Yes! It’s the 6th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest!

The world is excited to see what Ithaca’s amateur bakers come up with in 2021!

The judges are still feeling deliciously gobsmacked by last year’s entries. Who can forget the Hidden Treasure or Kahlua Me Crazy cupcakes? Or the Apple Cider or Banana Split or It’s Fall Y’all Apple Crisp cupcakes? Or the creations celebrating blue dogs, roosters, Baby Yoda, and Wewe Bears? As Halloween neared, even Frankenstein came out of an oven and made an appearance.

With an abundance of caution and concern for everyone’s health amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 contest will again be held entirely online.

Click here for all the information on contest procedures and rules, and to download a registration form.

Contestants of all ages are invited and will be eligible for dozens of prizes including a Grand Prize valued at $250. (Open to amateur bakers only.)

To enter, you will bake and decorate cupcakes, of course. The judges are anticipating the sweet and spicy bouquets coming from your stoves!

Then you’ll take photos of your masterpieces and email them along with a brief description and your recipe to The Sophie Fund.

You will also tell us a brief story about your cupcakes—perhaps a person, place, or thing that inspired your recipe and decoration. Or what special techniques you used. Or what fun you had baking them. Or what challenges you had to overcome making your cupcake dream a reality.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm on Saturday October 16.

Entries will then be judged by professionals from Ithaca’s bakeries and restaurants. Judging is based on decoration, originality, and the story about the cupcake.

Judges will announce finalists and choose winners during an Online Live Event on Saturday October 23. The Sophie Fund will notify the winners and mail prizes to them. The names of winners will also be announced on

Additional Prizes:

Teens and Pre-Teens: A $100 gift certificate redeemable at dozens of downtown Ithaca shops will be presented with this year’s Youth Award!

Movie Makers: All contestants MUST submit photos and a story, but you can ALSO make a short movie about your cupcakes to win a separate $100 Video Award prize!

The 6th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest is sponsored by GreenStar Food Co+op, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, and Well Said Media.

The contest is organized every year by The Sophie Fund, which was established in 2016 in memory of Cornell University art student Sophie Hack MacLeod to support mental health initiatives aiding young people.

Sophie’s passion for baking cupcakes inspired the launch of the first Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest in 2016. At the time of her death by suicide at age 23, while on a medical leave of absence from Cornell, Sophie was active in Ithaca’s vibrant culinary scene. According to her family, she hoped to open her own bakery after completing her Cornell degree.