Surf’s Up — Cupcake Wars Recap

by in Shows, August 31st, 2011

cupcake wars surfs up
Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about this week’s episode.

This week’s Cupcake Wars was a heated competition as our bakers fought to have their cupcakes showcased at the US Open of Surfing.  Round one transported us to the birthplace of surfing, Hawaii, complete with unique tastes of the islands. All contestants worked with either canned ham or tuna — a risky proposition and difficult to master. Shannon’s slider cupcake was interesting, but missed the mark with its mushy, taro-root frosting. Stephanie’s coconut lime cupcake was soggy with infused pineapple juice — I needed a wetsuit just to handle it.

Kirby whipped out skills she learned as a classically trained French pastry chef with her delicate meringue buttercream frosting and light-brown sugar pineapple cake. Her cupcake took the gold medal. Then came our friend Angelo who baked with precarious ingredients like tuna, avocado and ginger. With such difficult components, I was at a loss as to why he would add large dollops of mayonnaise to the cupcake.  Angelo wiped out and was sent home.

In round two, Shannon’s plate incorporated a brilliant combination of coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts.  My one complaint was that her energy-drink cupcake lacked a lift. Stephanie shined with her beautifully decorated oceanic-treasure cupcake. I dived right into her lemon-infused cake with blueberry compote and citrus frosting — it was divine and made me feel like it was summertime on the beach. Kirby’s plate of tropical cupcakes was a beach bummer.  After sweeping us away in round one, I had higher expectations for her. She was ultimately sent home.

surfs up cupcake display

Both Stephanie and Shannon created displays that would incite a shark-like feeding frenzy at the US Open of Surfing during round three. It was a close call between Shannon’s literal interpretation of surfboards misted by dry-ice effects and Stephanie’s abstract and dynamic wave of cupcakes. I loved seeing the cupcakes hang ten on both displays, but the judges agreed that Stephanie’s gravity-defying display was the gnarliest.

surfs up display cupcakes

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Comments (53)

  1. P.J. says:

    Would LOVE,LOVE,LOVE to see Kirby and Cheryl come back to redeem themselves! I'm sure her cupcakes tasted amazing, but loved their personalities and style too. They are definitely fun to watch!

  2. semdog says:

    I sort of wish Angelo had stayed. It would have been cool to see what odd flavors he mixed up in round 2!

  3. Kirby says:

    Wow, Kirby beg much?
    Team Kirby needs a reality check.
    show was good, though it does seem fake that the girl coming back to get a second chance won.
    yea, did not see THAT happening at all.
    and ps, Fondant and chocolate will not set THAT fast…. can you say premade decorations?

  4. Sarah H says:

    No blog for 'Comic Con' OR 'Work of Art' episodes?????????

  5. mary says:

    glad amber and shannon lost,their bakery has awful cakes and cupcakes. Very expensive and super dry,sent an email and they ignored it. for the price I expected better

    • Patsy says:

      I happen to know Shannon and I do not believe her cupcakes are "very expensive" at all. If you think $2, to $3 a cupcake is expensive then you have not shopped around! I went to a place last weekend with a friend and cupcakes were $5 dollars! FIVE! That I feel is a rip off. All of her items are made daily, so dry I fear not. If you did in fact email her I know she makes good on any problems she has ever had (which is very few I have heard of). Want to blast her on taste, price, and being unprofessional, you sound like le competition, or just a bad seed in general. Shannon Rocks, I love her bakery! Viva la Starry Night Bitches!

  6. shannon says:

    As the owner of Starry Night I have a hard time reading" Marys" comment.

    I answer ALL of our emails…. and have not come across a complaint about anything lately.

    If there happens to be a problem I address it with my bakers and replace the items at question. People posting hateful or mean comments in general (not just @ me) really need to stop and think how hard people work to build/support/grow a business. We can't keep cupcakes instock, so freshness I know is not an issue. Period!

    Our prices are extremely competitive compared to some places! $2-$3 is not a lot compared to$ 5 each !!!!

    so anyone, including Mary reading this post…. if you ever have an issue with a product, feel free to call me personally …my name is Shannon, you know where to find me….drop by and say hello. *Stay Sweet& Upright* ~Shannon*

    Ps…thank you food network and super delicious for this awesome opportunity. We have been swamped busy…it is amazing! The whole experience has been awesome!

  7. D. Korman says:

    What's up Food Network? What is the deal with the weekend lineup? and for that matter the weekly lineup……I started watching the show because of the talents of Giada, Bobby, Paula, Ina and the greats! Now they aren't even on the weekend schedule…..the shows on now are horrible….and what's with all of the challenges? I turned on today, and 1/2 of the afternoon was with Outrageous Foods….Tom is a dirtball. I can't stand to see him around food, he is so unclean… have lost a fan, and I know many more who have stopped watching!!!!!!!! Goodbye

  8. Cheryl B says:

    Odd question. What happens to all the "not chosen'" cupcakes? Most of the other shows are using a moderate amount of food but 1000+cupcakes? Since they don't mention where these pastries go, I had to ask

  9. Diane says:

    The ONLY reason I watched this show today is because there was nothing else on. I CANNOT stand that French judge – cannot understand him. He needs to go back to France!

  10. Patsy says:

    great episode. I am partial to Shannon and Amber, as I LOVE Starry Night! Bummer to see her miss out on such a close race! Hope she gets a Re-do! I love her SASSY'ness! Starry Night Rocks! AND I am so mad she lied to me for MONTHS about knowing she made it on!

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