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Sifting Through Cupcake Wars

23 Jan

The fabulous Food Network show Cupcake Wars has started again and is as wonderful as last season if not better.

Just the other week, the episode culminated in what is officially my favorite final cupcake arrangement. Winners, Sift Cupcake & Dessert Bar created a rustic display perfect for a fall wedding or one set in wine country (where their business resides). I stumbled upon a quick interview of theirs with Cupcakes Take the Cake giving some insight to one of my favorite shows and desserts. I’m hoping they won’t mind me reposting their interview here, it’s too good to pass up!

Photo Credit: Sift Cupcake & Dessert

How did you decide to appear on Cupcake Wars? Did you create a video application?

We created three audition videos! We never heard back, so we would just make a new one and keep calling the producers to see if they watched it. By the end, I’m sure they only said yes to make us stop calling. 😉

What was the filming/taping like?

It was incredibly intense. The crew on the set was amazing…I don’t know how they are even standing at the end of the show…we were only still standing because we won $10,000!! Everyone worked so hard, it was a very looooong process. I remember begging the producer to let me change my shoes…my feet were killing me! Corey was a natural, she helped keep us grounded and calm (or so it seemed).

What was it like behind-the-scenes?

It’s so sureal actually being on the set that you’ve only watched on TV. It’s also a little intimidating being in someone else’s kitchen and having four or five cameras running after your every move. Many times we were like, “Woah! Watch out for the cameraman!” as we’re running with a hot pan.

How different were your experiences than what we saw on TV?

It’s really amazing how long you film for versus how LITTLE of it actually makes it in the 30-minute show. We tried giving Justin some of the wine we were using…that didn’t make the cut. Ha!

Were you given guidance by the Food Network? Were there things you wanted to do but were unable to?

Take my shoes off, sit down, and enjoy a glass of wine. They didn’t allow that…

How did you choose your winning cupcakes?

We decided on our Samoa and Pink Champagne, which is one of our best sellers (and perfect for weddings!). Then we decided to bring in a little wine country with our Zinger (Zinfandel Ginger). We could have used our Ooh La La (top-selling red velvet), but we just felt that flavor was a little played out.

What was the competition like?

Competition was tough. Lucy & Leo’s gave us a run for our money. And at the end we really had no idea which way the judges would go. We had two completely different wedding looks and themes. We called them on the air date to congratulate them on a great show. They were good competition!

How has winning affected your business, if at all?

Wow. We imagined business would increase…we just had no idea by how much. Let’s just say that we took in extra money in sales that week…and paid for it in overtime! Ha!

In all seriousness, our Sift family has worked so hard, they are simply amazing and we couldn’t be more grateful. They must love what they do because they keep sticking around.

What are you planning on doing with your winnings?

We are launching a Wine Country Cupcake Truck! We’ll roam the valley and vineyards and pass cupcakes to the wine-weary…or wine-happy. Follow us on Twitter @Sifted.

Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?

We just received our first Food Network order for Guy Fieri’s birthday cupcakes! We’re doing sushi, burgers, bbq, pizza, and Jack Daniels-themed cupcakes. We’ll send pics when they’re done

Be sure to check out Cupcakes Take the Cake for other little cupcake gems like this!

Cupcakes Claim Disneyland

3 Aug

Photo Credit: The OC Register

A cupcake-selling kiosk in Downtown Disney was a top seller last winter, and now the bakery is getting a permanent location in Disneyland. Owner Janel Mitchell is basking in this busy time saying,

“We were there for the holidays and we just did phenomenal. That’s why we’ve been so busy, just trying to build two places at one time. We bake here, and will deliver there.”

The Cupcake Store, whose main local is Viejo, Calif., plans to open doors in Disneyland in September of this year. Less than a month away, things must be coming along quickly for Mitchell and the cupcakery.

“I love the challenge – and it’s an exciting challenge.”

As an east coast resident, I must say I’m disappointed the cupcakery isn’t opening in Disney World.

Cupcakes Deserving of an Emmy

1 Aug

Photo Credit: NY Daily News

It’s not just Food Network having cupcake bakers battle it out for a grand prize. Now, Duncan Hines has joined the war.

The Cupcake Cafe in New York City hosted the competition where ten amateur bakers fought for the chance to serve their cupcakes at a pre-Emmy gala.  So, what was the winning flavor?

Red velvet cupcake with chocolate ganache filling and vanilla bean frosting, topped off with a fresh raspberry. Wow, we’d love to try these.

“I’ve never baked many cupcakes before, but in my head, I wanted a cupcake that had the glamour for the Emmy Awards,” winner Katie Rousonelos said.

Looks like her glamorous cake landed her a trip for two to LA for the award show as well as the chance to serve her cupcakes to more than a few celebrities.

Anniversary Cupcake Surprises

1 Aug

As I headed downtown for some lunch today, my husband unexpectedly turned down a road and brought the car to a stop proclaiming, “We’re here.” Let’s just say I was more than a little confused, that is until I saw a sign reading “The Cupcake Collection” in front of a small purple brick home.

(Please excuse the photo quality, as it was a surprise I didn’t have my camera! Settled for the phone.)

Already impressed with the husband, I had no idea the cupcake heaven that awaited me. Only open from 11-3 on Sundays, there was a decent sized line wrapping around the small porch. Lucky for us the line moved quickly, which is good because the smell wafting from the kitchen every time the door opened was teasing my taste buds.

This small, family-run bakery was even named the number one bakery in this year’s Toast of Music City. The Cupcake Collection features cakes that are delicately fluffy and frosting that has just the perfect amount of sweetness.

We had to try a good handful of flavors and decided on (from left to right) top row: sweet lemonade, strawberry, red velvet, bottom row: wedding cake, strawberry lemonade, chocolate.

Left absolutely speechless over the strawberry lemonade cupcake it’s needless to say we will be getting more than one cupcake of this flavor next time. The ratio of strawberry to lemon and frosting was absolute perfection. Plus, at only $1.50 per cupcake at least your wallet won’t feel bad for ordering one or two extra, your diet may not feel the same way though.

On top of all this, the youngster running the register on a busy day acted like the long line was no sweat. It definitely wasn’t his first time, and we wonder if owner Mignon Francois taught him everything she knows. Get to know her and her “testament” about the creation of The Cupcake Collection in the clip below, it’s certainly worth a listen.

If you haven’t made the trip to Historic Germantown to visit this family affair of a bakery you are missing out! Learn more about the bakery and daily flavors:

Nashville Goes to War

29 Jul

Don’t get your panties in a wad, Nashville is obviously not going to war. However, one Nashville cupcakery, The Painted Cupcake, is hoping to battle it out in Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.

We’ve already fallen in love with their cupcakes, and this video just made us love them even more. Tracey Davenport, owner of the bakery, managed to open the shop in just three weeks! That’s right, she signed the lease to a picturesque location in historic Nashville and received rave reviews from the moment doors opened for business, all in three weeks.

If you only watched the beginning of their video then you missed the best part. At the end, Tracy informs us The Painted Cupcake plans snag the $10,000 prize from Cupcake Wars and give all of it to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

There’s only one thing we love more than a good dessert and that’s some philanthropic action. Personally, we think seeing The Painted Cupcake take it all at Cupcake Wars would be thrilling.

Photo Credit: The Painted Cupcake

DC Cupcakes: A Semi-Sweet Treat

19 Jul


DC Cupcakes premiered this weekend and it was good. Not great, not bad, but good. While I was hooked enough to at least watch next week’s episode, I’m hoping it develops a little more.

There are some reality shows that we know in our minds are produced, and then there are reality shows in which producers throw in our faces that they’re putting the scenes together. Unfortunately, these first couple of episodes were more like the latter.

As one reviewer said:

“Ovens simmer and cocoa powder streaks faces, but “D.C. Cupcakes” is marred by the cardinal sin of reality TV: Its subjects are all too aware of the conventions, pantomiming reality in the service of reality.”

Here’s what we liked: The relationship between the sisters and their mom, not to mention their mom and the entire staff. We LOVE the cupcakes, their ideas and enthusiasm.

BUT. It needs to be more natural, less pieced together. We can only imagine how crazy it really is behind the scenes at Georgetown Cupcake on Valentine’s Day with a huge last minute order. And even though that’s what this episode featured, TLC didn’t give us their best.

One review, which I found a little too harsh, is however well stated and a little humorous, definitely worth the quick read.

I’ll give the girls one more chance.

As Manly as it Gets

18 Jul

When you think of cupcakes and even cupcake bakeries, your mind drifts to all things pink and sparkly. Hell, even my site is completely pink. Sometimes a girl just can’t help herself. But that doesn’t mean every cupcake shop has to be frilly to the tenth degree and Butch Bakery is proving this true.

NY Daily News

David Arrick‘s cupcakes are becoming more and more talked about, and we can see why. Their sleek look is definitely appealing to men, but you know I (as a woman) still think it’s a great looking treat. They’re a contemporary, modern esthetic, you’d never imagine a cupcake to be.

“I think that we eat with our eyes first before our stomachs and I think that it’s got to be visually appealing, and I wanted something that was going to have an impact from the beginning, right when you see it,” said Arrick.

He wasn’t always a baker though, and after losing his Wallstreet job he took a leap of faith and started a cupcake life. According to him, market research showed it would pay off and boy it sure is. Even reports are showing the local New York economy being boosted by bakeries.

Along with his intense attitude about the cupcake business, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of him and his cupcakes.

Georgetown Cupcakes Has Officially Arrived

17 Jul

So, most of you probably have more exciting Friday nights than me, but I will be here watching DC Cupcakes on TLC just as soon as the DVR runs for a minute.

For any cupcake lover, reality show lover, TLC addict I think this is one show we’re going to fall in love with. And considering I fall under all three of those categories I’m pretty excited about tonight’s premier.

Vodpod videos no longer available. Vodpod videos no longer available.

Love the Ice Cream Cupcakes, I’ve been thinking about doing something similar for The Husband’s birthday. Hmm…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Now it’s time for the show! If you happen to miss it, check back here for a recap later this weekend!

Food Network Looks for Fresh Bakers

11 Jul

Food Network

Lately, I’ve been watching Food Network‘s show Cupcake Wars. It’s a good show and a great way to get your name out there as an up-and-coming cupcake baker. Plus, I’ve seen some pretty inspiring (and not-so-inspring, like tobacco) flavored cupcakes.

As the first season comes to a close, it’s time to find the stars for next season and it could be you! Food Network is holding a national casting call for next season’s bakers. Here’s what you need to know:


We are casting bakers (store owners, caterers, pastry chefs, new bakers…)

NATIONWIDE, so get in touch with us ASAP to apply for the show.

If you think you and your cupcakes have what it takes to compete against the best bakers in the country, then we want to hear from YOU! The winner of the show will have their cupcakes featured at a HOLLYWOOD EVENT and receive WORLDWIDE PRESS!  The winner of each episode also wins $10,000!!!

We’re looking for great bakers with AMAZING personalities in every city.

To be considered for the show, please e-mail us your name, phone number, photo (and website if available!) to:

Be sure to tell us what makes you the perfect candidate for “Cupcake Wars”!

Owls are the Business

10 Jul

Photo Credit: The Painted Cupcake

When I think of my mother, I think of two things: the color pink and owls.

Almost like a cupcake sent down from the heavens, I stumbled upon the most quintessential cupcake and cupcakery in Nashville just Googleing new cravings.

My cupcake craving came in the form of a fondant owl from a bakery rightly named The Painted Cupcake.

The cupcakes scream “Mom’s Birthday!”  Oh yes, that’s right, hot pink owl cupcakes. Literal perfection for my mother.

Check out their other amazing creations.