The Sophie Fund thanks the 25 bakers who made their masterpieces and entered them in this year’s annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest. Judging so much originality, creativity, and skill is a difficult challenge, but besides the three top awardees 10 contestants were selected to receive Honorable Mention Awards. Bravo to all! Honorable Mention awardees were presented with $25 gift certificates from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.
Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service
Aušra Milano’s entry: Fully edible (including the saucer) autumn-themed chai latte cupcakes in a waffle cone, with an Earl Grey tea-flavored sablée cookie base and brown butter and cream cheese frosting on top.
Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service’s entry: Moist chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream filling, topped with dark chocolate ganache and the colors and words of the suicide prevention mission.
Anastasia Beltz’s entry: Cakes made with eggs from the contestant’s own chickens and flavored with honey from a neighbor’s apiary, with honey-flavored frosting and topped with honeycomb and bee decorations.
Suzanne Beltz’s entry: Gingerbread cakes with mango-flavored cream cheese frosting, topped with tiny gingerbread houses.
Henry Bowes’s entry: apple cakes with cream cheese butter frosting and caramel drizzle, based on a family recipe dating back 40 years to evoke the flavors of fall caramel apples.
Takoda Warner’s entry: Earl Grey-flavored cupcakes and frosting with lemon curd fillings, designed as a three-tier layer cake using stands made of brittle coated with toasted sesame seeds.
Kate Bagnell’s entry: spice cake with apple pie filling, topped with buttercream and pie crust, explained in the creator’s poem: I’ve always loved to bake/But am not really into cake/Cookies can be lots of fun/But feel a bit overdone/Breads could show off some skill/But unfortunately don’t fit the bill/So instead I offer you a cake/Topped with a buttery flake/And the flavors inside this treat/Bring the warmth of a seasonal feast/So now please feast your eyes/On these cupcakes in disguise/As miniature apple pies.
Sarah Scinto-Madonich’s entry: cakes made with homemade apple cider reduction (apples from Indian Creek Farm) and apple pie spices, topped with maple-flavored cream cheese frosting.
Renee Stilwell’s entry: chocolate cakes made without eggs or butter, filled with chocolate mousse and topped with peanut butter cream frosting and chopped peanuts and chocolate shavings garnish, from an old family recipe.
Krya O’Toole’s entry: pumpkin spice latte cakes with white chocolate frosting, decorated with flowers, favorite foods, and framed pictures honoring recent personal losses in the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) tradition.