Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Iron Cupcake Toronto: Christmas

Last Sunday, Howard and I were judges at Iron Cupcake Toronto's Christmas challenge. Genevieve Griffin, from For the Love of Cake and the organizer of the event, asked us a week earlier and of course we said "yes!" How exciting, we never judged a cupcake contest before!

So we got there and Genevieve had us set up at the Judge's Table, complete with a Judge's badge, clipboard with pen, napkins, and a bottle of water.

She explained to us that we would be judging based on 1/3 presentation, 1/3 taste and 1/3 creativity (how well you incorporate the secret ingredient). Then, we were given a plate with mini cupcakes for the taste testing. I had #1-5, the third judge, Josh Rachlis, had plating #6-10, and Howard had cupcakes from participant's #11-15. We then pick our two favourite cupcakes to move onto Round 2 of the taste test. All in all, we wouldn't get to taste 6 of the competing cupcakes.

This wasn't easy at all! Howard and I didn't check the presentations yet, so we had no idea what to expect. I think it was fun that way, as we simply relied on our taste buds. I choose #4 to move on and was torn between #1 and #2. After much back and forth, I moved #2 to the final round. Howard picked #11 and #13.

Next up, judging the presentations. There wasn't a display for #1, so we'll start here:

Participant #2: Santa's Chocolate Candy Cane
I loved this display, it was a very cute concept, and you can tell that a lot of work went into this. You've got a conveyor belt of cupcakes along with a cooling and packing station!

Participant #3: Naughty or Nice?
Look at that, social media being incorporated into cupcake displays. While you may think the cupcakes look like coal, the inside is coloured!

Participant #4: Wild White-Tufted Cupcake (Cupcacheus Christmaseus)
It's a bird! It's a cupcake! It's a completely new species!

Participant #5: Gingerbread Cupcake with Eggnog Buttercream
This won't be the last gingerbread house we see!

Participant #6: Have you been naughty or nice?
I had to wonder if the sweet trees on the stands were handmade? Regardless, I liked them and thought they were really pretty.

Participant #7: Cupcake #1 and Cupcake #2
Hmm, never tried red and green candy corn before...

Participant #8: Gingerbread Cinnamon Apple
Wow! Great sugar work here, check out the Grinch coming out of the cupcake, also love the backdrop and scattered presents around it.

Participant #9: Black & White Forest
A forest I don't mind getting lost in...

Participant #10: Caramel Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
First thing that popped into my head was gingerbread men hot tubs!

Participant #11: Spiced Cranberry Pear
Oh warm, roaring fire! I hope Santa prefers cupcakes to cookies.

Participant #12: A Filipino Christmas Dream...
Sweet dreams indeed...

Participant #13: Oh, bring us a Figgy Cupcake
Is that sign handwritten?! Nice penmanship and illustration!

Participant #14: Chipy the Minty Cupcake
Aren't these two cute?

Participant #15: Gingerbread Lane (Gluten-Free)
Neato, check out those candycane trees!

The presentations were very fun to judge. We gave everyone a score from 1 to 10. Howard and I based on their overall concept and how well it showcased their cupcakes (this is a cupcake competition after all). So this meant we took into consideration the creativity, originality, props made/used, and the title of their entry.

When we were all done judging the presentations, Genevieve had Round Two of the taste testing ready for us. In this round, we gave each cupcake a score from 1 to 10 based on the taste. We also had to rate how well the contestants incorporated "Christmas" into their creation.

The Judges Table: Sylvia, Howard, and Josh Rachlis.
After we gave our scores, the three of us compared ratings. We found that we all had similar tastes and gave roughly the same scores.

While we were deliberating, a cupcake decorating contest for the attendees was held. Four attendees had to decorate six cupcakes in five minutes using the frosting and candy. Winner was determined by loudest applause.

After the contest, the judge's scores and the People's choice ballots were tallied. Genevieve introduced all the participants and announced the winners.

Congratulations to Alex and Beth, Iron Cupcake Toronto: Christmas winners!


  1. The cupcakes are all lovely but I like the most on how you arrange the cupcakes to create a cupcake factory theme. Love this a lot.

  2. I wish there was a contest like this in our town :) love all the pics and all the cupcakes :))

  3. LoveCupcakes, I didn't arrange the cupcakes, contestant #2 did and she did a great job!

    Just Cake Girl, you could always organize it! ;)

  4. Holy cow. I've seen it all now. Had no idea such a contest existed. Wow.

  5. Thanks for putting up such a detailed account of the day! It was an honour judging with you. Hopefully we can do it again soon!

  6. This looks like so much fun. Congratulations on being asked to judge!

  7. What a fun contest. I love The Grinch.

  8. so awesome! love how the contestants went all-out with their displays. looked like a lot of fun!

    happy new year sylvia! ^_^

  9. Window On The Prairie, they do! It all started in Milwaukee!

    Josh Rachlis, no problem! It was great fun and we enjoyed meeting you and judgin with you!

    Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes], thank you! I was so happy to get a "Judge" pin to wear. =)

    Helene, the sculpting for the Grinch is amazing!!

    lyndsay, happy new year to you too! I was blown away by how creative the cupcakes and displays are! =)

  10. Join at the next Event:

    Iron Cupcake - Sunday, February 13th 1-3pm at 171 East Liberty St unit 117 (For the Love of Cake). Everyone welcome - $5 at the door - cupcakes, refreshments, entertainment, prizes. Bakers must preregister. For more info please visit http://fortheloveofcake.ca or email info@fortheloveofcake.ca