ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- More than 1500 people gave into their sweet tooth Saturday at the 6th Annual St. Petersburg Cupcake Contest. Over 80 contestants from all over the Bay Area competed to win the right to say they made the best cupcake in St. Petersburg.
The event was hosted at the Morean Center for Clay in the Warehouse Arts District with nine judges.
The contest was split in three categories: novice, professional, and specialty (gluten free/vegan). The specialty category was just introduced this year for those competing with gluten free, vegan cupcakes instead of entering against the sugary others.
The novice category was judged by three judges: Dawna Stone, founder of St. Pete Food & Wine Festival, Alicia Sherrill of Farmtable Kitchen at Locale Market, and Brien Neal from iLovetheBurg.com. The winning cupcake was made by Monica McLaughlin with her Root Beer Float cupcake, the second place winner was Lauren Haught with her Lime with Strawberry and Basil Swiss Meringue Buttercream cupcake.
The professional category was judged by Erica Allums, owner of Banyan Café, Ken Tufo from Sea Salt, Jennifer Arthur of Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Tina Contes, General Manager of Datz Dough in Tampa. The first place winner was Diane Ratto with a Peanut Butter Cream Banana Dream. Second place was the Angry Orchard Apple Crumb cupcake made by Joyce King.
The specialty category was judged by Melissa and Josh Hobick. The first place winner was Deborah Molise with her Pumpkin Cheesecake cupcake, and second place went to Brittney Sherley with No Coffee, No Worries cupcake (Vegan Double Mocha).
The winner and runner-up of each category was awarded a hand-crafted “cupcake” plate designed by clay artist Heather Tinnaro, Morean Center for Clay member and instructor.
Outside of the those three categories there was also a People’s Choice award. Visitors to the event were able to taste different cupcakes and vote for which ones they liked best. Each vote costed a dollar with proceeds benefiting the Morean’s educational programs and scholarships. The winner of People’s Choice was Jen Jacobs with an entry called Chai Latte Cupcake with Brown Butter Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting. Second place was Michelle Saxton with Dark Chocolate Coffee with Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing.