CupcakeCamp is Coming to Columbus

Anne Evans Anne Evans
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A sweet gathering is happening next month that will allow people who love to make and love to eat cupcakes to converge. Columbus is getting a CupcakeCamp. Co-hostesses Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy and Carmen Owens are bringing the event to Surly Girl Saloon on May 9. CupcakeCamp started in 2008 on the west coast and camps have been springing up everywhere. The idea was “born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment.” Kiesha’s husband Robert Duffy had noticed a CupcakeCamp was happening at SXSW and once he told her about it, she “immediately knew [she] had to do it!” She decided to work with Carmen to hold the event at Surly Girl Saloon and there are already nine cupcakes registered. CupcakeCamp Columbus is taking a more DIY style with the camp, asking that everyone make their own cupcakes. There are a total of twenty spots available. Some of the delicious creations already registered include: Crepe Suzette, Bubblegum, White Russian and French Toast n’ Bacon.

Kiesha wasn’t always a baker. She says, “The only baking I did as a kid and a young adult was making the occasional brownie or cupcake using Betty Crocker boxed mixes.” Then on a trip to New York, she had her “first cupcake from Magnolia Bakery and fell in love.” That cupcake inspired her to buy her own copy of the “More From Magnolia” cookbook by Allysa Torey. The instructions in that book are great and will make anyone a confident baker.

“Anyone?” we ask. “I have yet to make anything from that book that didn’t turn out perfectly,” Kiesha says. At first, baking can seem difficult – it freaks some people out! Kiesha’s theory on cooking and baking – “Cooking is much more about feelings and tastes. You can start with a basic recipe and then alter it as you go. You can take a little of this and a little of that and it’ll turn out to be this totally creative awesome thing. Baking is more about measurements and preciseness. There’s room for experimentation, but not until you’ve mastered the basics and know what you’re doing. Cooking is art and baking is science. Everyone wants to be an artist. You get to wear a beret and sketch naked ladies. No one wants to be a scientist. Scientists wear goggles and hang out in labs with bacteria.”

If you fill your kitchen with pretty things to use, being a baking scientist won’t be so bad. Kiesha likes to stock up on supplies from stores like Sur La Table and Crate and Barrel. She finds inspiration from websites such as “How To Eat A Cupcake” and “Fresh From The Oven.” She is on Week 16 of her own “52 Weeks of Baking: Year of Baked Goods, One Week at a Time.” Her latest creation was Raspberry Cupcakes with Framboise Frosting, a frosting that she created. They sound delicious! She has registered a cupcake for the camp and can’t wait to see what everyone will make.

More details of the event:

~If You’re A Cupcake Eater~

Our CupcakeCamp will be broken into two identical sessions with at least 20 different cupcake possibilities; one from 2-3pm and a second from 3:30-4:30pm.

Tickets for either session will be available for sale in person at Surly Girl Saloon, starting Friday, April 17 at 11am for $5 each. Cash only, please. There will be a limited number of tickets available for both sessions, so be sure to buy ’em early!

This is an all-you-can-eat style event. So be sure to sample all the goodies!

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the MidOhio Food Bank.

~If You’re A Cupcake Baker~

Bakers are encouraged to provide one to two unique cupcake flavors each.

We love chocolate as much as – and often more than – the next gal, however, we also encourage you to get in touch with your inner outrageous cupcake for this event!

Submission of flavors for judging is completely optional, though very welcome. Cupcakes may be submitted to win prizes in the following categories: Most Creatively Decorated, Best Vegan, Best Use of Alcohol, and Best Use of Bacon.

Our panel of judges will be a delicious combination of fellow cupcake lovers/creators from Pistacia Vera, Bakery Gingham, Suisse Shop Bakery, Pink Moon Cupcakes, and Pattycake Bakery. And maybe a few surprise guests, too!

Bakers can register via email by submitting the following information to Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy ([email protected]) with a subject line of “CupcakeCampColumbus”:

Phone Number
E-mail address
Types of cupcake(s) being baked
If you wish to enter the contest
If so, which flavor you are entering in which category

Registration ends Wednesday, April 29. Bakers will receive a reply with a request to confirm via email by Tuesday, May 5. If a confirmation e-mail is not received from bakers by Tuesday, May 5, they will be refused entry into CupcakeCampColumbus. (The horror! Please don’t make us reject your precious cupcakes!)

There is no registration fee for bakers, in exchange for the chance to try their lovely creations. (Thanks, bakers!) However, all bakers must register their cupcakes.

CupcakeCampColumbus politely requires that at least two dozen of each flavor registered for public tasting, and an additional dozen (so that’s three dozen total) of any flavor submitted for judging, be brought to the Surly Girl Saloon by 1pm on the day of the event.

We will be cutting the cupcakes into halves (maybe quarters) so we can provide a larger quantity of samples. Don’t worry, we’ll leave one of your cuties whole so the crowd (and the judges) can see how it looks! If you’d prefer, you have the option of baking mini cupcakes! If you do bake minis, we will need FOUR dozen (FIVE if they’re being judged).

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