REVIEW: First Annual Cerritos Cupcake Camp Satisfies The Sweet Tooth With Unexpected Flavors
Despite some rain and it being the first time the Soroptimist International of Artesia-Cerritos held the fundraising event, the turnout was impressive. For three delectable hours, cupcake fans got to sample the mini treats, in exchange for a donation of $10. All proceeds went to local charities such as Su Casa Domestic Violence Shelter. For each donation, a cupcake box was provided, as well as a raffle ticket and six cupcake tickets.
Upon entering the building, guests could walk from table to table and mull over the difficult decision of which cupcakes they wanted to fill their boxes with. There were so many to choose from, ranging from artistic to cute to unique. In addition to the incredible assortment of cupcakes, there were also raffles, photo opportunities, music, and face painting.
Contest categories were separate for amateurs and professionals, and included Best of Show (based on overall best flavor, texture and design), Most Unique Ingredient (based on creativity, taste and texture), and Most Cerritos Inspired (captured the spirit of Cerritos in the flavor or design of the cupcake).
Additionally, Moscato-soaked mini cupcakes layered with cream cheese frosting and served in a champagne glass made for a classy presentation. The buttery frosting, soft cake, and just the right touch of Moscato all eaten out of the glass with a spoon made a great flavor combination. The garnish of fresh bits of peach and strawberry added just the right amount of tartness to the decadent dessert.
One of the most unique cupcakes was the "Fire & Ice," a jalapeno-lime cupcake filled with avocado mousse and tequila-lime frosting. Although only the adventurous cupcake fanatics would dive right in without skepticism, people that dared to try it were pleasantly surprised at how well the flavors worked together. Each ingredient was prominent enough to taste, yet none of them were overpowering. The avocado mousse really hit the mark with its lightness and balance of sweetness. The tequila added a kick and the lime brightened it all up.
In the amateur section, a pumpkin cupcake with brown butter sage frosting may not have stood out visually, but after taking a bite it was clearly a highlight of the event. It had an unexpected but very well-composed flavor profile, and the sage complemented the pumpkin flavor to encompass what Fall would taste like.
Other cupcakes incorporated lychee, Kahlua, Chambord, and Spam. One was even called Butterbeer after the "Harry Potter" libation, and tasted like butterscotch. A popular cupcake was one that looked like an owl, with Oreo cookie eyes and a Skittles nose.
Although the event was very well-organized, there is always room for improvement. It would have been helpful if the amateur cupcakes were more organized and labeled, as a majority of them were cute but lacked any indication of what was inside it or who had made it. The same can be said for the winning cupcakes, where the description of the cupcake was provided, but not the names of the businesses or bakers that had created them.
The first Cupcake Camp held by the Soroptimists had an impressive turnout and succeeded in satisfying the city's collective sweet tooth, all for a good cause. The city of Cerritos and its neighbors are already looking forward to next year's Cupcake Camp. In the meantime, we can only wonder what cupcake flavors they will think of next.
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