, including your own.
Actually, in this case, the cake is nicely exposed, with detail preserved and the white not blown out despite use of flash, and the important elements are in focus. Unfortunately, in a topical challenges image that really hammer home the theme tend to do better. So a strong light from the side might have moved the shadows over enough to be a bigger part of the image.
But the biggest opportunity is with the background. It really helps to take a close look all around the edges of a posed image just before activating the shutter. A slight shift in position would have eliminated the distracting back edge of the table. A moment to smooth the tablecloth would have eliminated those folds in the upper left, that don’t contribute to the composition. Perhaps changing the cloth to a solid color would have made the subject much more attractive (the repeating white lines in the cloth clash with and distract from the simplicity of the square white platter).
Keep taking pictures, keep entering, and keep learning everything you can from the comments and the discussion threads. Also, try voting in some challenges too. I find that is a good way to make me slow down and seriously consider all the different aspects of each image and how they contribute to the final product. Great way to learn about images and about yourself.