For the past 2 years (this being my third), I have competed in the Jeanne Graves Cupcake Challenge at the Heritage Center in Downtown Vero Beach. All proceeds go to the Michael J Fox Foundation, so it's a great cause! They have 2 different categories to compete in, Professional and Individual, I obviously competed in the Individual
The first year (2015) I made a Banana Split Cupcake, the second year (2016) with the help of my long-time friend Dawn, we made a Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcake, and this year (2017) Dawn and I made a Beauty and the Beast themed Vegan Red Velvet Cupcake with the "Grey Stuff"! I have all recipes and decor linked below!
2017 - Beauty and the Beast Vegan Red Velvet with the "Grey Stuff"
I recently became a vegan, so I obviously wanted to incorporate my new lifestyle into this years cupcake challenge! My theme was inspired by the newly released live action Disney's Beauty and the Beast. I adore Emma Watson and am obsessed with anything Disney, so it seemed right....lol. I found the vegan red velvet cake and vegan frosting on Pinterest. The cake recipe called for 1 cup of "buttermilk" but I used 1.5 cups (it made the cupcake more moist!). Then I added black food dye into the frosting to get the proper coloring for the "Grey Stuff" and piped the frosting on with an open star tip. To finish I topped them with Wilton Icing Red Roses I got off of Amazon.
For the Cupcake Challenge you are supposed to make 60 cupcakes, which I did my first 2 years, and cut them into fours when you get to the competition for each guest to try. Well that was a lot of work and very messy, so having learned my lesson in the past, we made 250 minis instead! SO MUCH EASIER! You are also supposed to decorate your table to go along with your theme as well! I bought Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts & Chip on Amazon also. I also had an extra Chip mug that I purchased from the Magic Kingdom and brought him too. My mom found the Glass Jar and Rose from Ikea for less than $20! I have had my cupcake stand for years, I have linked the exact one I have, but you can find it anywhere, Michaels, Target, Amazon, etc.
We didn't win this year....sigh. We SHOULD have, but you can't take them all! We will be back next year (2018) with another delicious vegan recipe.
2016 - Harry Potter Butterbeer Cupcakes
I am OBSESSED with Harry Potter, like no joke! I'm certain I will have lots of future posts pertaining to said Harry Potter.....most def. So naturally I decided to bake a Butterbeer Cupcake topped with Lighting Bolt Sprinkles of course. I also purchased some Harry Potter Book Cupcake Liners from Etsy, this really made the cupcake, I LOVED these! (Note* DO NOT BAKE THE CUPCAKES IN THE BOOK LINERS - I used regular white baking liners and then just placed the cupcakes into the book liners after they were cooled). I used my cupcake stand again this year for the judges, its the best!
For our table decor, I used my all Harry Potter books with the custom-made bookends Mike bought for me off of Craigslist one Christmas! (BEST GIFT EVER!) Dawn and I also made Butterbeer and poured it into big beer mugs from the Dollar Tree for extra table decor! We were very popular with the little ones, because I mean, everyone loves Harry Potter!
Dawn and I won Best Decoration and Best Overall!
2015 - Banana Split Cupcake
For my first year, I wanted to make a Banana Split Cupcake (Pinterest inspired). It turned out super cute and was equally delicious! Just use your favorite banana bread recipe (I used my great-grandmothers....it's a secret, sorry) and make them into cupcakes/muffins instead of the full loaf. Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a chocolate buttercream frosting and pipe on a single layer, then roll the outsides in mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts (yum!). Next use your favorite fluffy buttercream frosting to pipe on the top (I used an open-star tip) then top with sprinkles & a cherry, DONE! I used my cupcake stand from Michaels for the 12 Judges Cupcakes! But, I didn't have much decoration on the table for my first year, I wasn't sure what to expect. So I just brought my delicious cupcakes and myself and went for it!