Students love the variety of food related shows that are on TV. One of the most requested is the Food Network show, “Cupcake Wars.” I personally don’t like to have competitions be graded but rather to be fun and to win bragging rights or a prize.
8.3 Demonstrate industry standards in selecting, using, and maintaining food production and food service equipment.
8.5.10 Prepare breads, baked goods and desserts using safe handling and professional preparation techniques.
- Watch cupcake wars a class or two before your scheduled competition. Episodes are available on YouTube and Amazon; just search for your favorite.
- Sprinkles, food coloring, piping bags
- Fruits: strawberries, lemons, raspberries, bananas
- Spices: cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, apple pie spice
- Canned goods: pumpkin, honey, jams, preserves
- Candy: chocolate chips, white chocolate, Andes candies
- Dried fruits: dates, raisins, craisins, dried blueberries, dried bananas
- Nuts: peanuts, macadamia nuts, pecans
Background for Teachers
- I never like to personally judge culinary competitions because this is a great way to get other teachers and community members into your classroom to promote culinary arts! So I float around going from group to group helping out slightly and/or answering questions. I also like to
- Time considerations: In my mind there are three scenarios you could do depending on the time you have for the competition.
- Boxed cupcake mixes (choice of flavors, students could mix things in)
- Students bring in their own homemade cupcakes, unfrosted
- Students make everything in class
- 60 minutes for competing 1/2 hour for judging & clean up
- Highly recommend students work in groups 2-4 especially if you expect them to clean up as they go.
- Mystery ingredient that students need to include in their cupcakes (my favorite mystery ingredient is avocado)
- Theme inspired e.g. wildlife, romance, healthy, beach themed
- Several “rounds” or “face-offs” like class winner against another class winner
- Presentation: offer a selection of plates, platters, and doilies
- Some students get really stressed about competitions so I don’t like the added pressure of the competition being graded. I have never had a problem with students not rising to the occasion and giving it their best.
- Explain that students will be judged on taste, texture, presentation, creativity.
- Students need to make 3 cupcakes (one for each judge)
- Suggest that students plan out on paper what they are making before they start and assign roles to each person.
- Cupcake Wars Planning Sheet (Word)
- Community Cupcakes War Fundraiser competition (Pdf)
- Cupcake wars come to Middle-school
- Winning Cupcakes Photo Gallery