The other day when I saw the upcoming 2nd Annual Brooklyn Kitchen Cupcake Cookoff on one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes Take the Cake, I knew that I had to check it out.
It was truly a cupcake contest for the people and by the people...yes, in addition to the panel of expert judges there would also be a "best in show" awarded to the people's choice which meant there would be plenty of delicious free cupcakes to try. Nice!
I arrived at around 6:45pm and the bar was already starting to fill up. I met Taylor from Brooklyn Kitchen, an awesome store in Williamsburg that does excellent classes and has a great blog with recipes and info all of their upcoming events. Taylor gave me a free Brooklyn Kitchen t-shirt and boxed up my cupcakes for the judges official tasting. Since I brought 2 entries--Root Beer Float Cupcakes and Spicy Gingerbread Cupcakes with Tahitian Vanilla Frosting I gave her three of each.
Then it was time to circulate my cupcakes and do some cupcake tasting of my own. There were so many excellent cupcakes. The place started to fill up so I wasn't able to move around and get as many pics and I would have liked. But here are some of the cupcakes I was able to capture.
(collectively Team Vallen--that's Vallen herself on the right).
Mmmm. So makes me wish I didn't have a nut allergy. :(
Mint Chocolate Chip frosted Chocolate Cupcakes. I love the ice cream cone garnish. Nice touch!
These also had really creative presentation. I love the little plantings. So cute.
These S'More Cupcakes were brought by Sarah Dooley (hope I got the spelling right!). And they were abso-freaking-lutely delicious. One of the best I had. The mud cupcake was warm and fudgy and the marshmallows were gooey and perfectly toasted. Unfortunately there was a mix up with the time and Sarah was too late to enter the contest. But her cupcakes were winners to me.
When it came time for the judging everyone was in a happy sugar coma induced stupor. I don't envy the judges for their decision. There were over 30 entrants in 4 categories:
1) simple flavor
2) simple decoration
3) exotic flavor
4) exotic decoration
I can't remember the full list of winners. The people's choice was a very chocolatey cupcake that was made with beer (!) and had a salted caramel cream cheese frosting. This cupcake also won the 2nd place in the exotic flavor contest. Which brings us to the, as the judges put it, "surprise winner" in the exotic flavor category...my very own Spicy Gingerbread Cupcakes! I was floored. Just from the cupcakes I saw and tasted, I know that there was some serious competition in my category and I was totally not expecting to win. The passionfruit cupcake was really good. The toasted coconut cupcakes with marshmellow frosting and the pear and champagne cupcakes were both excellent and unique. And the mint julep cupcake looked divine.
All in all it was a great night. Besides seeing (and tasting!) all of the terrific cupcakes, I had a great time meeting Rachel and seeing Nichelle again from Cupcakes Take the Cake and Zach from Midtown Lunch. I'm huge fans of their respective blogs and it was so cool to meet them in person. The folks at Brooklyn Kitchen not only put on a great event, but they also turned the attention to a worthy cause, encouraging attendees make a donation to the Greenpoint Reform Church’s Food Bank and Soup Kitchen. Cupcakes and helping other people. What could be better?
Coming up tomorrow...my winning gingerbread cupcake recipe!