Cupcake Wars Challenge: OllieCake vs The Coffee Shop
We've all seen Food Network's Cupcake Wars, right? It's the show that puts four bakers up against one another to see who can make a few batches of cupcakes worthy enough for the queen of cupcakes herself, Miss Candace Nelson, owner of Sprinkles Cupcakes and the king of macarons, Mr. Florian Bellanger, owner of the MadMac macaron bakery. It's pretty great, if you're into cupcakes and all.
Anyway, two of the contestants that managed to impress the judges just happen to be from The Valley of The Sun and we thought it was about time to put them up against each other, Chow Bella Style.
So which baking team really has the best cupcakes? Let's find out.
In This Corner: The Coffee Shop
The Set Up: This Gilbert oasis opened back in 2006 on the outskirts of the lush Agritopia neighborhood and offers up a variety of coffee drinks, iced teas, sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and baked goods from the Cuff and Flowers families.
In December of 2010, Jessica Cuff and her sister, Jenna Flowers, competed on Food Network's Cupcake Wars and ended up rockin' their way to a party for the Ace of Cake's 100th episode party -- and lined their pockets with $10,000 with their winning cupcakes.
The Coffee Shop doesn't make their winning cupcakes on a regular basis and our options were a bit limited when we stopped by on a very busy Saturday morning so for the battle we snagged one Cherry Sweetheart and one Lemon Glam cupcake.
The Good: Sparkles!!!!! These pretty cupcakes are totally bling'd out with lots of sparkly edible glitter, which makes them not only eye catching but super fun to eat. The Cherry Sweetheart cake had bits of maraschino cherries and tasted very similar to the classic cherry chip cake mix that I'd grown up with. The cake's bright pink frosting wasn't overwhelming and had a nice, smooth texture. The lemon cake was dense and had a nice crumb with just the right amount of sweet lemon frosting.
The Bad: There are two types of cupcakes in this world -- adult cupcakes and kid cupcakes. These cupcakes are totally kid cupcakes. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that if you like super sweet, bright, almost toy-like cupcakes (which, sadly, I do not). The lemon cake tasted a bit too artificial and the frosting could have used a tiny bit more of a lemon kick. The cherry had just a little too much almond flavoring and was so sweet I could almost feel a cavity forming.