Tag: Cupcake Wars

Going For Gold for the ESPYs — Cupcake Wars Recap

by in Shows, August 10th, 2011

espy cupcake wars episode
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.

In round one of Cupcake Wars ESPYs episode, we saw cupcakes packed with power foods like almonds, blueberries and even spinach, but Florian and I weren’t feeling too energized by the bakers’ efforts. Therese and Desi were too heavy-handed with the orange and almond flavors, and Rachel’s cupcakes were just plain raw. When your cupcake texture is described as “wet,” it’s not a good thing.

More behind-the-scene photos »

Cupcake Wars: Miss USA

by in Shows, August 4th, 2011

cupcake wars miss usa recap
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.

Pageantry was mixed with Middle Eastern tastes in this week’s Miss USA-themed Cupcake Wars episode.  Paying homage to the Lebanese heritage of the reigning Miss USA, our contestants were faced with the challenge of incorporating Middle Eastern flavors into their cupcakes.  Three of the four contestants chose pistachios as an ingredient, which at first seems like a great choice, but due to a time crunch, it’s not. Baking with pistachios is extremely difficult as their flavor is very delicate and tricky to emphasize.  Both Autumn’s pistachio and orange marmalade cupcake and Teresa’s carrot cupcake blended with spiced pistachios had difficulty accenting the exotic flavors.  Brady’s creation had all the makings of a great cupcake with a moist cake and creamy frosting, but he fell short bringing out the flavor of the most delicate ingredient, rosewater.  Seda clearly had an advantage being familiar baking with rosewater and pistachios — her cupcake was perfect.

Get the winning cupcake recipe »

Cupcake Wars: Dodgers Cupcakes

by in Shows, July 28th, 2011

cupcake wars dodgers 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.

Who knew that baseball and cupcakes could go well together? This week’s Dodgers-themed Cupcake Wars was one of our most exciting, bringing out the competitive side in all our bakers.  From Erik’s pan-fried churro cupcake to Vista’s cotton-candy buttercream, Florian and I were amazed at our bakers’ cutting-edge, creative ideas.  Therese pulled out all the stops, too, with her churro-hot dog creation — risky, but unfortunately not tasty.

Get the winning cupcake recipe »

Cupcake Wars: Tony Awards

by in Shows, July 13th, 2011

cupcake wars episode 5 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.

There’s nothing I look forward to more than returning champions day — to see the familiar faces of former winners “baking it out” makes for great competition and delicious tastings.  Let me also take my hat off to the champions, Doron, Arlene, Rebecca and Victoria, who were willing to take the risk to come back again. They had a lot to lose and it took guts to do.

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Cupcake Wars: Tim Burton Bake-Off

by in Shows, July 6th, 2011

cupcake wars tim burton
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.

The wild world of Tim Burton had all of our cupcake bakers very inspired this week, and it also brought out the absinthe, blood orange and currant flavors in round one. Bravo to Nancy for making the first fruitcake I’ve ever really enjoyed. Tiffany did well with her absinthe and goat cheese frosting, though it was dripping off the side. Lori’s textures were lovely, but missing red currant flavor. Bayah did something different by working with tapioca, but her filling didn’t set in time and turned the inside of her cupcake to goo. We were sorry to see her go because her green fairy was a hint of her decorating talents, which we definitely could have used in round two, where both Nancy and Tiffany ended up playing it safe.

Get the winning cupcake recipe »

Cupcake Wars: The Final Frontier

by in Shows, June 30th, 2011

banana toffee 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.

One of my favorite things about Cupcake Wars is meeting the most interesting guest judges and this episode was about as good as it gets — a real live NASA astronaut, Tracy Caldwell Dyson. Justin, Florian and I had time to ask Tracy every question imaginable about living in space, including the possibility of cupcakes in space.  Tracy enlightened us that anything that produces crumbs isn’t ideal — due to the lack of gravity, cupcake crumbs would fly around and get into everything.

Get the winning recipe after the jump »

Cupcake Wars: Bollywood Bake-Off

by in Shows, June 22nd, 2011

cupcake wars cupcakes ep 2

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.

I can’t think of anything more exotic than the flavors of India.  It’s not every day that those flavors make their way into a classic American dessert, the cupcake. With such inspired ingredients as mango chutney, coriander and curry, Florian and my taste buds were doing a Bollywood dance all day long.

Continue reading Candace’s recap after the jump »

Cupcake Wars: Off to the Races

by in Shows, June 16th, 2011

cupcake wars episode 1
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.

Cupcake Wars Season 3 opened with an exciting Kentucky Derby-themed challenge that was all about the booze: mint juleps and hurricanes.  Three contestants played it safe with mint-julep inspired cupcakes, but Carla concocted a whirl-wind of flavor in her Hurricane Cupcake, which really impressed us. James and Annette went too easy on the booze, while Tara’s cupcake packed so much it sent her packing. We would have loved to enjoy her fun, spunky personality much longer!

Get the winning recipe after the jump »

5 Questions With Candace Nelson: Cupcake Wars Judge and Sprinkles Queen

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, May 11th, 2011

Candace Nelson

Candace Nelson, judge and blogger extraordinaire from Cupcake Wars, is about to open her 10th Sprinkles store, finally bringing the “original cupcake bakery” to New York City. We caught up with Candace and got a sneak peek at the new store while she was in town from Los Angeles with the whole family – husband Charles is her business partner at Sprinkles, and they have two young sons.

It’s been a busy week for the Nelsons, who celebrated their first Big Apple store by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and have been riding around town in their Sprinklesmobile, handing out free cupcakes. Sprinkles New York opens its doors this Friday, May 13: “We’re not superstitious here!” Candace says with a laugh.

Read on for the inside scoop on the new location, Candace’s favorite cupcake flavors and her take on the future of cupcakes.

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Cupcake Wars: 170 Cupcakes and Counting

by in Shows, March 16th, 2011
Candace and her cupcake wars colleagues, fellow judge Florian Bellanger and host Justin Willman.

Whew! What a season! Let’s see… 13 episodes, 13 cupcakes per episode. Then throw in a few more tastings after giving comments…that’s over 170 cupcakes tasted in Season Two of Cupcake Wars. By the way, did anyone notice I was pregnant? Seven-and-a-half months pregnant, to be exact. You’d better believe my little baby is going to have a passion for cupcakes!

And what a range of cupcakes I tasted. Everything from the standard red velvet to an exotic oxtail cupcake. We had pros like Hollis and Chloe return, and they baked cupcakes that made Florian and I swoon. And then there were first-timers who got spooked by the clock (remember the unfrosted vanilla cupcake?). Don’t forget the cupcake that never even showed up on the table… our first disqualification ever.

Season Two of Cupcake Wars was full of drama, surprises and wonderful creations. As we gear up for Season Three, I can only expect our contestants to be more prepared and more driven to win. But…how many more times are we going to see bakers get tripped up by kiwi? My best advice for the next batch of contestants: Do your homework and learn what we judges do and don’t like!

I can’t wait to see everyone for new episodes this summer. Until then… stay sweet….keep baking… and keep eating cupcakes. XO, Candace

Craving more Cupcake Wars? Check out behind-the-scenes videos and try your hand at winning cupcake recipes from Season Two.