Gilbert sisters win episode of Food Network’s ‘Cupcake Wars’ (via azcentral.com)
The Coffee and Cigarettes cupcakes at the Coffee Shop at Agritopia in Gilbert are not selling that well, according to co-owner Jessica Cuff.
But on Food Network’s reality show “Cupcake Wars,” the sweet treats were the center of attention, helping Cuff and her sister, Jenna Flowers, win Tuesday night’s episode. The show pits four of the top cupcake bakers in the nation against each other in three elimination challenges. The winner receives $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase his or her treats at a high-profile event.
The Coffee and Cigarettes cupcakes are actually made from tobacco, and were part of the final challenge to make 1,000 cupcakes (250 each of four different types) in three hours. In addition, Cuff and Flowers made a chocolate marshmallow cupcake, a doughnut cupcake filled with Bavarian cream, and a special competition-only cupcake with peanut butter, chocolate and jalapeño, among other ingredients.
The sisters’ hard work paid off, winning over guest judge Duff Goldman, host of the popular Food Network show “Ace of Cakes.”
“We were really inspired by Duff and we have a similar philosophy,” Cuff said. “We wanted to honor him and what his tastes are, and thought he has this rock vibe that loves donuts, bacon and pork rinds. He seems to have a rules-don’t-apply-to-us and make-your-own-rules mentality, and that is much like our philosophy.”
Cuff said she and her sister were surprised to have won because they took a “rock n’ roll, grassroots” approach, which the other competitors had picture-perfect displays. They were shocked to learn they had scooped up the $10,000 prize.
The sisters will split the winnings. Cuff already purchased a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes from Barneys New York in Scottsdale, and plans to buy a Chanel bag when she visits Beverly Hills in two weeks. She said she isn’t sure what her sister will do with the money, but bets she will put it in the bank because she is a saver.
While Cuff is happy to have won the money and gotten the attention, she said the experience with her sister is really what made the competition memorable.
“It was a great way to bond and vacation with my sister, and just us coming together is really what made it an ultimate success,” she said. “The only way either of us could have gotten as far as we have gotten, is because of each other.”
The episode will re-air on the Food Network on July 4.