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St. Mary’s hosts cupcake battle royale

Ankur Chawla | Monday, December 5, 2011

Last week, Saint Mary’s College hosted its first annual Cupcake Battle Royale in Le Mans Hall. Students from Saint Mary’s baked the best cupcakes they could, and three were entered into the competition.

Thanks to my plethora of food and cupcake related articles, I was selected as one of the three celebrity judges for the competition. The others included Janielle Tchakerian, assistant vice president of Student Affairs and director of Residence Life & Community Standards (and, officially, “Faculty Member With the Longest Title at Saint Mary’s”) and Becky Woods, maintenance specialist. The following is my cupcake-by-cupcake breakdown of the Battle Royale.

Cupcakes were judged and awarded based on three separate criteria: taste, decoration and creativity of the name. The three cupcakes in competition were the Peppermint Popper, Reese’s Cupcake and Despicable Treats.

The first cupcake on the slate was the Peppermint Popper. Though nicely cooked and moist, the “funfetti” cake was fairly small. The frosting, however, was quite incredible. The peppermint buttercream had a perfect flavor balance of sweet with mint. Red and green crunchy sprinkle balls on top added texture and Christmas color to the cake. One qualm I had with it, though, was the unnecessary Life Savers mint on top acting as a decoration, however, that is more a personal prejudice against Life Savers mints (I just do not get the hole in the middle).

Next up was the Reese’s Cupcake. This was a chocolate cake with Reese’s bits baked into it, topped with a vanilla frosting. While the frosting was store bought, firm and overly sweet, the cake itself was delicious. It’s not hard to imagine the pairing of chocolate and peanut butter tasting good.

Last on the table was the Despicable Treats cupcake. This cupcake was designed to look like one of the minions from the movie “Despicable Me” and actually did quite a good job of that. The cake was made from yellow cake mix, but was dyed to look half blue and half yellow. Surprisingly, it was perfectly moist and the best baked. There was a blue, whipped vanilla frosting, and coming out of the cake was half a Twinkie delicately decorated with chocolate and Smarties to make it resemble its big screen counterpart. Despite the Twinkie being slightly on the stale side, the cupcake came together very nicely.

Each of the cupcakes was a winner in one of the three categories; the Peppermint Popper won the name contest, the Reese’s Cupcake won for taste and Despicable Treats won for decoration. That being said, they were all great in their own way, but I of course I had my personal favorite. For me, Despicable Treats literally took the cake. Pun intended.