|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (October 2013)|
|Presented by||Justin Willman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9|
|No. of episodes||114 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||1 hour|
|Original channel||Food Network|
|Original run||June 13, 2010 – December 28, 2013|
Cupcake Wars is an American reality competition series which premiered on June 13, 2010 and aired on the cable television network Food Network. The cooking show is hosted by Justin Willman and based on creating unique and professional-style cupcakes.
The show is similar to successful Chopped cooking show aired on the same network, in that it starts with four contestants who are eliminated one-by-one in three rounds, with the winning team receiving $10,000. Each team consists of a chef and a sous-chef.
The first round lasts 20 minutes and is focused around taste. Contestants must create a cupcake with unusual ingredients related to a theme - for example, a date-night theme might require contestants to incorporate various aphrodisiacs, such as oysters, basil, dark chocolate or champagne.
The third and final round is the most challenging, with the remaining two teams having two hours to make 1,000 cupcakes. Each team must feature improved versions of all four cupcakes they made in the first two rounds, and then showcase them on an elaborately constructed display connected to that episode's theme. Each team receives the assistance of four baking assistants and one carpenter in completing the round. The judges will often eat the cupcakes in this round because contestants make changes based upon judges suggestions, but the tasting is done informally at the display.
The show invites cupcake bakers from all over the United States to compete. Each episode is centered around a theme or event; past themes include 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, a golf tournament, and a film festival.
There are three judges in the series, with two of them serving as permanent judges:
- Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world's first cupcake bakery (in episode 7 of season 7, Bobbie Lloyd, Chief Baking Officer of Magnolia Bakery filled in for Nelson)
- Florian Bellanger, executive French pastry chef
- 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.
|Season||Episodes||Season Premiere||Season Finale|
|1||9||December 27, 2009||August 3, 2010|
|2||13||December 7, 2010||March 8, 2011|
|3||13||June 14, 2011||September 11, 2011|
|4||13||December 4, 2011||March 4, 2012|
|5||13||March 11, 2012||June 24, 2012|
|6||14||May 13, 2012||September 23, 2012|
|7||13||October 7, 2012||March 24, 2013|
|8||13||April 7, 2013||July 7, 2013|
|9||13||September 7, 2013||December 28, 2013|