Ugh, I missed seeing the full episode; just the winner announcement. I got home last night from the NYC Vegetarian Food Fest and turned on my TV. Something was a little screwy and the channel wouldn’t change from like Celebrity Apprentice, but I fixed it just in time to flip to Cupcake Wars to find it was a vegan challenge! Oh yeah, baby!
Stephanie Sparkles was happy to say the least, jumping a few feet off the ground, when the judges announced her as the winner. Be sure to check out her site to view tons of amazing looking cupcakes. You can even bring her winning goodness home by buying her ebook for $9.95.
Get a peek at Stephanie in this video the L.A. Cupcake Challenge and LIKE her on Facebook.
This episode is a huge step forwards in that it puts veganism front and center. I was a little displeased at the end when host Justin Willman said, “you were both tasked with creating vegan cupcakes that still held up to our standard of deliciousness and safisticati0n.”
It seems everyone has their opinion on what makes a vegan cupcake, be it decoration or frosting or whatever, but what really makes a vegan cupcake is the same as what makes a traditional cupcake: taste. Adding eggs and dairy do not automatically make for an amazing cupcake. Many a traditional cupcake (as well as cookies, brownies, pies, what have you) has seen the bottom of a trashcan.
If anyone knows of a vegan baker who has been on the show and not won–well, unless they were competing against another vegan baker–please let me know. There is a novelty to vegan cupcakes, yes; but these judges aren’t handing these competitions over for that reason. Why would they when dairy-free, egg-free baked goods take a stab at the establishment? In fact, it would seem logically to be a card stacked against these vegans.
No, these sweets are delicious treats. The othering of vegan sweets when they have thus far stood the challenge, needs to go. So for the time being, while I was super excited about this all vegan episode in theory, I’d like to not see another one for a long while…just vegan bakers going toe-to-toe with traditional bakers and knocking them off the display.
UPDATE: If you missed it, visit VeganSense‘s YouTube Channel through the images below for all the videos. Be sure to hit up Cupcakes Take The Cake for a full write up. You can even get the recipe from Food Network for Stephanie’s Lavender Tangerine Dream Cupcake and whip up some goodness.
Also, check out guest judge, vegetarian chef Leslie Sarna, at Veggie Dreamgirl.