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.

Cupcake Smackdown 1.0

July 31, 2009

this weekend i am competing in my first baking contest ever.  for those of you who haven’t yet heard, the Cupcake Smackdown is going down tomorrow, Saturday, August 1st, at the One 2 One Bar on 5th & Brazos.  i am entering in Amateur Bakers portion (one tray of chocolate, one tray “freestyle”) and also in the Cupcake Eating contest (for humans, as they have a canine category too).  early this morning our local Fox affiliate did a couple of live promotion segments shot at Walton’s Fancy and Staple (where i might add, i had one the most riquísimo cappuccino in a long time, and the the Spinach & Feta croissant was scrumptious too).  i was briefly interviewed in the second segment and one of the tasters had good things to say about my Dulce Sin Leche vegan cupcakes.  Andréa participated as taster and can be seen sharing her thoughts on of Walton’s own cream cheese frosted chocolate cupcakes.

Fox 7’s Good Day Cupcake Coverage [note: the second segment (which features me and has my cupcake as the thumbnail, loads first.  you should also watch the first segment (which has the cupcakes on a platter).]