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 (52)

  1. sallymae says:

    what are the rules. anyone know where to find them. I've had cupcake from two places that have won and that sucked! can you use cake mixes, I swear they are better than the nasty dry cakes I've had from the two "winners". makes me wonder what they are judging on!

  2. Glenn Winzer says:

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  3. FelipeH says:

    This is THE WORST programming on TV!!!!!! PUH Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzz take this pitiful show off the network and place it in the trash where it belongs!!!!
    The ONLY reason to have this on air is to remind people to change the channel!!!!!!

    • Kthy says:

      AMEN!!! PLEASE put this show on at 2 AM, not during prime time!! I no longer watch the Food Network because of this stupid show!!! I want to watch a show that actually teaches me how to cook something, not build a pyrimid out of strawberry-cream cheese cupcakes!!!!

  4. Eta555 says:

    I enjoy watching Cupcake Wars, but I want to know why there have not been any African Americans who have won? Did I miss a show when this happen. Please let me know.

  5. sparkle says:

    I will not watch Cupcake Wars. I have never saw an African American win. a

    Coincidence? I think not

    • soulfood says:

      WOw, we thought we were the only ones who noticed this consistent and apparent bias towards people of color and anyone over thirty. IT seems like if you're young, perky, have long hair–blonde preferrably, you will hands down win.

  6. Camey says:

    There has been an African American winner…sisters from Rancho Cucamonga. We support their business all the time.

    Kirby, what’s the name of your bakery?

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