LA Cupcake ChallengeBy
Do you love cupcakes? Who doesn’t right? Syreeta shares about a one of a kind event all about cupcakes.
Two weekends ago I took my best friend to the LA Cupcake Challenge, hosted by Drink Eat Play, for her birthday. What is the LA Cupcake Challenge? It is a battle between awesome bakeries and cupcakeries from all over Southern California to determine who has the best cupcakes in our land. Eighteen fierce competitors came together at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood on Saturday, February 4th armed with two of their best mini cupcakes for patrons to partake in. The tickets to the event are $40 (plus $3.86 service fee, natch), and that may have you thinking no cupcake is worth such a steep cost. But what other time can you pig out on cupcakes in the name of history?! The price of the ticket grants you entry into the event and one of each mini cupcake flavor from each of the 18 bakeries.
When you enter the main room at the hotel, you will be overwhelmed by the noise and the amount of people packed inside waiting to have their sweet tooth satisfied. At first glance, there appears to be a line for the row of bakeries that leads around the room like a Candy Land board game. As you make your way through Yummy Town, people will ignore the line and cut in front of you, but resist the urge to smear frosting on their faces. There are enough cupcakes for every ticket purchased. The most important thing I learned is that, unless you have 18 hands to hold your 36 cupcakes, you will need to bring some form of Tupperware or cake box large enough to hold your treats.
By far, the best part of the LA Cupcake Challenge is the bakery owners and their employees. They are enthusiastic, super knowledgeable about cupcakes, and downright jolly. This is what they love to do, and they are beyond thrilled to see you gobble up their masterpieces. As you make your way to each bakery’s table, they will mark their name off the yellow rate sheet you are given when you check into the event. They will describe each of their cupcakes to you in delicious detail. You will want to stop right there and dig in. Be strong! There’s time for that later.
After you gather all 36 of your delectable treats, find a table and stake your claim pronto. A few dedicated cupcake lovers had to sit on the floor. They didn’t seem to be enjoying their cupcakes any less. Sit down, and prepare for sugar overload. The second most important thing I learned was to share one mini cupcake at a time with my best friend, instead of digging in to a whole one all by myself. Once we started this practice, we were able to enjoy more cupcakes without feeling sickly. Plus, you can take the leftovers home to your kids and they can eat them without wondering why there’s a big giant bite taken out of their dessert.
This year, there was only one category: Best Bakery. After you’ve filled up on cupcakey goodness, you choose the Top 3 bakeries whose cupcakes you loved the most, and turn in your yellow rate sheet. The rating given by the ticket holders and a special panel of judges chosen by Drink Eat Play determines the winner. My Delight Cupcakery in Ontario was the winner for the 3rd year in a row. While I was not impressed with either cupcake they brought to the event, I am a HUGE fan of their bakery. My faves at the event? Sugar Babies Cupcakery with their savory ‘n sweet Pancakes ‘n Bacon cupcake, and The De“Bite”ful Cups Cake Pop Shop who brought a mind blowing treat they dubbed Pastelitos Caliente: a hearty cornbread cupcake with bacon, and a cilantro frosting. YUM! Will I be attending the LA Cupcake Challenge next year? Me and my 18 arms can’t wait to buy a ticket!
Syreeta is mom to two very busy boys, ages 3 and 10. She works full time as a loan processor at a local credit union, and part time as a finder of fun! She loves to take her family out on new adventures all over Southern California. Disneyland is her favorite place to make memories, but she also enjoys other amusement parks, museums, zoos, exhibits, and anywhere else there are good times to be found.