Friday, February 26, 2010

LA Cupcake Challenge: The Competitors, Part Four

Here's the last of the competitors from the LA Cupcake Challenge!

Speakeasy Sweets 
33: Irish Car Bomb
34: Amaretto Sour
Twitter: @speakeasysweets
Comment: All of their cupcakes are cocktail-infused.


Sweet E's
11: Chocolate Vanilla Swirl
36: Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Comment: Recognize this woman? She was on the pilot of The Food Network's Cupcake Wars a few months ago. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity! Loved the frosting on these cupcakes.



Tavern Restaurant
12: Vanilla
37: Salted Caramel
Comment: These cucpakes were made by the pastry chefs at Tavern Restaurant in LA. They were beautifully presented.



The Cake Shop
13: Red Velvet
38: Orange Cranberry
(Can't find info on them and I lost their business card. Email me if you have info.)
Comment: The chocolate ganache on top of the red velvet was a nice twist from the usual. The frosting was a good consistency on both cupcakes.



Two Parts Sugar
14: Vanilla Throwback
39: Chocolate Covered Strawberry
Comment: The Chocolate Covered Strawberry was one of my favorites. Reminded me of a strawberry cream See's chocolate, with chocolate cake attached. I also thought their booth was well put together, with a fun theme.




Urban Sweets
40: Spiced Apple with Brown Sugar
Twitter: @urbansweets
Comment: Apples are one of my favorite foods. It's always fun to see them in cupcakes, which doesn't happen very often. Good combo of flavors.


Did you check out the other competitors? Group One, Group Two, Group Three 
More importantly, did you see who won? Find the results of the LA Cupcake Challenge here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

LA Cupcake Challenge: The Competitors, Part Three

You think you've seen a lot of cupcakes already, well, I'm only half-way through. This next set of competitors had some pretty unique cupcake flavors.

My Delight Cupcakery
29: Breakfast Cake
30: Key Lime
Twitter: @My_Delight
Comment: This isn't the actual Breakfast Cake, but it is a good representation. It was a buttermilk cupcake with bits of bacon, topped with maple syrup frosting and more bacon bits. I actually took one home and had for breakfast the next morning. Yum!

08: Little Penguin
31: Lucky Charm (pistachio)
Twitter: @polkatots
Comment: There was no way I was going to like a pistachio cupcake. Polkatots proved me was great! Also found out that Polkatots specializes in cupcake cakes. (Sadly, their cupcakes were gone before I got a picture) Last year they won 1st place for Best Original and Best Overall cupcake at the LA Cupcake Challenge.


Renaissance Hollywood Hotel
32: Maple and Bacon
Comment: I'm assuming these cupcakes are made by the restaurant at the hotel where the event was held. Nothing special.


Southern Girl Delights
09: Red Velvet
Twitter: @dessertsdivas
Store located in Los Angeles
Comment: Last week they sent out a coupon to get 6 cupcakes for $8. They said they sold 1400 cupcakes last week! Last year they won 3rd place for Best Original in the LA Cupcake Challenge.


Sugar Bliss Sweets
10: Lavender Vanilla
35: Rose Petal
Twitter: @Sugar_Bliss
Comment: These two cupcake flavors reminded me of my favorite soaps. I've never had cupcakes with rose petal and lavender before.


One of the most fun parts of the day was getting to meet some of my blog readers. At first I was surprised that anyone recognized me, then we became instant friends as we shared our love for cupcakes.

I made an effort to talk to all of the owners. I loved seeing how passionate each of them were about their cupcakes. It's that kind of passion that will push owners to create amazing cupcakes.

Check out the first group of competitors here.
Check out the second group of competitors here.
See the final results of the LA Cupcake Challenge here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SusieCakes gives Free Cupcakes to Youth Sports Players


Starting April 5 and continuing through the month of April, SusieCake will be giving out free cupcakes to kids 12 and younger who wear their sports uniform into the bakery. The kids will be able to pick their favorite frosting-filled cupcake, which they can top with a sports-themed decoration. According to the press release, founder and owner Sarah Sarich said, "I hope this is something both little sports stars and parents alike can look forward to as a fun, rewarding post-game activity." I'll use any excuse to visit SusieCakes.

LA Cupcake Challenge: The Competitors, Part Two

Friandise Pastries
22: Sticky Toffee Pudding
23: Coconut
Comment: Cute cupcakes hats


Hansen Cakes
06: Wedding Cupcakes
Twitter: @hansencakes
Showrooms in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Tarzana
Comment: Frosting tasted exactly like the frosting you would find on a wedding cake, possibly French buttercream.


Jus Minis
07: Red Velvet
24: Caramel Banana
Comment: The caramel in the middle and the caramelized banana on top were perfect touches.


25: Fall Spice
26: Chocolate Coconut
Twitter: @LayersCupcakes 
Comment: These cupcakes were infused with gourmet tea.

Meringue Bake Shop
27: Pretty Woman
28: Pigs on Tap
Twitter: @meringuebkeshp 
Comment: Meringue had some unique, delicious flavors. Pretty Woman was a champagne cupcake and Pigs on Tap was a Guiness and bacon cupcake.


Did you already check out the first group of competitors? Find them here.
What exactly is the LA Cupcake Challenge? Find out here.

LA Cupcake Challenge Results

(Nichelle from Cupcakes Take the Cake and me)

Got the official results last night from the 2010 LA Cupcake Challenge. Here they are:

Best Traditional
1st: Big Man Bakes - Red Velvet
2nd: Blue Cupcake - Sweet and Salty Vanilla
3rd: Southern Girl Desserts - Red Velvet

Best Original
1st: My Delight Cupcakery - Breakfast Cake
2nd: Jus Minis - Caramel Banana
3rd: Two Parts Sugar - Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Best Overall
1st: Jus Minis - Caramel Banana
2nd: My Delight Cupcakery - Breakfast Cake
3rd: Two Parts Sugar - Chocolate Covered Strawberry

My Picks
Best Traditional Winner
Blue Cupcake - Sweet and Salty Vanilla

Best Traditional Runner-up
Big Man Bakes - Red Velvet

Best Original Winner
Blue Cupcake - Pumpkin

Best Original Runner-Up
Fairy Cakes - Pumpkin White Chocolate

Best Overall Winner
Blue Cupcake - Pumpkin

Best Overall Runner-up
Fairy Cakes - Pumpkin White Chocolate

I was blown away by Blue Cupcake's cupcakes! I am a sucker for cupcakes with filling (caramel in the Vanilla and pumpkin mousse in the Pumpkin). I  loved the sweet and salty combination that both of them had (salted vanilla buttercream on the Vanilla and pumpkin seeds on the Pumpkin). Blue Cupcake also had a very cute display. Congratulations to them for their 2nd place win on Best Traditional.

Big Man Bakes had some of the moistest cupcakes I've ever tasted. The "Big Man" told me that he worked for months perfecting his Red Velvet before he began selling it. He didn't want to sell an inferior cupcake. I admire that. 

Fairy Cakes was a close second place for me. Not sure why the two pumpkin cupcakes were my favorite of the day, but both were done just right. Fairy Cakes' Pumpkin cupcake was the first one I tried that day and was one of the few I was still thinking about after I left. I've read a few blogs over the past couple of days proclaiming their loved for Fairy Cakes' Pumpkin cupcake also. Great job! 

You can find more photos on the LA Cupcake Challenge flickr pool.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Review: Cinnabon Cupcakes

My friend Kelly attended a mommy blogger event over the weekend. I was super excited to see her tweeting about the new Cinnabon cupcakes. I was even more excited when she saved one for me to try.

After getting mixed reviews on them, I was curious, but a little hesitant to try one. Kelly brought me the Cinnacake Classic cupcake, the one I thought would be the best anyway. I took a bite and am happy to report that it was tasty! BUT, I must say that I wouldn't really call it a cupcake. It is more of a hybrid between a cinnamon roll and cupcake. Whatever you want to call it, make sure you try one yourself.

LA Cupcake Challenge: The Competitors, Part One

I explained exactly what the LA Cupcake Challenge was yesterday, so now let's see those cupcakes!

There were 22 bakeries competing for the titles of Best Traditional, Best Original, and Best Overall cupcake. Most bakeries entered two cupcakes in the competition. Yes, I got to eat 40 mini cupcakes! Yes, I was sick by the end of the night, but I loved every minute of it!

Babycakes Baking Company
01: Hot Chocolate
15: Bananas Foster
Store located in Torrance
Comment: Loved the cupcake displays.


Big Man Bakes
02: Red Velvet
16: Carrot Cake
Twitter: @bigmanbakes 
Store located in Los Angeles
Comment: Cupcakes were super moist.



Blue Cupcake
03: Sweet and Salty Vanilla (Vanilla cake filled with rich caramel, topped with vanilla and salted caramel buttercream)
17: Pumpkin (Pumpkin bread filled with spiced pumpkin mousse, topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting and pumpkin seeds)
Twitter: @juliedesmeules 
Sold at Century City Farmer's Market and Lot 44 Cupcake
Comment: Loved the display, very cute! But I loved these cupcakes even more!



Charmed Cupcakes
04: Red Velvet
18: Blueberry
Store located in Long Beach
Comment: They were the only bakery that made full-sized cupcakes. The Mardi Gras theme added some personality to their booth.



Cupcake Couture 
19: Sunday Mimosa
20: Little Miss Shortcake
Twitter: @CupcakesMB 
Comment: Taste matched their beautiful decoration.


Fairy Cakes 
05: Vanilla Bean Almond Dream
21: Pumpkin White Chocolate
Comment: Based in Orange County, this was my first sampling of their cupcakes, but it is certainly not my last. The Pumpkin White Chocolate was outstanding!

And this is just the beginning! Check back soon to see more of the competitors and their cupcakes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

LA Cupcake Challenge: What is it?

WOW! What a day! I've been looking forward to attending the LA Cupcake Challenge since I was unable to attend last year. Last week was a long week as I anxiously awaited for Saturday to come.

The LA Cupcake Challenge took place at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, CA. The event is put on by Drink:Eat:Play Events. It was sponsored by Nestle Nesquik, Renaissance Hotel, and CozmoCard. 

The event featured the best bakeries in LA and Orange County, and were judged by the public and a panel of celebrity judges (that's me!). The cupcakes were judged on three categories: Best Traditional, Best Original, and Best Overall.

I couldn't believe how many people were at this event! Several people I talked to said that this year's event was way bigger than last year's. I would say so! Each bakery had to bring 700 mini cupcakes of each flavor!

It was great to see some familiar faces. Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop was there with her cupcakes and Shari (sorry if I spelled wrong) of Bonnin Designs was there to help her out.

I also got to meet some new people like Nichelle, the other mastermind from Cupcakes Take the Cake. (I met Rachel at the Mini Cupcake Clash in San Francisco a few months ago.)

I know what you're thinking...where are the cupcakes?! My wonderful, awesome husband was my official photographer and took a million photos for me. It's hard to pick out my favorites, but I will give it a try. Check back tomorrow for more coverage.


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