|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2013)|
|Genre||Cooking show, reality|
|Presented by||Justin Willman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||81|
|Running time||1 hour|
|Original channel||Food Network|
|Original run||June 13, 2010 – present|
Cupcake Wars is a Food Network reality-based competition show hosted by Justin Willman based on creating unique and professional-style cupcakes that began airing in June 2010. The show is similar to its successful Chopped show in that it starts with 4 contestants who are eliminated one by one in 3 rounds. During seasons 1-3, the show's time-slot was Tuesdays at 8 pm, EST, but at the beginning of the 4th season, the time-slot changed to Sundays at 8PM EST.  The show also challenges its contestants to create cupcakes with unusual ingredients with the winning team receiving $10,000. Each team consists of a chef and a sous-chef. Cupcake Wars began airing its 8th season on March 3, 2013.
In the first round, the contestants must create a cupcake based on taste alone with a theme associated including a twist of ingredient(s) in 45 minutes. For example, a date-night themed cupcake must include various aphrodisiacs, such as oysters, basil, dark chocolate or champagne.
The third round is hardest, with the remaining 2 teams making 1,000 cupcakes in only 2 hours (originally 4 hours in the first episode). Each team is assisted with the help of a 5-person team consisting of one carpenter and four baking interns to create the showcase for the cupcakes and help make the cupcakes for their corresponding contestants.
The show invites cupcake bakers from all over the United States to compete in the 3 rounds. Each episode has a theme. Some themes used so far have been a golf tournament, a Seaworld birthday party for an orca, a "match-making" aphrodisiac party, an Ace of Cakes 100th episode celebration, "Survival of the Fittest" theme, an autistic charity event and at a film festival.
There are 3 judges in the series with 2 of them being permanent judges:
- Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world's first cupcake bakery
- Florian Bellanger, executive French pastry chef
- Bobbie Lloyd, Chief Baking Officer of Magnolia Bakery, replaced Nelson as a judge on the seventh episode of season 7.
The third, rotating judge, is a special guest and is associated with the event in which that episode's winning cupcakes are to be served.