The 3rd annual LA Cupcake Challenge

On Saturday night, for the third time I was delighted to be a "celebrity judge" in the annual cupcake challenge put together by Drink Eat Play at The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. Although I visit and eat at cupcakeries regularly for my LA Cupcakes MeetUp Group and have tried almost all of them, this baking challenge features a lot of the lesser known cupcake delivery stores in the area, which we don't often get to try out. However, some of the competitors also have actual physical stores like BabyCakes Baking Company in Torrance and Polkatots in Pasadena, which my group has visited before and Big Man Bakes, which is on our to do list.

At this year's challenge I especially enjoyed the originality of the cupcake flavors that were submitted like BabyCakes Baking Company's Banana Foster, Tavern Restaurant's Salted Caramel, Polkatot's Lucky Charm, and a maple and bacon cupcake with a strip of bacon on top from the Renaissance hotel, which had a great balance of sweet and salty.

Another popular trend this year seemed to be adding colorful French macaroons on top of the cupcakes:

My favorite overall though was the pumpkin white chocolate from Fairy Cakes in Orange County and for best traditional cupcake I voted for Hansen Cakes vanilla wedding cupcake. However, I also liked the Chocolate Covered Strawberry from Two Parts Sugar and well, all of them!

After tallying up the judges results and the picks from all the attendees, the following are this year's winners:

Best Traditional
1st Place: Big Man Bakes “Red Velvet”
2nd Place: Blue Cupcake “Sweet and Salty Vanilla”
3rd Place: Southern Girl Desserts “Red Velvet”

Best Original
1st Place: My Delight Cupcakery “Breakfast Cake”
2nd Place: Jus Minis “Caramel Banana”
3rd Place: Two Parts Sugar “Chocolate Covered Strawberry”

Best Overall
1st Place: Jus Minis “Caramel Banana”
2nd Place: My Delight Cupcakery “Breakfast Cake”
3rd Place: Two Parts Sugar “Chocolate Covered Strawberry”

A cupcake overdose of photos ahead:


  1. Thanks Tara! So glad you liked our Pumpkin White Chocolate cupcakes! Anyone who wants to try them can order here:

  2. oh man this just makes me want to eat cupcakes right this second! yummm!

  3. Yummy, my arse is growing just by looking at them.

  4. Damn, damn, damn. There goes my diet.

  5. It was so great seeing you! You are the cupcake Queen. These were some of my favorites

  6. Pumpkin white chocolate is making my mouth water.

  7. Oh my goodness, those look amazing!

  8. Pumpkin white chocolate was my favorite too! So sad that they didn't win.

  9. That slideshow is a KILLER; what gorgeous little cakes of yumminess.