CakeSpy note: what's sweeter than a cupcake festival? This fantastic recap is courtesy of Aditi at Follow the Red Velvet Road. Enjoy!
Fifth Annual St. Petersburg Cupcake Festival Morean Art Center Downtown St. Petersburg Saturday August 16th, 12:00 – 3:00
After last year’s foray into the Ybor Saturday Market Cupcake Festival, I decided to check out the 2015 calendar of events in the Tampa Bay area to see if there were any other cupcake themed events going on. I was delighted to find a cupcake festival in St. Petersburg, apparently it was an annual one. I didn’t hear about it last year so I was interested and excited to attend this year.
The festival itself is a fund raiser for the Morean Art Center in downtown St. Petersburg (more info here, Morean Arts Center). Patrons of the festival could purchase tickets which were used to vote for the People’s Choice for the best cupcake. There were also designated judges who voted for the best cupcake between novice and professional bakers. Over all, there were awards for first, second, and third place from the People’s Choice as well as the judges. All the money raised went directly back to the art center.
I didn’t realize how popular this cupcake festival was when I first read about it. A few friends and I decided to head over around 12:30, thinking we’d beat the bulk of the crowd. Apparently the entire Bay Area thought to go to this event because the entrance line was out the door. While this sounds delightful, and it’s great for the art center, the space was very limited. When we finally got into the art center, it felt like a herd of cattle being ushered through the space going from table to table and grabbing what we could. Some tables had already run out of cupcakes before 1:30!
There were some amazing bakers there though. The competition was open to non‐commercial, non‐ professional, and commercial bakers alike. There were some personal favorites present, including Sweet IRB from Indian Rocks Beach and Oobalamode from Tampa. I was also excited to see the places I hadn’t heard of and definitely plan to visit while I’m still living in the Bay Area.
Most of the bakers provided mini‐cupcakes as samples for the patrons. Some provided both mini and regular sized cupcakes. Others cut up large cupcakes to give out as samples. I tried a variety of cupcakes including cannoli (which was my ultimate favorite), salted caramel, spicy red velvet, and homemade funfetti. There were also cocktail themed cupcakes including margarita, hops, and irish carbombs. The variety was delicious, and I was very happy to see traditional flavors, like red velvet, represented.
The competition was fierce and it was hard to choose which cupcake to vote for, especially when I only had enough cash to buy one voting ticket. The winners were:
1st Place: Lemon Blueberry Lavender ‐ Michelle Saxton
2nd Place: Bottom of the 9th Bacon with Caramel Buttercream ‐ Sarah Perkins 3rd Place: Banana Nutella ‐ Jennifer Jacobs
1st Place: Hopcakes ‐ Lori Schmidt
2nd Place: Strawberry Coulis and Lemon Curd ‐ Michelle Garner
3rd Place: Cannoli Cupcakes‐ Lori Schmidt
1st Place: Jennifer Jacob's Banana Nutella
2nd Place: Michelle Saxton's Lemon Blueberry Lavender
In the end I was very impressed by the event and I can’t wait to attend next year. In the meanwhile, I will be looking forward to attending the Ybor Saturday Market Cupcake Festival again in October.