Cupcake Smackdown Aftermath

August 2, 2009

the Smackdown is over.  the event was huge!  One 2 One is relatively small bar, and it was packed with people, dogs, and cupcakes.  there was hardly room to move around when i got there just after six, reportedly there’d been 500 visitors by 5:30PM.

i didn’t end up placing in either of the Amateur Baker categories that i entered, but i’m really glad that i participated.  what better way to break my culinary competition cherry than with a cupcake contest.  i definitely learned some lessons which will come in handy:

  • Cuteness Matters: my cupcakes may be delicious, but honestly i’ve yet to get the visual presentation down.  it seemed people where more likely to try tasting a cupcake that was cute and/or ornate (this should’ve been obvious to me, i know).  my creations look messy and deceptively simple.  it’s easy enough to get someone to try a vegan cupcake when you recommend it to them in person, but in a competition i need to grab the taste’s attention so they’ll give my cupcake a taste, then i hook ’em with yumminess.
  • Be Mindful of Ingredient Substitutions: i’ve been making the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with almond butter instead of almond meal, and while the flavor is amazing, it’s causing them to be structurally weak.  this isn’t such a problem when i’m just sharing them with friends & family, but it became an issue for the competition since the Dulce Sin Leche glaze is dense and a bit heavy and the cakes quickly crumble as they’re eaten.

on the Cupcake Eating competition side of things i fared pretty well.  placed 2nd during the first round by eating 9 cupcakes in 2 minutes.  Chris Floyd got 1st place by eating 10 in about a minute and half.  during the second/final round i hit a wall and only managed to put down 3 more cupcakes, coming in 3rd overall.  Chris Floyd came in 1st again by eating another 10 cupcakes!  apparently he’s done the eating competition thing before so i feel pretty good about holding my own against him.

you can see some pics of the event and me stuffing my face with cupcakes on John M.P. Knox’s Flickr album, i plan to post some of the ones Andréa shot soon.

more details about the results of the competition are available at organizer Jennie Chen’s site Miso Hungry Now.

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