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Scenes and Winners From LA's 4th Annual Cupcake Challenge

Almost two dozen Los Angeles bakeries entered to compete in the 4th Annual Cupcake Challenge that was held this past Saturday at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood. While the Writer's Guild Awards were going on in an adjacent ballroom, some 600 attendees gathered to sample thousands of miniature cupcakes in what can only be described as sweet excess. Sweet E's, CakePops, Blue Cupcakes and - perhaps the biggest name on the block, Magnolia Bakery, all created elaborately decked out displays that drew long lines. A smattering of official judges dotted the room, their loot splayed out in front of them. The entire crowd was invited to vote, casting a ballot for Best Original, Best Traditional and Best Overall Cupcake. Years past featured bakeries from OC and LA including Two Parts Sugar, Charmed Cupcakes, and Big Man Bakes.

This year, there was a Fried Chicken and Waffle-inspired cupcake from My Delight Cupcakery (their Late Night Breakfast cupcake took first prize among attendees as well as judges) and Candied Bacon topped a meringue poof on a Sweet Potato cupcake from Friandise. A few different Peanut Butter and Jelly cupcake versions, a Dulce de Leche and Churro creation, S'more Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and a couple of pineapple-upside-down cupcakes all vied for attention. Bakeries ranged from homey to healthy, celebrity-driven to crafty (CakePops served miniature cupcakes on a stick; dipped in a sweet glaze, they looked a lot like bonbons).

Wine and beer was on offer, but coffee, tea and sweet treats dominated the ballroom. Heaps of cupcake wrappers, many still with cake and frosting inside, piled up on tables and emphasized the excess. Towards the end of the event, the crowd looked both exhausted and elated. My Delight took home first prize and Hansen's Bridal Cake, Double D's Chocolate Zin, Jus Minis Josephine and Friandise Candied Sweet Potato all won high marks with the crowd and judges. See complete results below:

Best Traditional:
1st: My Delight: Red Velvet
2nd: Hansen’s: Bridal Cake
3rd: Double D Cupcakes: Chocolate Zin

Best Original:
1st: My Delight: Late Night Breakfast
2nd: Jus Minis: Josephine
3rd: Friandise Pastries: Candied Sweet Potato

Best Overall:
1st: My Delight: Late Night Breakfast
2nd: Friandise Pastries: Candied Sweet Potato
3rd: Jus Minis: Josephine

Judges Vote:
Best Traditional: Double D Cupcakes
Best Original: My Delight
Best Overall: My Delight

— Daniela Galarza