Cupcake Wars

Bakers prepare for Narragansett's annual throwdown for confectionery supremacy

Linda Beaulieu
Posted
Silver Spoon Bakery’s Big Blue Bug cupcakes won the Best Historic Landmark category at last year's Cupcake Madness

Anyone who attended last year’s Cupcake Madness event will tell you what an amazing afternoon of food fun it was. You just had to smile when you saw the Big Blue Bug cupcakes, just one of many on display inside the historic Towers of Narragansett. The annual event is sponsored by the Friends of Hazard Castle.

Those Big Blue Bug cupcakes were created by the Silver Spoon Bakery in East Greenwich, and they took top honors in the Rhode Island historic landmark category. The folks at Silver Spoon also won a prize for the best gluten-free cupcakes with their Peanut Butter Cups. The best signature cupcake was the Nutty Nutella, a rich chocolate cake with a creamy Nutella center, topped with Nutella buttercream and a chocolate hazelnut profiterole. The best organic cupcake was the Luscious Lemon, a fresh lemon peel cake topped with lemon cream cheese frosting and bright yellow confetti sprinkles. Both were from Stephanie’s Sweet Treats in Slatersville. The best frosting award went to City Girl Cupcake in Providence. Winning the most popular vote was the Pina Colada cupcake created by Sugar Mama’s Sweets & Treats in Cranston.

Fatulli’s Gourmet Bakery in Middletown won best of show for their Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes, the work of their former executive baker, Selena Lavoie, who now owns the Grinnell Inn (and Bakery) and Riptides Restaurant in Narragansett. 

Hundreds of people attended last year’s event. With even larger crowds anticipated this year, the competition is being moved to a larger venue – The Pier Ballroom at the Village Inn on Beach Street in Narragansett. This year’s Cupcake Madness will take place on March 25 from noon to 4pm. Admission is free. Attendees can buy tickets that will allow them to taste the various cupcakes on display and then vote for their favorites.

The competition is open to bake shops, home cooks and children between the ages of nine and 14. The entry fee is $50 for adults and free to children. A qualifying round will take place several weeks prior to the event for contestants vying for the “Best Cupcake in Rhode Island” title. The three finalists from the qualifying round will be announced on March 17, and they will compete in a head-to-head contest during Cupcake Madness. Details on this can be found at www.friendsofhazardcastle.org.

This year more than 25 professional bake shops and 10 home cooks and children are expected to participate. 

The cupcakes will be judged by a panel of chefs from Johnson & Wales University and four celebrity guests: Lisa Schroeder, author of the children’s books It’s Raining Cupcakes and Sprinkles and Secrets; Chef Casey Shiller, past winner of the Food Network show Cupcake Wars; Will Gilbert from The Rhode Show; and Chef Frank Terranova from Johnson and Wales’ Cooking with Class on NBC10. During her visit to Rhode Island, Schroeder will conduct a writer’s workshop for elementary school students in Narragansett. As part of the fund-raising event, a raffle will be held, and the winning family will have dinner with the author during her visit at a restaurant (to be named). Schroeder will also be available for book signing during the Cupcake Madness event, and live entertainment will be offered throughout the afternoon.