Crazy for Cupcakes on TV: Cupcake Wars, DC Cupcakes and Other Shows

Cupcake Wars

The beginning of the cupcake craze was evident years ago when I visited New York City and stood in line at the Magnolia Bakery. My husband and I took a box of their cupcakes to a park and delightfully indulged. The cupcake craze isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Sprinkles Cupcakes in L.A. is the west coast answer to the NYC cupcake bakery, and now they even have a cupcake ATM, where you can “withdraw” cupcakes automatically on the street.

But even if you don’t have a cupcake ATM nearby to satisfy your cravings, you can get your cupcake fix on TV. Cupcake Wars is one of my favorite indulgences. Teams compete each week for the prize (everyone in my home town was glued to the set when local cupcake baker Zilly Cakes was on – and unfortunately lost).

DC Cupcakes
Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis of DC Cupcakes | TLC

What I love about Cupcake Wars is that although the contestants have to create a big show piece, similar to other pastry and sugar competitions, a huge part of the judging is about how the cupcakes taste, which is what we as home viewers can most relate to. The competitors tend to be owners, pastry chefs or caterers from small local bakeries around the country, so they feel very mom and pop. Some of the challenges are over the top, but the show always gives me ideas for cupcakes I want to taste, and the best news is you can find the recipes on the show’s web site.

If there isn’t enough drama as contestants try and often fail to impress the judges on that show, change the channel to DC Cupcakes where two sisters run a Georgetown cupcake shop via a reality show. The show focuses not only on the building of huge creations that the girls attach their cupcakes to (sometimes unsuccessfully – after all, a toothpick is no match for a cupcake) for parties and events, but also on the drama you’ll find in a family run business that is trying to make it big. If you like Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss, tune in to DC Cupcakes.

Still not full? Indulge in Cupcake Girls which answers the enduring question: Do they have cupcakes in Canada, too? Yes, indeed, and this show follows the owners and their staff as they seek to franchise their successful cupcake business across Canada. There’s a greater focus on the business aspect of baking cupcakes, but of course, it has all the reality show requirements of drama, tears and humor at every turn. Not to mention those amazing looking cupcakes.

The Muffin Tin CookbookBrette Sember is the author of the newly released The Muffin Tin Cookbook: 200 Fast, Delicious Mini-Pies, Pasta Cups, Gourmet Pockets, Veggie Cakes, and More!, which also includes some cupcake recipes.

She is also the author of The Parchment Paper Cookbook and The Organized Kitchen. Her web site is, and she blogs at and


13 responses to “Crazy for Cupcakes on TV: Cupcake Wars, DC Cupcakes and Other Shows”

  1. Vanessa Avatar

    I’m about to say DC cupcakes! I thought you weren’t going to mention it lol.

  2. Jane Avatar

    I love cupcakes! And obviously I love Cupcake Wars show. The most interesting thing for me in a cupcake is the topping. I love cupcakes with some unique and inviting cream topping on it.

  3. MyKidsEatSquid Avatar

    I haven’t seen Cupcake Wars, but I loved Ace of Cakes before it got overly commercial. Hummm, I just tried a new Cleveland cupcake shop–Colossal Cupcakes on Friday. If these cupcake shows keep the trend alive, I guess I should start watching

  4. Irene Avatar

    These sure look better than the Hostess stuff, which is in bankruptcy right now BTW!

  5. Living Large Avatar

    I love cupcakes, but not the show. Too much drama for something so sweet. I love cakepops too. 🙂

  6. Alisa Bowman Avatar

    All I can say is that I’m glad I read this when I was NOT hungry or things would have gotten a bit dangerous.

  7. Kris Avatar

    I love cupcakes. But every time I see them piled high with those frilly frostings, I wonder if it’s that horrific bakery icing. I know they’re beautiful, but my cupcakes have got to taste REAL.

  8. The Writer's [Inner] Journey Avatar

    Must say, Sprinkles cupcakes are quite yummy (and lovely!). Such a cute and clever post.

  9. Ron Ginsberg Avatar

    I had trouble moving from the picture to the text! Love cupcakes!

  10. sarah henry Avatar

    These food fads are always interesting. While I like the size of a cupcake versus a slice of cake (and the ratio of frosting to cake;), these trends, well, come and go. I thought the culture had moved on to macarons or pie was popular again, who can keep track?

  11. Peter Palme Avatar
    Peter Palme

    In Europe, we still have only a few cupcakes, but I can see the craze coming here, as well.

  12. Jennifer Palmer Avatar

    Thanks for the amazing post. I myself got into the baking business because not only do i love to bake, I also loved to watch all these shows and the crazy things they could do with cakes and cupcakes. These shows have taught me that if you have the patience, the sky is the limit when it comes to flavours and designs. Thank you again for sharing!

  13. Ankita Avatar

    Yess! I am one of the craziest people who love cupcakes like hell. This is what I like the most. Thanks for your share. 🙂

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