World Series of Poker — Cupcake Wars Recap

by in Shows, August 25th, 2011

coconut cupcakes
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.

What a thrill it was to have world champion poker player Annie Duke as a guest judge this week. She is one smart lady — and a cupcake lover, to boot. In round one, the contestants were dealt the same hand of ingredients, but each team ended up with very different results. Tina’s black truffle “gamble” paid off for the most part, although the black truffle flavor was a bit lacking. Robin and Patric both used the same flavors of strawberry, balsamic and cheese. Robin’s cupcake lacked mascarpone flavor and though I loved Patric’s creation, Florian was not a fan of the watery strawberries, which he believed would quickly result in a soggy cupcake. Sandy ultimately had to go.

During round two, we really started to see the pressures of the Cupcake Wars kitchen getting to our bakers. At the end of Justin’s countdown, we saw Patric and Tina distraught at their lack of decorations. Tina called it an “epic disaster.” She introduced her cupcakes as full house, two-pair and belly buster, clever plays on poker terminology. It was clear that she had delicious, as well as well-conceptualized cupcakes, but we all commented on the lack of appropriate decorations. Patric missed his fondant toppers, but his cupcakes were also not texturally pleasing. Robin gave us a fantastic plate of cupcakes, including the clever “kicker” wrapped in mini cards to symbolize a full house. Both Tina and Robin progressed to round three, with us saying goodbye to Patric.

In round three, Tina and Robin gave us beautiful poker-appropriate displays. Robin created a poker table, but the money completely covered the table, leaving it to look like a banquet table instead of a poker table. Tina’s display was clean, bold and striking. In the end, Tina brought it all together in a Vegas-worthy evening of poker.

Bake the winning recipe: Coconut Cupcakes, Lemon Curd Filling, Coconut-Lemon Buttercream Frosting, Toasted Coconut

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Comments (19)

  1. bummed-out says:

    Why didn't you write a blog post on the Comic Con episode?? That's by far my friends and my most favorite episode yet! We've watched it multiple times. I was really looking forward to what you'd have to say about that episode..!

  2. Anna Barger-Niemz says:

    Hi myname is Anna and I was thinking wouldn't it be ccol if there was a cupcake wars episode with kids baking instead of adults 'cause people my age who love to bake like me can't have a bakery or a cupcake company plus it would prove that kids can acomplash great things. :)

    email me at

  3. Karen says:

    I was just wondering what you do with the loser's 1000 cupcakes. I hope you aren't just throwing them away. Donating them to a homeless shelter or an abused mothers' shelter would be a great idea. Could you tell what you do with the loser cupcakes on the air? That would be great. Thanks! I really enjoy the show.

  4. Soraya says:

    I wanted Sandy and Tina to be the final two.

  5. Christopher L. says:

    Tina is so cute & sexy. Congrats for the WIN!!!

  6. Confused says:

    Can not figure why it is always announced that Candace owns the first cupcake only bakery in the world. Candace opened her first store in Beverly Hills in 2005. The cupcake girls opened their first store in Vancouver, BC. Canada in 2002. Am I missing something here?

  7. Sanda Linak says:

    Hi, you have an awesome blog. I’ll bookmark it and come back in the future. Thank you.

  8. deon harris says:

    I can never understand what the male judge is saying. They need to always write what he is trying to say at the bottom of the screen

  9. jeri says:

    Oh, if we only had smell-a-vision and taste-a-vision! Both teams did a great job. Congrats to the winner.

  10. sdfvds says:

    Robin should have won

    • Joanne Morrissey says:

      I agree that Robin should have won. From the very beginning when I learned it was the World Series of Poker, I KNEW it would come down to either of the two attractive young gals, Tina or the Middle Eastern Woman. I don't know how Robin could have blown them away with taste and decor in the second round and not win. Oh, I know why, because she was the middle aged woman – and not the cute and sweet gal who the World Series of Poker guys would be yearning for along with her cupcakes! Shame on the Food Network and Cupcake Wars for their obvious discrimination in not picking the true winner who made the best all around cupcakes! I've lost respect.

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