The Sycamore Park Community Center hosted its first ever "Cupcake Wars" during a craft fair on Saturday. Modeled after a Food Network show of the same name, nine teams prepared frosting and decorated their displays for hours in hopes of earning the sweet first-place prize: A $50 gift certificate to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
"I heard about it on the radio and it sounded like fun," said Lilley Powell, a medical assistant from Arboles, Colo. who traveled to Farmington for the contest. "I love to bake, and my family calls me ridiculously competitive, so when I heard war, I was in."
The contestants were allowed to bake the cupcakes at home but the frostings and sauces had to be made from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the community center kitchen.
Five judges taste-tested the treats and dozens of people at the craft fair voted based on cupcake presentation.
Halee Isbell, a 13-year-old Farmington girl who is homeschooled, won first-place in both categories with a Mexican chocolate cupcake with clove vanilla frosting. She said it might have been the first time she has ever won a competition.
"I love baking for church functions and finding as many people to eat my stuff as possible," she said.
Emily Rawson, a 10-year-old homeschooled student in Farmington, made a white cupcake with strawberry-jam filling and lemon frosting. She spent about three hours baking the cupcakes and had four hours preparing them in competition.
"It's starting to be a hobby for me. I got a lot of decorating stuff for Christmas," she said.
Isbell and Rawson are regulars at Sycamore Park Community Centers. They are part of a large group of homeschooled kids that frequent Sycamore Park events.
"We call it a fellowship, we get together for a two-hour recess once a week and, when the weather's bad, we come here," said Erica Rawson, Emily's mom.
It was the first time the community center hosted "Cupcake Wars" but Sycamore Park will likely have another war next year.
"Cupcake Wars and those types of things are the big things on TV these days and we decided to have our own rendition," said Natalie Spruell, the community center manager. "We just decided to do something families could participate in. You can get as technical as you want with cupcakes or not."