Monday, March 23, 2015

WNY Cupcake Challenge 2015

Though I am SO proud to be a Buffalonian in the time of its cultural revival, I sometimes find it hard to take advantage of all the new events and locations that have recently won the hearts of residents and tourists alike. It's tough to get out and take it all in when you're Mom-ing three little dudes in Kindergarten and under, ya know?

Recently, though, I was able to escape with my mom & best friend for a couple hours to attend a REALLY fun event! It was close to home, conveniently timed, affordable - and SO YUMMY!

One of our most popular radio stations, Kiss 98.5, began hosting the Cupcake Challenge last year. Bakeries from all over Western New York set up tables vendor-style in a local event venue, and attendees get to sample a cupcake from each one before voting on categories like best overall, best looking, and most creative. All of the participating bakeries are local small businesses, and this event gives them a really awesome insight into what our community likes. I love the idea that we get to enjoy something that helps local businesses at the same time!

All of my favorite bakeries were there - Muscoreil's, Dessert Deli, Ohlson's...and one I've heard a lot about and have wanted to try - Firefly. Plus 12 more I didn't even know existed! I was really excited to....well, ya know, eat cupcakes...but also discover these awesome local places and see what they're all about.

The three of us staked out a table and, okay, kind of aggressively went about collecting our cupcakes. The competition for a spot in line was pretty fierce - the place was packed! When we had all 17 samples, we sat down to take some pictures and get down to some serious judging - we came to play!

How pretty is that little cupcake party??

My favorite taste-wise was the Peanut Butter & Jelly cupcake from Sassi Cakes (it was seriously accurate, and the peanut butter was to die for!), but there was also an incredible tiramisu frosting, and an crazy delish dark chocolate cake in the crowd, too.

My winners for the other categories:

The White Wedding cupcake from Ohlson's won my vote for best looking - photos did not do it justice. It's very simple, but the shades of white were gorgeous in person, and the edible glitter on it - I was craft nerding all over the place about it. So, there's a tip - if you ever need my vote for something, pour glitter on it. My most creative winner was Doughnuts & Coffee from Muscoreil's. It was basically a tiny doughnut - both in recipe and design - and the middle was filled with coffee cream. It reminded me of their chocolate-chocolate chip mouse filling we had in our wedding cake (that's probably my favorite cake component on this entire planet) with coffee added to it. So, uh, it was insanity. But it was also ridiculously adorable, so bonus points.

There was definitely a bit of sugar overload going on, so I basically just took a bite of each one and packed the rest up to bring home to the kids. My aspiring foodie kid was very appreciative of being able to do his own taste test! I hope to take him with me next year. OH yeah - we will be returning!

I love finding little fun gems like this to do close to home - I often forget how much there is to take advantage of in our area. We are so lucky! And, really, it just makes my heart happy to be from a place with such creativity and art running through it. I am definitely in the right place!

I hope to share more gems from our vast and creative community with you this summer!

Jenn is a mom of 3 boys living near Buffalo, NY, and blogs about her life and hobbies on her blog, Rych In Love.

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