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Texas Cupcake Wars

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Texas Cupcake Wars

By Spring Sault

What is happiness? There are hundreds of quotes out there to help you figure that out, like “happiness is a journey,” or “happiness is a choice; choose it every day.”

What if I told you happiness was a cupcake, and that, at one time, it was at the center of a fierce battle? I believe you would take up arms (or forks and knives if that’s your weapon of choice), and perhaps you, like many that have fallen before you, would stop, drop and drool only to become a casualty in the great Texas Cupcake Wars.

Texas Cupcake Wars

Photo: Wikipedia

It was a battle that raged for centuries… ok maybe just for the past two hundred and twenty odd years, but it was a great one nonetheless! At stake were the bragging rights for the best cupcake! Many have tried; some have conquered. But it wasn’t just their victory, it was yours as well. For out of the darkness of this saccharine struggle came a shining light that was the tasty morsels of sweet goodness you would think were meant only to delight the deities.

Texas Cupcake Wars

Photo: Wikipedia

The cupcake first made its break onto the scene in 1796 and, since then, has been a gleam in the eye of dessert enthusiasts for its miniature design. And why not?! Who doesn’t want a “Mini-Me”? A cake is no exception. These delicacies, that took their name from the wares they were originally baked in, and in later years from their volume of measurement in the mixing process, have gained notoriety and a huge momentum in sales through media outlets evoking a reminiscence of childhood sweet treats. Who bakes the best of these tiny temptations? That is what landed the cupcake in the middle of the conflict, catapulting it to full-on industry from fleeting trend, and from there on to fame and glory. Hill Country is no slouch when it comes to producing Texas Cupcake Wars winners, including such notables as Choco Patisserie and One Cute Cupcake Boutique which were both based in San Antonio, as well as Lick It Bite It Or Both which was based in Austin, but the reigning ‘Wars winner and still champion is Cupprimo Cupcakery located in Austin.

Texas Cupcake Wars

Photo: Wikipedia

The official show Cupcake Wars, was a series on the Food Network, pitting 4 of the country’s top bakers against each other for a prize totaling $10,000 as well as the opportunity to showcase their cupcake creations at a major event, not to mention accolades and modest stardom. It aired for 9 seasons in its 4-year run, featuring many of the nation’s top chef and sous-chef teams. Contestants were eliminated one-by-one through a series of 3 rounds, after which a cupcake king or queen was crowned (not literally, but you get the picture). Round one was based around taste, round two around both taste and presentation, and round three (the most difficult) saw the final 2 teams in a 2-hour head-to-head, making 1 thousand cupcakes. This round required that each team feature improved versions of their previous submissions as well as present them in an intricate exhibit related to that episode’s theme.

Texas Cupcake Wars

Photo: kevinandamanda.com

Over time, the sensation, like some people’s appetites, diminished in size, leaving in the lead only the biggest and brightest business and baking guru’s combined. As the flour dust settles, and the prize for deliciousness is being awarded, Cupprimo Cupcakery in Austin remains triumphant. Producing such mouthwatering wonders as Chocolate Raspberry, Mango Mimosa, and Longhorn Brownie among its thirty-three flavors, including 6 that are gluten-free (Red Velvet or Dulce De Leche anyone?). Its cupcakes are the frosting-to-cake-ratio stuff that dessert-lover dreams are made of. Check them out on Spicewood Springs Rd. (a name that just sounds like a place such a bakery would be), because if you are what you eat, wouldn’t you rather be a cupcake than a salad any day?