I want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Baking Bites Holiday Cupcake Contest. The entries were all fantastic, with great looking cake, delicious and creamy frostings, and creative toppers. Judging was tough because there were so many entries to choose from. Some of the judges complained that they thought taste testing would be part of the process, but once they buckled down, a decision was reached.
The Grand Prize winner is HayleytheCaker‘s Santa and His Reindeer Cupcakes pictured above. They’re vanilla cupcakes with hand-crafted Santa in a sleigh and a whole team of reindeer as toppers. They’re almost too cute to eat and it’s great that the cupcakes form a whole set.
Even though I initially said that there would be two runners up, there are actually three. It couldn’t be helped. The Runners Up are Bittersweet‘s Sweet Christmas Tree, Iheartcuppycake‘s Santa’s Favorite Cupcake and Fields of Cake‘s Peppermint Twist Cupcakes. The Sweet Christmas Tree is actually a cone-shaped cupcake underneath that evergreen frosting, and Bittersweet provided some great tips on her site that should help you through the process of making them yourself.
Santa’s Favorite Cupcake is a Tres Leches Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting, garnished with a homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie. It’s a play on milk and cookies – which must, of course, be left out for Santa on Christmas Eve to treat him after hauling around presents all night – just with a cupcake twist.
The Peppermint Twist Cupcakes are chocolate cake with a white chocolate and peppermint ganache filling and a peppermint swirl buttercream. The swirl on the icing was created by putting streaks of food coloring inside a piping bag before adding the frosting – a neat trick that you can use with other frostings, too.
This final cupcake actually also highlights my favorite trend from the contest, which is using cookies as cupcake toppers. That said, everyone is a winner in my book. I won’t wait so long before launching a new contest this time around. I can’t wait to see what you can come up with when a new challenge is put out! For now, take a look at the other winners in the contest gallery for lots more holiday inspiration.