SF Food Wars Cupcakes

SF Food Wars: Mini Cupcakes

October 20, 2009 · 29 comments

I’m not a sugar snob or anything, but on most days I carefully and responsibly watch my sugar intake, which means small daily doses. Last Sunday, 22 mini cupcakes later, I officially fell off the wagon.

There were yellow cupcakes, red cupcakes, cupcakes injected with champagne, and even those topped with bacon. Peanut butter cupcakes, vegan cupcakes, brie-topped cakes and ones that looked like a creamsicle. Why did I do this to myself you ask? It was the mini cupcake edition of the SF Food Wars competition at the Stable Cafe, and I wanted a bite out of each and every one.


You can read more about the competition here, but basically 22 competitors baked enough cupcakes to feed about 200 hungry guests and 4 judges. After recovering slightly from the dizziness of sugar overload, you submit a ballot, voting for the cupcake you think, well, takes the cake.

Once again, my top choice did not take home the blue ribbon. Light, airy and totally delicious, the red velvet cupcake, called Tiny Treasure, left me weak in the knees. I’m a sucker for tradition. If you can take an everyday, traditional cupcake like the red velvet and make it spectacular, well that just takes talent. Marianne, the baker of the tiny treasures, told me she used a combination of buttermilk, vegetable oil and butter to get the texture just right. Her soft and rich cream cheese frosting was mixed with butter and a tad of salt, and lacked the graininess that usually comes with cream cheese frosting.


And now that I think about it, I ate 24 cupcakes. Two tiny treasures, and two of my second favorite, the peanut butter and jelly cupcake.

These sweet little morsels were baked up by team “Double the Yum,” made up of Noelle and Nicole Matthews. If you close your eyes, you just might think you were biting into the best PB&J ever. The two-toned icing combined a peanut butter buttercream and strawberry jam buttercream, and the inside of the cake was also filled with the gooey, delicious strawberry jam. Noelle and Nicole took home the people’s choice honorable mention award.

I tried to get a sense of which little cake people were enjoying the most, but everyone seemed to have a different opinion. Some were all about “My Grandma’s Banana’s,” a cupcake version of bananas foster, and others were swooning over the chocolate granache with passion fruit and blueberries.



But one thing was clear, no matter who they were voted for, it would be at least a week before anyone can safely say they are back to normal sugar levels. Maybe two for me, I sneaked in a few peanut butter cookies when I got home. Check out the full list of winners over at the SF Food Wars site.


Surprisingly, no one mentioned cupcakes as their guilty pleasure in response to my last post on potato pancakes. Ice cream was pretty popular, as was French fries. I think the most creative comment came from Kate, who admitted that when no one is looking, her guilty pleasure is canned vanilla frosting on saltines. Nice Kate, I hope you get to indulge sometime soon!

And for the winner – I put everyone’s name into hat, and who did I pull out?

Comment #4: Kelly, from www.pink-apron.com. Congratulations Kelly, enjoy the Chestnut jam!


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10 Cute Cupcakes (and Recipes!)
December 31, 2009 at 9:03 am

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Mel @ bouchonfor2.com October 20, 2009 at 7:46 pm

WOW this event is incredible :) They all look sooo delicious. 22 is no small task… or rather, 24. Admit it… it’s more like 32, right? ;) Well done girl!


Maria October 20, 2009 at 7:51 pm

How fun! Glad you sampled them all:)


Sean October 20, 2009 at 7:51 pm

How did you stop at 22 (or 24)? So many flavors, enticing designs and colors!
The PB & J cupcakes sound great too. Ahh getting cupcake cravings so late in the night…


El October 20, 2009 at 7:59 pm

What is it about cupcakes? I bought some in a New England tourist town this summer and as I walked down the street with them, pink and white in a clear plastic container, people almost fell over their own feet looking at them. Cupcakes bring out something bizarre in people. Must be related to childhood. Anyway thanks for the post. I’m now craving cupcakes. Fortunately, there’s one close by!


Gastronomer October 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Now, that’s my kind of fun! Gorgeous photos, A!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 21, 2009 at 3:46 am

I want all of these cupcakes! They look great!


Nicole October 21, 2009 at 8:41 am

Oh, how fun! Those all look delicious! The red velvet one, yum!


Yum Yucky October 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I can’t breathe right now. The thought of being present at this event is greedy-thrilling. And now I’m stunned.


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction October 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Yum… All of those cupcakes look delicious!


GrilledShane October 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I am pretty sure I approve of this kind of falling off the wagon. I, personally, can only dream of falling off this sort of wagon. You are one lucky lady!

P.S. Did you try the bacon one? Was it any good?


Allison Arevalo October 24, 2009 at 11:02 am

Hi Shane! I did try the bacon cupcake, and it was – interesting. Not my favorite, but definitely an experience. Can’t say I’d go back for seconds…


The Duo Dishes October 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm

The Grandma’s Banana’s cupcake actually sounds like it’d be too awesome for words. This is worth a sugar high.


Susan C October 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Your photos just keep getting more and more beautiful.


Chefectomy October 22, 2009 at 7:53 am

Hi Allison,

It was great to meet you last night at the FB dinner. Too bad it was so noisy :) …I love your blog and will cast my vote!




Chez Us October 22, 2009 at 10:43 am

This event sounds like a blast. And you only ate 22!! Isn’t Stable the best, we love the coffee & the food is fantastic.


MaryMoh October 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm

That sounds so much fun to smaple so many types of lovely cup cakes.


Natasha - 5 Star Foodie October 22, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Wow, 24! They do look quite scrumptious!


Dana October 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm

What I want to know is how 24 cupcakes fit in that tiny body of yours.


Angela@spinachtiger October 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I can’t believe you ate 24. I thought you meant 4. Good for you. Jealous here.


Brie October 23, 2009 at 5:10 am

wow, what a fantastic event! congrats on enjoying all those cupcakes! that event was definitely worth it! :)


Marillyn @ just-making-noise October 23, 2009 at 10:17 am

That’s awesome! Way to go girl! Love the pictures and the creations… so neat!


Jane October 23, 2009 at 10:30 am

All your cupcakes look fabulous! Love your blog.


Amy J in SC October 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Whoa! That looks like dangerous place for sure. Beautiful photography.


Andrea October 23, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Good job on devouring all those cupcakes! I would’ve done the same thing!!


cakebrain October 23, 2009 at 9:18 pm

oh man! I wish I could get in on the cupcake-eating action! that looks so fun! One time, at a food show, I ate 14 chocolate truffles (all different flavours) in 15 minutes. I felt so sick…But when they’re all offered to you for tasting for free, you just can’t pass it up, can you?


Allison Arevalo October 24, 2009 at 11:04 am

You absolutely cannot pass it up! I feel your pain though, I was definitely queasy after biting into the 24th cupcake.


Christine October 24, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Recipes for any of the cupcakes? I’ll admit a particular interest in Grandma’s Bananas, but any will do. ;)


The Healthy Apple November 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm

These are beautiful; wow. You are so talented! I’m looking forward to meeting you at the Foodbuzz Festival in San Fran on Friday!


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