Let the K104 Cupcake Battles Begin!
I am heading back to Pamal Broadcasting studios on Friday (March 25th) to join the judge's panel for the third year as a K104 cupcake wars flavor expert and dessert connoisseur! I got the call and felt as though I had won the lotto. This has to be the best job on earth. Cupcakes are happiness personified.
Cupcakes have proven to have incredible staying power. Most food fads come and go. Macaroons threatened the landscape for a time, but coconut being an acquired taste, they have not taken off like cupcakes. The market is diverse. There are cupcake decorating parties, storefronts, food trucks and even internet-based companies. There are cupcake wars on TV, festivals dedicated wholly to them, mini and mountain cupcakes. What's the secret to cupcake success?
Cupcakes are single-serve multi-faceted desserts that beat traditional cakes to the punchline by offering individualized options and decorative accents in every color and flavor. Cupcakes are personal. I have been through half a dozen rounds of cupcake wars at the radio station, and I've never had the same cake twice. There are vegan options, cake variations, cream cheese frosted, buttercream filled and pudding-based cakes. The evolution of cupcakes has been a cake filled with a delicate sauce of sorts that is complimented by flavor integration throughout and the frosting (usually infused) topped with a themed decoration making them the perfect dessert for weddings, sweet 16's, baby showers and anniversaries. Even the wrappers are hand-chosen and unique to the baker.
One cupcake storefront in Orange County has a vast seating area where I sometimes work from. I watch a stream of people from every facet of life walk in and throw down a few dollars at lunch or on the way home from work to indulge in a few bites of dessert heaven. There is no wrong reason to eat a cupcake.
Beginning a cupcake company can be inexpensive when you start in your home kitchen and utilize the internet. One woman is rumored to have started hers with just $33. The winner of cupcake wars on K104 get's $1,000 c/o Billy Joes Ribworks. That's all the start-up capital you might need to begin baking with your dreams of owning a business in mind.
Many of the bakers get up in the middle of the night to bring in something tasty-fresh. Some of the critics on the panel dig in deep to find something to complain about. And, while honesty is my loyal companion, I preemptively admire each and every confectionary creator for their courage and ingenuity. It takes a lot to put yourself out there. I promise to remember that above all!
For each week that I sit at the judges table, I will be interviewing and profiling the winner of the round on this site to help give them exposure and thank them for a cupcake-well-baked.
Let the cupcakes battles BEGIN!
As a child of the 80's, the radio was for a long time, the only contact young people might have with the outside world. My parents were strict and afraid of the influence pop music might have on small children, so my sister and I were only allowed to listen to the oldies station for many years. When I became a teenager, my life-changing gift was the installation of a record player with a radio dial in my own bedroom. Like it was yesterday, I remember Alanis Morissette's Ironic coming through in waves. It was 1995. That song changed everything.
I became obsessed with new music, my love of Carole King and the Supremes notwithstanding, K104 is where I connected. There was no internet (well there was, but it was dial-up and there was no way to stream music then.) My bus driver would play K104 on the way into school and I combed over lyrics to songs by Goo Goo Dolls, Notorious B.I.G. and GIn Blossoms like it was my job. My sister and I would drag the boombox out into the yard turning cartwheels while we listened to the top songs on the radio. We sang Mariah Carey's Always be my Baby at the top of our lungs. Nothing was more fun.
Some of the personalities from my teenage years are still on the radio: Scotty Mac, Skywalker and Woodman. But, the teenage years in America as a whole have transformed since then. I admire the way the radio stations have adapted to these unprecedented changes in the market. Radio DJ's are the definition of having a voice, a powerful and important job. I relish the opportunity to join as a voice in the robust chorus of influence and exposure.