Cupcake Joy, 2017 Edition

Enjoy a photo gallery from the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest, held in the Commons on October 14, 2017.

bannerBernie Milton Pavilion, October 14, 2017


registrationLet the Contest Begin: Angela registers Tamarynde Cacciotti’s entry, cream puff cupcakes with Earl Grey pastry filling that went on to win the Grand Prize.


alistrongwaterHappy Halloween: Ali Strongwater’s 2nd Prize-winning pumpkin and ginger cupcakes haunted by sugar ghosts.


alexanderRaspberries and Butterflies: Alexander Quilty’s 3rd prize-winning chocolate raspberry-filled cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting.


monicacottoEmerging Brightness: Monica Cotto’s vegan blood orange dark chocolate cupcakes topped with edible crystal geodes (Honorable Mention).


Beth Goelzer LyonsForest of Cupcakes: Beth Goelzer Lyons’s chocolate chip cookie dough-filled vegan chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate trees.


melaniehardyFall Foilage: Melanie Hardy’s Campfire S’more Cupcakes with marshmallow fluff frosting topped with a Hershey bar (Honorable Mention).


robynschmittWinter Wonderland: Robin Schmitt’s vanilla cupcake topped by an edible peanut butter and nutella pine cone (Honorable Mention).


Lianna White“Healthiest Cupcake” Award: Lianna White’s gluten-free carrot raisin walnut cupcake.


nataliemccaskellLand of Unicorns: Natalie McCaskill-Meyers’s unicorn cupcakes won an Honorable Mention Award and “Best Youth Cupcake” Award.


judgesThe Hard Part: The judging begins!


judging2Tastes and Scents: The judging continues!


debbielazinskyCupcake Joy: Debbie Lazinsky of GreenStar Natural Foods Market samples the cupcake submissions.


alternativesfcuColoring Contest: Volunteers from Alternatives Federal Credit Union run the Coloring Contest for Under-8’s.


jacobparkercarverJacob Parker Carver of the Mental Health Association in Tompkins County sets up an interactive mental health quiz for attendees.


amyleviereAmy LeViere of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County welcomes the contestants.


IMG_9981Lee-Ellen Marvin, executive director of the Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service, thanks The Sophie Fund for being a catalyst for change in suicide prevention in Tompkins County.


yukojinguMeet the VIP Judges: Yuko Jingu (friend and co-worker of Sophie)


deleilanormanMeet the VIP Judges: Daleila Norman of GreenStar Natural Foods Market


ameliasauterMeet the VIP Judges: Amelia Sauter of Felicia’s Atomic Brewhouse and Bakery


Mary Sever Schoonmaker“Richest Cupcake” Award: Mary Sever Schoonmaker receives a GreenStar gift certificate for her chocolate zucchini cupcakes with meringue frosting garnished with cashew toffee bark.


tamaryndecacciotti copyShe’s No. 1: Tamarynde Cacciotti with her Grand Prize award for her cream puff cupcakes with Earl Grey pastry filling and mocha buttercream frosting.


mickiequinnThe Maestro: Event Producer Mickie Quinn

Cupcakes: Winners on Instagram

Follow The Sophie Fund on Instagram to see stunning photos of the winning cupcakes in the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest.


Geneva Moreland won the “Best Dressed Cupcake” award for a blackberry-filled chocolate cupcake with vegan cream cheese chocolate sage frosting topped with fresh sage #ithacacupcakes #cupcakes #ithacany #ithagram #twithaca @greenstar_coop @alternativesfcu @latourelle_ithaca @wafflefrolic @downtownithaca @ithacaispeople

Cupcakes: Special Awards

Contestants in the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest on Saturday came up with innovative and fun designs and tastes—congratulations to these winners of Special Awards!

Best Youth Cupcake

Natalie McCaskill-Myers


Can’t Believe It’s Vegan!

Erica Brath


Most Unique Frosting

Amy Fuhr


Most Inspiring Cupcake

Beth Goelzer Lyons


Brightest Flavor

Star Utter


Best Theme

Patti Meyers (and Hudson)


Classiest Cupcake

Aušra Milano


Most International Cupcake

Maggie Chutter


Most Creative Flavor

Kim Englehart


Richest Cupcake

Mary Sever Schoonmaker


Fluffiest Cupcake

Lynn Sokolowski


Healthiest Cupcake

Lianna White


Most Locally Inspired Cupcake

Sadie Hays


Pretty in Pink

Hannah Cohn-Manik


Cutest Cupcake

Jessica Adams


Best Dressed Cupcake

Geneva Moreland


x-natalie copy

Natalie McCaskill-Myers’s entry: “Unicorn cupcake with an “S” for Sophie”—caramel coffee pumpkin with a cardamom cream cheese frosting



Erica Brath’s entry: Kirsch-flavored black forest cupcake with chocolate and cherry topping



Amy Fuhr’s entry: Vanilla cupcake filled with key lime pie on a graham cracker crust topped with meringue and a raspberry



Beth Goelzer Lyons’s entry: Chocolate chip cookie dough-filled vegan chocolate cupcake with cookie dough frosting and topped with a chocolate tree



Star Utter’s entry: Lemon cupcake with buttercream frosting



Patti Meyers’s entry: My Father’s Dragon Tangerina Cupcakes—tangerine-flavored cupcake with blue and white striped dragon decoration



Aušra Milano’s entry: Chocolate cupcakes with cocoa nibs, chocolate ganache filling, and rose-scented vanilla cream cheese frosting



Maggie Chutter’s entry: Baklava cupcakes—phyllo dough cupcake with honey cinnamon frosting



Kim Englehart’s entry: Chocolate bourbon cupcake with smoked coconut bacon, maple frosting and caramel bourbon sauce



Mary Sever-Schoonmaker’s entry: sea salt caramel-filled chocolate zucchini cupcake with chocolate meringue buttercream frosting garnished with cashew toffee bark



Lynn Sokolowski’s entry: White chocolate macadamia cupcake with raspberries and white chocolate buttercream frosting



Lianna White’s entry: Gluten-free carrot raisin walnut cupcake with a frosting made from cashews, cream cheese, vanilla and maple syrup



Sadie Hays’s entry: The Black Diamond—cabernet franc and raspberry ganache-filled chocolate cake with vanilla chevre frosting, topped with Indian Creek raspberries and a white chocolate “Cayuga Lake” sail



Hannah Cohn-Manik’s entry: Vanilla cupcake with raspberry meringue buttercream frosting



Jessica Adams’s entry: Chocolate cupcake with Oreo frosting



Geneva Moreland’s entry: Blackberry-filled chocolate cupcake with vegan cream cheese chocolate sage frosting topped with fresh sage

Cupcakes: Honorable Mention Awards

At the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest on Saturday, once again contestants came with masterpieces that made judging extremely difficult! Congratulations to six amazing contestants who won Honorable Mention Awards.



Natalie McCaskill-Myers’s entry: “Unicorn Cupcake with an “S” for Sophie”—caramel coffee pumpkin with a cardamom cream cheese frosting

The Honorable Mention awardees were presented with $20 Gift Certificates for Waffle Frolic in the Commons—good for a wide variety of sweet and savory waffle combinations, a full espresso bar, grilled cheese sandwiches, smoothies, Purity Ice Cream, and more.

Honorable Mention

Monica Cotto

Zoë Dubrow

Katherine Estoque

 Melanie Hardy

Natalie McCaskill-Myers

Robin Schmitt


Monica Cotto’s: entry: A vegan blood orange dark chocolate cupcake with blood orange vegan buttercream topped with a vegan white and dark chocolate edible sugar crystal



Zoë Dubrow’s entry: “Earl Grey Sunrise Cupcakes”—Earl Grey cake dipped in Earl Grey-infused chocolate ganache with a ring of mango Swiss meringue buttercream topped with sugared red and golden raspberries, chocolate shavings, and a chocolate-coated mint leaf, sprinkled with freeze-dried raspberry crumble.



Katherine Estoque’s entry: “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake”—a brown sugar cake with eggless cookie dough and brown sugar frosting topped with chocolate sprinkles and more cookie dough



Melanie Hardy’s entry: “Campfire S’more Cupcakes”—cocoa cake with vanilla cream and marshmallow fluff frosting and chocolate chip ganache topped with a Hershey bar



Robin Schmitt’s entry: Vanilla cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting topped by a pine cone made from peanut butter and nutella with chocolate chex


And the Winners Are….

Here are the top three winners in the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest organized by The Sophie Fund in the Commons on Saturday! (More winners to be posted soon!)


Tamarynde Cacciotti won the Grand Prize



Tamarynde Cacciotti’s Grand Prize winning entry: a cream puff cupcake with Earl Grey pastry filling and mocha buttercream frosting.


1st Prize

$250 gift certificate for Greenstar Natural Foods Market

Tamarynde Cacciotti

2nd prize

Ali Strongwater’s 2nd Prize winning entry: a pumpkin and crystalized ginger cupcake, with whipped brown sugar icing, and open star piped frosting topped with ginger slice and sugar ghost holding candy corn

2nd Prize

La Tourelle Hotel Bistro and Spa gift certificate (one night stay, breakfast, massage)

Ali Strongwater

3rd prize

Alexander Quilty’s 3rd prize winning entry: a chocolate raspberry-filled cupcake with a raspberry buttercream frosting

3rd Prize

$100 gift certificate for Madeline’s Restaurant

Alexander Quilty