Monday, April 12, 2010

And that's all they wrote!

CupcakeCamp NYC is now in the history books, but I wanted to take a moment to quickly thank all of you who participated this year. Also, we have the all important business of announcing this year's contest winners...

Only in its second year, CupcakeCamp NYC grew from 230 attendees in 2009 to almost 800 participants in 2010. That's a lot of growth if you ask me. We were stoked with the turn out and are already brainstorming ideas on how to make the 2011 event better. For example, we are brainstorming ways on how to handle a better baker to eater ratio for next year. In 2009 we threw away quite a few cupcakes at the end of the night, but this year, we ran out before 8:30 p.m. As someone who hates throwing away food and was excited to not have any waste at the end of the night, I still understand that some eaters were disappointed that we ran out of cupcakes.

This brings me to my next point. As the producer, I think it's important I explain the point of CupcakeCamp once again as I have received a rather nasty e-mail from an attendee that I would like to publicly address. CupcakeCamp is completely community driven. There is a team that handles the back end organization part of the event, but we rely on the community to actually MAKE the event i.e. bring cupcakes. The only people that make any money off of CupcakeCamp NYC are the owners of Happy Ending and that is only through alcohol sales since they are generous enough to let us use their space for free. As the event producer, I make absolutely nothing off of the CupcakeCamp NYC name. None of the bakers who graciously bring cupcakes make a profit. So, it's fair to say that nothing pisses me off more than someone complaining about how they didn't get any free cupcakes at a completely free event that they didn't contribute to in the least bit. It makes me angry on behalf of the bakers that worked so hard to make CupcakeCamp awesome, to the folks at Happy Ending that handle everything from bartending to clean-up duties without a single complaint, and yes, it makes me angry personally for the late nights I've spent making Excel sheets and answering hundreds of e-mails every day. It's sad that someone can complain about an event centered on something as fun as cupcakes, but that's life.

With this in mind, my goal is to make CupcakeCamp 2011 even more amazing and fun just to prove the author of the nasty e-mail I received wrong. So you better believe I'm already planning for an event that is about 365 days away.

Now, onto to the more important business at hand: the winners of our design contest and the Best in Show competition.

I'm happy to announce that Anny Cakes is the winner of our design competition. Her sparkly cupcakes were almost too beautiful to eat (even though our judges devoured them). As the winner of this contest, we'll be giving away a copy of The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross and Martha Stewart's Cupcakes by Martha Stewart.

Best in Show went to Audrey Criss from New Jersey with her spice cake cupcakes topped with whipped cream cheese frosting. All six of our judges were in cupcake heaven upon tasting Audrey's creation and decided that for CupcakeCamp 2010, she deserved Best in Show. 

On a personal note, I chatted to Audrey at the event and she shared that her dream is to open up her own bakery in New Jersey. I was beyond pleased to award Audrey the Best in Show prize and believe that this woman is going to succeed in the bakery business. To be blunt: Girl can bake!

Also, special shout out to Kathy "Metalcakes" Bejma for putting together the Best in Show prize. It was amazingly cool and I know everyone was impressed with your efforts!

To all the other bakers, the judges each told me that it was a hard decision to narrow down the cupcakes and that everyone should be proud of their submissions. As a baker myself, I understand how much hard work and effort goes into everything you put in your oven, and I can't express how much it means to me that you wanted to share your passion with CupcakeCamp NYC.

I also want to thank our sponsors and special friends for attending. Jennifer Ross and Elizabeth Bellanti from Austin, TX, Kathy Bejma and her mom from Chicago (you might have met Kathy's mom downstairs - she was the awesome lady selling her knit cupcakes!), Jennifer Appel and the Buttercup Bakeshop Crew (we also owe them a big high-five for supplying the Cupcake Cocktail at the bar!), the lovely ladies at Clarkson Potter who donated copies of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, and last but not least, the guys at Happy Ending for helping me with everything from set up to clean-up. You guys rule on so many levels. Also, a special shout out for all our judges and volunteers - you make my life so much easier. I wish I could take you all on a trip to Hawaii for your efforts!

Lastly, if you have photos from the event, please upload them to our Facebook group page!

See you in 2011!


  1. Thanks for organizing this, Mary Ann. Congratulations to all the winners, and a big thank you to the people who brought cupcakes! I saw and tasted some amazing cupcakes there.

    Cupcakes should be about community building, and I hope that people will understand that this was only the second year, with plenty of room for growth. I'm sure Cupcake Camp NYC 2011 will be even better with the knowledge and head start you've gotten already!

  2. Mary Ann, count me in AGAIN for next yr. It's my second year donating cupcakes and it's a fabulous event. Unfortunately this year I didn't stay and just dropped off the cupcakes because there were indeed way too many people and no cupcakes. I am thrilled it was such a successful event with that much turnout.. and maybe next year some people will consider bringing cupcakes as opposed to just eating them without contributing! Again, fabulous job!!

    -Stardust Cakes

  3. Mary Ann,
    This event was a blast and I felt way honored (and overstimulated--so many cupcakes!) to be a volunteer that night. Like you I'm disappointed that anyone would send a nasty note but you know, being deprived of free goodies like the ones there is grump-inducing. Sour grapes aside, kudos to you, your partners, all of the bakers, Happy Ending bar and me...because I stuffed my face.

  4. Hi Mary Ann! This was my first time at Cupcake Camp and I had so much fun! For the most part everyone was friendly and helpful, and the quality of the cupcakes was impressive too ;)

    I know a lot of people were upset about not getting cupcakes, and had I not been a baker and seen the sheer volume of people I probably would have been more frustrated. I actually wrote a blog post about the event, with tips for attendees that should prove useful next year. And there are also two (very friendly!) suggestions for the organizers for how to make CC2011 even better ;)

    Does Audrey Criss have an email or website where people can contact her if they want to purchase her baked goods? I'd love to include it in the blog post (Anny Cakes is already linked there).

    Thanks for organizing an awesome event!

  5. Hi Mary Ann! I think the event was an overall success!! I was one of the disappointed ones who didn't get any cupcakes, but I definitely don't think it warranted a nasty letter! Everyone was really nice, and everyone seemed to be having fun. Even those of us on line! :-) I'm sure next year will be bigger and better, and cupcakes for all!

    I blogged about Cupcake Camp on my Cake Decorating Techniques site: Cupcake Camp NYC

  6. Amazing event...what a fantastic idea. To see that it has grown so much since last year is remarkable. Whoever wrote that awful note to you clearly doesn't speak for the majority. Can't wait for next year! I'm sure more people might be willing to volunteer.

  7. I just finished my review of the event if you want to check it out on my blog:

    It was my first time attending and if I went again, i'd go on time!

  8. cupcakecamp sounds so wonderful! my friends and i, we're from canada, and we plan on coming down to NYC in 2011 just for this (of course we'll see the city too :P) just know that all your hard work planning something like this has people in other countries very excited. can't wait for 2011!