Sunday, April 28, 2013

I WON the Cupcake Wars

Remember this post when I confessed I was competing in the Salt Lake Tribune Home and Garden Show's Cupcake Wars?

The prize was a shiny red KitchenAid Mixer. Now, I already have a KitchenAid mixer (a present after I blew out two Sunbeams.) I considered not participating and told my mother so.

"But...I don't have a KitchenAid," She said, with mournful eyes. That settled it.

"Then I am going to go and win you a KitchenAid."

I came up with the idea of key lime cupcakes with my secret whipped sour cream frosting. I made a basic yellow cake from scratch, added 2 tsps lime juice and added a tablespoon of lime zest. After the cupcakes baked I filled them with a cooled key lime custard using a pastry tip. I hide a fresh raspberry on top of the cake, and then piped on the whipped sour cream frosting.

The theme of the cupcake war was "In the Garden," so besides the fruit-based cake, I decided to top the frosting with a spun sugar nest filled with green pearl "eggs" and a small Cadbury mini egg I decorated to look like a bird. I love working with spun sugar. It's not easy, but the result is so beautiful it's worth it.

We were allowed to bring an assistant, and a huge shout out to Shannon for volunteering to help me. She was so great, drumming up interest, keeping the audience engaged, and helping me at every step of the way. Tiffany met me there with the one thing I forget: THE PANS IN WHICH TO BAKE THE CUPCAKES. She and her girls help haul all my junk into the venue and helped me calm the eff down.

I could bring a set of cupcakes with me, but I had to present at least 4 cupcakes to the judges that I'd baked and completed on site. We were working with new ovens and they were off. The cupcakes cooked for 17 minutes in my home over. At 45 minutes in the new ovens they STILL weren't done. I was having a panic attack. I knew should have brought an oven thermometer, said my inner freak-out voice.

I decided to pull them out of the oven anyway, and then managed to try to cool them down. Experienced bakers know that managing the temperature of your cake after baking is imperative to properly frosting them (because there's not a baker in the world who hasn't cried giant tears once their beautiful homemade buttercream melts and slides off a rapidly collapsing cake.)

After filling, frosting, and decorating the cupcakes the audience had their turn. The turn out was bigger than expected so we ended up cutting each cupcake into six bites. We turned out 120 servings and still ran out.

Then it was time for judging. The audience choice came was Lindsey with her chocolate fudge cupcake! (It was darling.)

And then it was the big one.

The judges announced my name and I freaked out! I won! I won a KitchenAid for my mom!

Special thanks to Tiffany's Ava, age 10, who took all these pictures:

Action shot!

The raspberries before I piped on the frosting

The spun sugar nests with the birds and eggs.

Shannon, being sassy, and Tiffany, who helped me load the mixer up!

Look how happy she was!

 I win best kid! Take that, other three kids!


Josh Bingham said...


Let's have a party where you make those cupcakes. And then give me a new kitchenaid (mine's on it's last legs.)

I'll deep fry sandwhiches.

fijiangirl said...

O.K. I'm ready to place my order! Those look so delish. I was just going to post asking for and update on your competition. Congratulations.

Battfam said...

Fantastic. Congratulations. The pictures of your mom's reaction are priceless.

P. S. One of these days I'm going to get my courage up to try the spun sugar.

Vanessa Medina said...

Congratulatios! Your mama should be so proud, and the cupcakes looks beautiful and delicious.