Cupcake Love-In 2012: So Many Cupcakes, So Little Time
Pie is so last week (no really, check out the photos from last weekend's Pie Social), leaving this weekend's dining schedule open for the biggest cupcake event of the year. Hundreds came out to the third annual Cupcake Love-In at the Hotel Valley Ho to participate in a frosted free-for-all with treats from 16 local vendors.
Lauren Saria Cupcakes from the Cupcake Love-In 2012
No tasting tickets this year meant loading up your plate or cup or napkin or just your bare hands with mountains of tiny cakes - it also meant that most bakers ran out long before the event was scheduled to end. Shortage or not, judging by the screaming children and general all-around happiness, this year's event was another success.
It takes several tries for event planners to figure out what works and what doesn't and for this year's Cupcake Love-In the planner's ditched the tickets in favor of unlimited samplings. Long lines and limited seating had us standing and stuffing our faces with whatever we could get our hands on, which was still only a fraction of the complete offerings - next time we'll have to tag team the tables.
Standouts included Santa Barbara Catering Company, whose well-designed display housed a trio of delightful cupcakes. Santa Barbara took home awards for Best Use of Secret Ingredient (popcorn) and Best Classic Cupcake. We have to side with the judges, the Snap! Crackle! And Popcorn cupcakes aced the flavor profile test without being buttery popcorn overkill. Their strawberry and thyme cupcakes were refreshingly light on both flavor and sweetness, a good strategy when attendees are busy overdosing on both savory and sweet options.