Ithaca Cupcakes 2023: Special Awards

Contestants in the 8th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest on October 14 brought forth their chefs-d’œuvre—so many masterpieces for the judges to view and taste. Congratulations to these winners of Special Awards!

Fairy’s Favorite Award

Ana Beltz

Best Farm to Table Award

Aušra Milano

Profound Pastry Award

Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service

Most Dramatic Award

Tabitha Gray

Snakes on a Plate Award

Rebecca Gray

Dessert for Breakfast Award

Kathryn Holloway

Best Special Effects Award

Anisa Pepinsky

Queen Bee Award

Hudson & Gamay

Most Savory Award

Nilka Joaquin

Most Mouthwatering Award

Isabel Perkins

Funkiest Fungi

Lily Lowder

Campfire Paradise Award

Ashley Rorick

Monkey Madness Award

Jessica Cullen

Ithaca Is Icing Award

Heather Lee

Perfect Presentation Award

Mary Sever-Schoonmaker

Literary Genius of Cupcakes Award

Siena Drumluk

Absolutely Artistic Award

Michael Herceg

Big Top Award

Chiara Miller-Out

The Whole Package Award

Eleni Casseri

Ana Beltz’s entry: “Tea in the Garden” Earl Grey-infused, gluten-free cupcakes with a honey glaze and lavender buttercream frosting.

Aušra Milano’s entry: “Indian Creek Farms Orchard” blackberry cupcakes with browned butter and cream cheese frosting.

Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service’s entry: “You Matter” banana cupcakes with browned butter and cream cheese frosting.

Tabitha Gray’s entry: French vanilla and grapefruit soda cupcakes with raspberry filling and green buttercream frosting inspired by the Little Shop of Horrors.

Rebecca Gray’s entry: German chocolate cupcakes with snake-shaped apricot center and pecan coconut frosting.

Kathryn Holloway’s entry: “Brunch Means a Waffle Lot!” gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with homemade chocolate hazelnut filling topped with white chocolate ganache frosting, a mini chocolate chip waffle, and a strawberry half.

Anisa Pepinsky’s entry: “Death by Red Velvet” cupcakes with cream cheese frosting topped with Halloween decorations.

Gamay and Hudson’s entry: “Bees Rule” vanilla honey cupcakes with bee-themed yellow and black striped frosting.

Nilka Joaquin’s entry: Warm, crisp, autumn comfort cupcakes with the sweetness of maple and classic pumpkin and the savory taste of bacon and salted caramel crowned with mini pretzels.

Isabel Perkins’s entry: Köstliche Schokolade German chocolate cupcakes topped with coconut-pecan frosting drawn from a family baking tradition passed from generation to generation.

Lily Lowder’s entry: Forest-inspired carrot cupcakes loaded with nuts, coconut, and pineapple, topped with a hedgehog and mushrooms.

Ashley Rorick’s entry: “S’mores Cupcakes” with sweet marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate cake.

Jessica Cullen’s entry: “Ithaca Is Bananas” spiced banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and walnuts inspired by the Moosewood restaurant desserts.

Heather Lee’s entry: “Bee Kind” chocolate cupcakes swirled with marshmallows and chocolate chip cookie center, decorated as flowers with buttercream frosting accented with bees.

Mary Sever-Schoonmaker’s entry: “Orange You Glad I Baked” chocolate mayonnaise cakes with orange curd topped with chocolate meringue buttercream frosting.

Siena Drumluk’s entry: “My Magical Dream” blueberry cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting inspired by the Percy Jackson books featuring the powers of a teenage demigod.

Michael Herceg’s entry: “Grandmother’s Neapolitan” family-tradition chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with strawberry cream frosting.

Chiara Miller-Out’s entry: “Circus Sundae” cupcakes with marble cake fudge filling and Chantilly cream clown decoration and a big ol’ maraschino cherry nose.

Eleni Casseri’s entry: “London Fog” Earl Grey, vanilla, and honey cakes topped with lavender and vanilla frosting, in honor of Yiannis.