Oh Cupcake Wars. You gave me amazing publicity and glory, and also provided me with an endless supply of nightmares that haunt my dreams three to four times a week. Most times I’m in the Cupcake Wars kitchen, scrambling to frost a 1000 cupcakes in under 2 hours, but sometimes it changes up and I’m in front of the judges, getting ripped apart. Truly, there’s always another creative cupcake nightmare to be had. Usually I wake up happy and relieved, knowing I won Cupcake Wars and it was just a dream, but I’m still wondering when my Cupcake Wars post-traumatic stress disorder will end. Honestly, how do people handle shows like Top Chef, where they are filmed for days and weeks on end, having to compete in challenge after challenge? One exhausting day of filming was enough to scar my life for months!
However, it was truly an amazing experience, sparked first by my unhealthy obsession with The Food Network. I would record every Cupcake Wars episode and be so inspired that I couldn’t fall asleep at night, and at the same time be so insanely jealous of every baker who got such an opportunity, that it made it hard to even watch. So, I did what every obsessed girl does, I stalked Cupcake Wars on Facebook until I saw they were casting! There was a casting email address, so of course I emailed them with photos, a link to my website, and every possible bit of information I thought they might find relatively important. A few days later, checking my email on my phone at Trader Joe’s, I got an email from Cupcake Wars casting! They wanted to see a video of me and my cupcakes in action! What!? The checkout girl must have thought I was insane by the way I rushed out of there. Fifteen minutes later I was on the phone with my best friend and former roommate who lives in San Francisco, asking if she would make a last minute trip to Santa Barbara to help me film this audition tape. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through this crazy Cupcake Wars experience, Erica is a true friend! She drove down two days later, and with the tireless help of Stacey and Oliver and Michele, filming, directing, and editing this video, we came up with a gem. After watching it, I knew I would have to resign myself to being the biggest dork in the world if I made it on the show; apparently when I get on camera I am a complete and utter cornball. Check it out below, if you’re ready for your daily dose of cheese factor.
Ok, so yeah, not going to win any major cool points with my ultra amazing acting skills, but Stacey did an incredible job filming us, and Erica and I had a blast. Video sent in, I waited anxiously for the next few weeks for a response. Amazingly enough, on my 29th birthday, August 22nd, I received a phone call from Cupcake Wars. “I just wanted to let you know you’ve been selected as a contestant on Cupcake Wars” the voice on the other line said. The amount of freaking out on my part was insane, and if you know me, you know I get excited at pretty much the tiniest of things. If I see a kitten, I have a heart attack and die of cuteness. And kittens are pretty commonplace. So, being told I’m on Cupcake Wars was crazy; it was definitely the best birthday present I had ever received. From the time I found out I was selected, to the time Cupcake Wars filmed, Erica and I put ourselves through what I like to call “Cupcake Bootcamp”. It was hardcore, “learn everything we don’t know about cupcakes” intensity. We watched every episode of Cupcake Wars we could get our hands on, read cupcake blogs, tried new decorating ideas, and I bought a book called “The Flavor Bible” which tells you what flavors are most likely to pair well together. I made cupcake flashcards, I memorized recipes, nothing was going to get in my way. My poor friends, they knew the only way they would see me during this time was if they came over to try a new cupcake flavor. Wait, why am I feeling bad for them?
Finally, the day of filming came, and of course, Erica and I found it hard to sleep. I think I got a full one hour of sleep that night. Waking up at 5am the next day, Erica and I rallied ourselves with far too much hotel coffee and a pre-Cupcake Wars dance party. From now on “You Make Me Feel…” by Cobra Starship will forever remind me of that morning. Don’t judge. It’s a great song to get the adrenaline flowing before an all day cupcake competition. Oh and if you haven’t seen our episode, you can watch it below!
Honestly the episode really says it all. It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, but truly the most rewarding as well. On December 11th, the night my episode aired, I hosted a “Cupcake Wars Viewing Party” at Oreana Winery. We poured Sugar Cat Noir and Sugar Cat Blanc, and I made a zillion Sugar Cat cupcakes. It was so amazing to be able to celebrate with my friends, although I have to admit, slightly awkward for me to watch myself on the big screen. Turns out I’m overly animated with my facial expressions; I’m pretty sure any time they wanted a glimpse into what people were thinking, they panned to me raising an eyebrow or smiling ridiculously. But hey, we weren’t playing poker here, we were baking cupcakes! All in all, it was an amazing experience, but I couldn’t have done it without Erica and Stacey, and the support of my friends and family. I owe you all a lifetime of cupcakes!!!