I recently hosted a friendly cupcake bake-off with a group of friends and we all had a blast. Lots of sugar, wine, and girl talk made for a great girls’ night in on the weekend.
Step 1 – Get together a group of women who like to bake. Recruit 3 non-baking, unbiased judges. Invite some other girls to help taste-test and bring apps/wine.
Step 2 – Set categories for the competition. The three categories I had were: Best Tasting Cupcake, Most Creative Cupcake, and Best Cupcake Display. Create cards with the categories so that everyone can vote. I also put together prizes for each of the winners. The three prizes were the same: a travel cup stuffed with tissue paper, cupcake liners, icing dye, and a decorating tip.
Step 3 – Ask all bakers to bring 24 cupcakes, some type of display, and a copy of their recipe.
Bake-Off Details: 9 bakers, 3 judges, 5 taste-testers
* I set up a table with a sign that said Recipe Swap and some index cards and pens. As each baker arrived they put their recipe on the table and throughout the night everyone could wander over and write down some of the recipes they had liked.
* Each baker set up their display (I brought several extra display tiers for people to use as needed) and wrote on an index card the name of their cupcake and their own name (not everyone knew each other) to keep by their display. I also put a knife at each display so that people would have the option to cut cupcakes in half for the tasting.
* I set up all appetizers, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks. One of the women was a genius and brought some milk. The appetizers were also nice to have because it gave us a break from all the sugar. We had a veggie platter, some chips and salsa, and an Indian dish of fried onions.
* Each person who came got a voting card and everyone was given a plate and asked to try each cupcake, write down who they were voting for, and place their voting card in a bowl on the recipe swap table.
* Once everyone had voted, the three judges counted all of the votes and broke any ties. They announced the winners and each of the winners received the prize mentioned above.
* After we came out of our sugar comas, we did a cupcake exchange, and each person got to bring home a nice variety. We just used the same containers we had brought our own cupcakes in!