2010 Los Angeles Cupcake Challenge

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Cupcakes Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Drink:Eat:Play

When I walked into the Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, there were miniature cupcakes as far as the eye could see. I immediately thought, “I can’t wait to eat all of these cupcakes.” After about 45 minutes, my thoughts turned to, “Wait – I can’t eat all of these cupcakes.” I never thought that I, the queen of sweets, could overdose on sugar, but it happened Saturday. Luckily, the organizers allowed us to box up all of our uneaten treats and take them to go. In the end, it took a few days and a few helpers to get through all 40 varieties. The official winners will be announced Wednesday by Drink:Eat:Play.

My Top 5:

1. Jus Minis – Caramel Banana. This was a banana cupcake with fudgy chocolate frosting and a secret bit of caramel, seemingly injected into the center with a syringe. It was like chocolate banana bread got high on caramel. I’ve watched enough “Intervention” to know that needle use is supposed to lead to bankruptcy, death, and loads of family therapy, but when applied to banana cupcakes, syringes lead only to deliciousness and prize winning desserts.

2. Big Man Bakes – Red Velvet. Out of the five red velvets representing, this was definitely my favorite. The cake was fluffy and chocolaty. Too many bakeries make the mistake of skimping on the cocoa. No so with Big Man. The icing was not too sweet, not too buttery, cream cheese perfection.

3. My Delight Cupcakery – Key Lime. Among a sea of heavy, rich desserts, this cupcake was surprisingly refreshing. Combining lime cake, key lime pie filling and vanilla frosting, this totally won me over.

4. Charmed Cupcakes – Blueberry. When I saw that Charmed opted to give out full size cupcakes rather than mini, I was sure they were somehow trying to make up for quality with quantity. My low expectations were totally blown away when I took a bite. There were actual real blueberries in there! The amalgam of the fruity cake and sweet cream cheese frosting was unique and super tasty.

5. My Delight Cupcakery – Breakfast. There were a few cupcakes competing with meat sprinkles, but this bacon-topped bite was far and away my top choice. As my friend Ron has pointed out, there is a “best bite” when it comes to pancakes. It is that one in the very center of the stack where the pad of butter and the syrup have had had the most time to sink in. This cupcake was just like that bite PLUS a hint of porky goodness. The Breakfast cupcake almost felt like a better option for brunch than dessert, but its amazing flavor combination warrants it a spot on my Top 5.

Honorable Mentions

Fairy Cakes – Pumpkin White Chocolate
Polkatots – Lucky Charm (Pistachio)
Tavern Restaurant – Salted Caramel

Blog Comments

i felt so sick after eating all of those cupcakes! These were some of my favorites http://uncouthgourmands.com/2010/02/25/cupcake-challenge-who-took-the-cupcake/

Looks like a lot of voters agreed with me on these. Check out the list of Official Winners —

Best traditional (Big Man Bakes – Red Velvet)
Best Original (My Delight Cupcakery: Breakfast Cake)
Best Overall (Jus Minis: Caramel Banana)

Krystal, you’re a cupcake prophet.

Nice to know that you liked my friend’s cupcakes. I guess my taste testing was put to some good use since he is #1 on your list. =)

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