Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cupcake Wars?

Angie here:
Cupcake Wars. Really? I'd never watched it before. Prior, I thought it'd be silly. In fact, I'd planned to skip it. But oh the curiousity of why something like this would be on television. The show had 4 previous cupcake war winners compete to be the Tournament of Roses winner.

 What would make someone want to compete making cupcakes?

The bigger question: what makes anyone want to compete in anything? Is the answer simply to be the best?

Then the first woman mentioned the new success her business experienced after winning the first cupcake war. Another talked about her love of creating gorgeous art. Yet another her intense passion for baking...beautiful cupcakes. All four women were stunning in their ability to create unique, brilliant, delicious cupcakes.

Why are they so good at what they do? Focus. Each one had an intense focus on one thing. THE one thing they were good at doing. Focused passion. The success principal that's so elusive.

I love baking. I love cooking up an amazing, elegant meal based in simplicity that looks intricate. Yes, to my surprise, I ended up enjoying the Cupcake Wars. But I think my competition would be the Pancake Wars :-)

Angie's Orange Mango Pancakes courtesy of Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance
What do you think drove the women to compete?
What do you feel strongly enough about that you'd compete with an intense focused passion?

Light Orange Cupcakes
1 box yellow cake mix
4 egg whites
2 Tbs. no sugar applesauce
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 cup water
1 Tbs. orange zest
Mix and fill cupcake tins. I do prefer to use cupcake papers for simple clean up :-)
Bake as directed on box in cupcake tins

1 box 1/3 lower fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbs. orange zest
1 tsp. orange liquer or flavoring (more to taste)


  1. Hi Angie,
    I haven't seen the cupcake competition, but I have watched some of the other competitions on
    Food Network. I think people compete for a number of different reasons: the prize money, the recognition/fame, to prove they can "do it."

    I've been thinking about those yummy sounding Orange Cupcakes and have gained a pound. Thanks. :)

  2. I love the show where they bake the cake and are up for so many hours straight to perfect it. Very cool.

    Angie, your cupcake recipe looks delicious!

  3. I watch some of the competition shows. Some are really crazy and I don't think the money is worth it. But I think Idol (which comes on tonight) is a dream come true show. A lot of these shows where you compete for something you really love to do are like that.
    I guess we as writers compete in writing competitions. We want to see how people view what we have created. I know I get excited when they "get" what I'm trying to say. And when they don't, well it's disappointing. But we still persevere.
    And yes, your cupcake recipe sounds awesome.
    A friend of mine made some cupcakes where she squirted this yummy creamy stuff in the middle of the cupcake---amazing!!!

  4. I've never watched any of the food competition shows. I have enough trouble keeping weight off without watching food on tv all the time. And I don't like to cook so to me the process doesn't really hold my attention. The end results do, of course!

    Your pancakes look great. If we lived closer, I'd come share them with you.

  5. When my girls were young, I used to spend hours decorating their birthday cakes. Even did a wedding cake for one daughter. Oy! The things we do for love:-)
    Passion pushes us to do things and take chances we might not otherwise do. Like entering writing contests. We send our babies out there to these cold hard judges when we might not even let our families read them.

  6. I've seen that show several times, Angie. And from what I've seen, most do it for the exposure--to promo their business. It's good move, if they do well in the competition! If they don't. Ouch. I bet it could hurt business.

    Your recipe looks yummy! I've only had coffee, and I'm hungry!

  7. Hi Angie:

    Why is anyone surprised by this?

    How long have they been having food contests at county fairs?

    I think it is time for a Writer’s Channel. But then, I might not get anything done – unless I was in the competition!


  8. I remembered another competition when I woke up this morning. I did the Western Montana Fair's baking contest and won! I won two whole dollars for my low-fat zucchini bread. It was really funny to go to the fair office and have them count, "One and Two." But then the newspaper printed it and everyone in town knew I made the best zucchini bread...for about 2 seconds, lol.

    Vince, a writers channel!!! I'm so there. I could host and interview all the writers and hear all the wisdom. Love it!

    Dianna, you are SO invited for pancakes.

    Lindi, the injector just floored me. I know I knew about them, but I've never even thought about using one. I think that's on next year's Christmas list.

    I think Missy's right, it's the exposure. I think just being on the show whether winning or losing is awesome publicity. With that in mind, I'd do it.

    Mindy, I did unusual graduation cakes/presentations. I turned the entire table into a celebration of my kids' lives. One had a Krispy Kreme doughnut guitar with licorice for strings another had a basketball court with cookie men decorated in school colors playing basketball all over the table. Fun memories.

  9. Hi Edwina,
    I actually made those cupcakes a couple of days ago. I'm having one a day as a treat on my Weight Watcher plan. They're about 4 points :-) But I need my daily treat so I don't feel deprived. There are only 2 left. :(

  10. Hey Christy,
    It's all about doctoring up the recipe, lol. I can't leave recipes or music alone without playing.

  11. In today's job market people do tend to have to narrow down their interests and focus on one thing. We no longer have (many) true renaissance people who dabble in science, philosophy, art, math, etc., like Leonardo da Vinci did. Being a professional often means knowing more and more about less and less, until you hone into one specific thing and do that to perfection, hence the cupcake wars. So is it better to be a top professional in a given field or a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none? Just a thought... :)