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The People’s Choice Winner is…

SugarSlam III People's Choice Award Winner

Congratulations to Carly Allington, our 2012 People’s Choice Award winner! With her careful fondant work and attention to detail with the hand-painted tattoos there’s no doubt she deserves this prize. All of the contestants showed a ton of heart, not to mention skill, and I really appreciate each and every one of their desserts.

Thanks to all of our sponsors, competitors, our judges and to everyone who took the time to vote. I’m taking everyone’s feedback on this year’s competition into consideration for SugarSlam IV! Until next year!

Posted in BLOG, Sugar Slam, SugarSlam III | 12 comments

Is SugarSlam Rigged?

At first I was a little bummed that I even have to write a post like this – but a handful of nasty emails, tweets and comments have forced my hand. Then I realized its actually kind of flattering that anyone would think 1) that I’m enough of a heel to rig a baking competition and 2) that SugarSlam is big time enough to warrant being rigged. So here’s what you should know about SugarSlam:

SugarSlam is Non-Profit

In fact, SugarSlam costs me money to put on each year. This year I was lucky to have Dani contribute some cash to the contest, which helped to pay for the $100+ printing fees for posters, $100+ Facebook advertising fees and the cost of shipping the championship title to the new winner. I don’t even advertise on my site, so I’m not getting any money for all the traffic SugarSlam drives to my site. See those graphics under “Sponsors” on the right side of the site? Those are my friends’ businesses that I promote on my site for free.

SugarSlam Sponsors Donate Everything

Before I do anything to get ready for SugarSlam each year, I hand-pick cool, indie companies and designers and ask them to consider donating a prize to SugarSlam. Many of them do so simply because they love the idea of a pro-wrestling-themed bake off. Others hope that a few of you will click links to their sites and maybe buy something. But the cost of whatever prize they offer and shipping it to the winner(s) all comes out of their pockets.

I am Not a Judge

Nor have I ever been. When I put on the first SugarSlam in 2008 I immediately saw that there was going to be a conflict of interest if I judges – all the entries were from my friends! So I asked CM Punk to take on the task, and being a true heel, he chose a cupcake dedicated to himself. Oh, and incase you were wondering, the “grand” prize was a book of photos I’d taken, signed by Punk.

How the Judges Choose a Winner

I based his process on the way the winner of Threadcakes is chosen – each judge chooses his or her top five picks in rank order. The number one pick receives 5 points, number two pick 4 points, etc, down to the number five pick receiving 1 point. When all three judges send me their picks, I tally up the points. Last year Melissa’s Gorilla Monsoon cake scored a perfect 15 points, being the top pick of all three judges.

This year, two of the judges selected Nicole’s Kane piece as their top pick, while another ranked it number three (13 points) while Melissa’s Jake the Cake was ranked #1 by one judge, and number two by the others (13 points). I turned once again to my friend Punk. I sent him both photos and both descriptions – no names. I told him they were tied, and asked him to choose the one he felt deserved the title. He chose Nicole, and the tie was broken.

People bitched because at one point, early on in the competition, judge Justin Howard and myself encouraged Nicole to enter the contest via Twitter. I think it’s important to know that all of the judges and myself encouraged MANY people to enter the contest. Here’s another shocker for you, I personally invited two of my friends to enter via YouTube and they didn’t win!

So clearly, being invited to enter the contest by myself or any of the judges does not effect the outcome of the contest, nor does it sway the opinion of CM Punk, who ultimately broke the tie.

People’s Choice is Really Annoying

For last year’s contest I added a People’s Choice Award, and I have been regretting it ever since. Whereas I thought this would be a fun way to give another contestant a shot at victory, it turned out to be a giant popularity contest. I won’t name names, but if you go back and look through the 2011 gallery and posts you’ll see votes for some truly busted cakes. Not only that, but I was allowing people to vote on Flickr and on my blog, so I had to spend hours upon hours sorting through them all and tallying them up and trying to sort out the fakes and duplicates from the rest.

In the end, though, several of the contestants with low-scoring designs rallied around a design by the gal who ended up winning – Jessy. I thought it was really cool to see contestants actually telling their friends, “Don’t vote for my cake, vote for hers!” This year someone complained that I went to Jessy’s victory party last year, so please allow me to clear that up. Yes, I do know Jessy in real life. Most heavily tattooed moms in the Chicago area know each other, it’s a fact. She invited me to her victory party, which was part of her prize package, and I went. I don’t know this year’s champion Nicole, but she is also receiving a party as part of her prize and if she invites me, I will go to that too. So having me at your party after you have already won either because the judges or the people have voted for you, does not effect the outcome of the contest.

Why are There 15 Finalists?

As I sort of implied earlier, people will do almost anything to win free stuff. Even if it means pathetically cheating in a bake off. Originally I’d planned on selecting the five top-scoring designs from the Flickr gallery, and holding a final contest among those here on my site. However, when I started tallying up points (re-read the rules for voting here) there were dozens and dozens of comments that did not qualify. I actually considered disqualifying a few cakes because they had clearly been posting multiple comments from the same IP address, and in some cases, they didn’t even bother to change their user name to do so. 57 comments from WWEgurl4Evr, really? I’ll count one of those and delete the rest.

It got to the point where multiple entries were tied with the same amount of what I could only assume were valid votes. I couldn’t have five finalists because there were sets of two and three cakes that all had the same amount of points. So in the end, I included the 15 entries with the highest number of (what I hope are) valid votes. The final votes are being tallied on my site, automatically, by a plug-in that hopefully keep voting honest.

So that being said, please go vote for your favorite finalist! All of the contestants worked really hard and I wish they could all win prizes. Oh and FYI, I’ve never heard of the people who made the entries that are currently in places 1-4, so please don’t disrespect people I don’t even know with false accusations of cheating on my part.

Will There Be a SugarSlam IV?

I don’t know. I’m really sad about all the negativity surrounding this one. I created this contest to celebrate two of my favorite things, and up until this year it’s been awesome. All of the sudden people are accusing me of rigging it (what exactly I’m getting out of rigging the contest no one can seem to explain to me) and accusing the judges of being unfair. It’s just crappy. Not only is it rude to me, considering all the time and money I put into this thing, but it’s crazy disrespectful to everyone who enters and to our winners. Finally, the prize sponsors put their money and products on the line to give the winners something really cool to show for all their hard work – and when people are throwing around cheating accusations, it’s really cruddy for them.

Look, if I was going to rig the contest, the Sheikie Baby’s Hulk Hogan Raisin Balls would have won. That was my personal favorite entry and I am still considering sending the person who made it a t-shirt because it made me laugh. But the contest isn’t rigged, so let’s move on, shall we?

Thank you to all of this year’s judges, sponsors, contestants and fans.

- Natalie

Posted in BLOG, Sugar Slam, SugarSlam III | 21 comments

Vote for the 2012 SugarSlam People’s Choice Winner

Update: We have a winner! Thank you to everyone who voted. Click here to see who won!

The judges have spoken, selecting Nicole Sevcik as this year’s World Champion – and now it’s your turn! Our People’s Champion will take home a treasure trove of amazing prizes donated by our sponsors including a handmade People’s Choice belt made by The Lulu Bean, not to mention the pride that comes with being the popular favorite. As you look through this year’s finalists (these entries received the highest number of comments in the Flickr gallery) please keep in mind the official rules. My advice is to pay special attention to originality – the rules specifically bar the repetition of a design from previous years. (Note: Multiple Flickr comments by the same users and/or comments after the deadline were deleted/disregarded in the final count.) This system will allow you to cast only one vote per IP address.

So here they are with the original names and descriptions as written by their creators. Take a look, and cast your vote at the bottom of this post. Please note that the poll will close this week, 8/30 in the early afternoon. So get out there and campaign for your favorite entry! (Click the photos to see them larger.) Wondering why there are so many finalists? Here’s the scoop. 

Apex Predator Cupcake Cake (top left) – “My Name … is Randy Orton … (well no not really me but you get it…) These Cupcakes are like an RKO to your taste buds ! Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes filled with Salted Caramel and topped with Chocolate Ganache and assembled as a “cake” to hold a hand drawn chocolate Picture of the Viper himself. These Cupcakes remind me of Randy Orton, Spicy, Sexy, Caramely (now it’s a word) and a little dangerous !

The voices in my head told me that these cupcakes are legendary !”

Screw Fear, Drink Beer Cake (top right) – “This chocolate beer cake with chocolate buttercream filling topped with a sugar cookie decorated with royal icing and black food colouring is inspired by none other than beer-loving Stone Cold Steve Austin himself. And Austin 3:16 says this cake just whooped your butt!”

The Other Face of CM Punk (bottom left) – “CM Punk is my favourite wrestler (I know, I’m so individual) so  I wanted to make something to do with him. There are two things that identify a wrestler; their face, and their ring gear. I’m rubbish at making faces out of cake, so a bum it had to be! I wasn’t being a perv, promise. This is a lemony lemon cake, with lemony buttercream filled with lemon curd. Lemons are sour. So is CM Punk. All of the decoration is fondant.”

SummerSlam Cake (bottom right) – No description provided.

The Rocky Road Warriors Sugarrrrr Rrrruuussshhh!!!! – “I baked 2 chocolate cake mixes, let them cool completely, then crumbled them up in a giant bowl. To the cake, I added chopped nuts, mini marshmallows, and a big jar of marshmallow fluff. Since I’m terrified of the idea of carving a cake, I just greased my hands and sculpted the mixture like play-doh. I popped the cake in the freezer for a bit, before I started on the frosting and while I worked on the chocolate-covered sugar cone spikes. Then I piled up rocky road ice cream & sprinkles in middle of the shoulder pads.”

CM Punk Cakes - “We’re big fans of CM Punk in our house, so I wanted to do a little homage to him for the competition. I used vanilla cake mix for the cake itself, and chocolate for the cupcakes. I was able to make the arm shapes by making a sheet cake and  cutting out the shape I wanted. After frosting the whole thing together I used fondant (that I hand colored) to make the gauze and flesh. I hand painted Punk’s tattoos on using icing coloring, which was probably the most time consuming part of all of it. I also hand painted the “CM Punk” cupcakes. After we were done, we ate the WHOLE thing. I had such a blast making the cake, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!”

Jake the Cake Roberts – “Jake’s burlap bag is a homemade chocolate fondant covered, 3 layered dark chocolate cake filled with a fluffy whiskey caramel buttercream, Slithering out is the man himself atop the body of Damien, combined by using the knowledge of the darkside…”

Luna Vachon Daughter of Darkness Moon Pie Cake – “A dark chocolate devils food cake filled with marshmallow buttercream, topped with homemade marshmallow fondant, hand painted with food coloring, and chocolate moon pies around the cake! Crank up your Nasty Savage record and take a big mouthful of this badass cake!”

Cake Pop Battle Royal – “These cake pop superstars are made from crumbled vanilla sponge and cream cheese frosting combined, shaped into superstars and coated in creamy white chocolate. Plain chocolate chips were added to achieve different skin tones, finally fondant decorations were created to give the superstars their individual style. This 18 person Battle Royal features current and future legends…let’s get ready to rumble!!!”

“Oh what a whoop!” Legion of Doom Whoopie Pies (left) – “These whoopie pies were inspired by the iconic shoulder pads of Hawk and Animal. They are chocolate chip whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting inside and on top, coloured red to match the brightly coloured shoulder pads. Plain chocolate chips were added to the top to complete the classic road warrior spiked look. A doomsday device for the mouth!!”

Beer me Austin! (top right) – “Based on Steve Austin’s love of beer, this is a chocolate beer cake covered in blue fondant (it contains almost a can!) The pint glass on top is made of vanilla sponge and beer coloured fondant covered in cling wrap to make it look like glass, with a real beer can pouring into it (contents in the cake!)  It’s a real stunner!!!”

Mysterio’s Mask (bottom right) – “A chocolate cake with a high flying chilli kick! This delicious chilli chocolate sponge is covered with light vanilla cream cheese frosting, finished off with fondant detail for Rey Mysterio’s luchador look. Its 619 time!”

The Ultimate (Warrior) Cupcake – “This is a vanilla sponge cake made in a giant cupcake mould. The rainbow colours reflect the bright ring attire of the Ultimate Warrior. It is topped with vanilla frosting (because you can’t beat a classic!) and has fondant warrior masks to decorate along with various Warrior cut outs. Wearing face paint and arm bands while eating is optional!”

The Undercaker – “Celebrating the Phenom in 100% edible, dessert form!  The fondant-sculpted Deadman makes his trademark entrance upon a fondant-covered vanilla cake “stage” with buttercream icing.  Surrounded by an eerie home-spun cotton candy fog, plumes of “fire” (pulled isomalt sugar) shoot out in front of the gumpaste Titantron and fondant/gumpaste RAW backdrop.  Titantron Undertaker silhouette is hand-painted with food coloring.  Gumpaste guardrails keep out the riff raff, while the gumpaste/fondant WWE logo sits perched atop the cake.  After eating the Undercaker, you will Rest. In. Peace.”

The Jericake – “You’ve seen sweet after sweet for weeks, months now. And you’ve seen some of the best of the best out there in the wide world of wrestling desserts, but you have NeeeeeeVER. EVER. EEEEEVEEER seen a cake like This. With it’s decadent flavors and a design that speaks for itself, the Jericake canNot be ignored!

The bottom layer is a chocolate cake with a luscious strawberry swirl. Those above it are chocolate espresso vodka covered in dark chocolate espresso vodka shell then all three iced with mocha cream cheese frosting, then enrobed by black fondant hand-beaded with black and white Nonpareil sprinkles and edible silver glitter stars that shine in the light of several LED spotlights.

I used the strong flavors of the coffee to amp you up, then the sting of the vodka to knock you Back Down. Do you think you could handle the outrageous rich smoothness in this sexy beast of a cake?

Topping this whole sensation is a fondant figure of the most handsome man you’ve ever seen, basking in his delicious glory. If you know anything at all, you’ve already voted, and if you don’t, you’re doing it now. Don’t even pretend you don’t wish you could get your hands on the most perfect cake you’ve ever seen. One look at this and you’ll see I’m the Best In The World at What I Bake.”

Vote for your favorite now! A winner will be announced at the end of this week!

Update: The plug-in I use for this poll allows me to see who is clearing their cookies and submitting multiple votes from the same IP address. It also allows me to clear those votes from the final count. Contestants: if you & your supporters have been doing this, you will notice that your final score will be lowered tomorrow. C’mon you guys, no cheating.

Who should win the 2012 SugarSlam People's Choice Award?

  • CM Punk Cakes (22%, 251 Votes)
  • The Undercaker (19%, 216 Votes)
  • The Jericake (17%, 188 Votes)
  • Jake the Cake Roberts (9%, 98 Votes)
  • Apex Predator Cupcake Cake (8%, 93 Votes)
  • SummerSlam Cake (7%, 83 Votes)
  • The Other Face of CM Punk (5%, 60 Votes)
  • Cake Pop Battle Royal (4%, 45 Votes)
  • The Rocky Road Warriors Sugarrrrr Rrrruuussshhh!!!! (4%, 43 Votes)
  • Luna Vachon Daughter of Darkness Moon Pie Cake (2%, 19 Votes)
  • Screw Fear, Drink Beer Cake (1%, 13 Votes)
  • The Ultimate (Warrior) Cupcake (1%, 11 Votes)
  • “Oh what a whoop!” Legion of Doom Whoopie Pies (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Beer Me, Austin (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Mysterio’s Mask (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,126

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Posted in BLOG, Sugar Slam, SugarSlam III | 45 comments

The SugarSlam III World Champion is…

For the first time in SugarSlam history, the judges were not able to unanimously decide on a champion! Two of the 80+ entries were tied, each with a total of 13 out of 15 possible points. With no official rules about what to do in the case of a tie, I went back to the very first SugarSlam judge ever – CM Punk – and asked him to choose between the two amazing finalists.

But before we announce the winners, let’s see what the judges had to say about some of their favorites:

Cm Punk butt cake The Other Face of CM Punk – Verity Gow

“I laughed out loud when I saw this and then the explanation of the artist being ‘rubbish at making faces’ really sold it for me. A great trait is knowing your weakness and working around them. Also- it’s a butt.” – Amy Dumas

Check out Verity’s description here.

Jake The Cake Roberts – Melissa (2011 SugarSlam Champion)

“… it was between this and Luna for my number two pick.  I’m not dogging on this cake, but if the artist had put forth a  little more effort in ‘cleaning’ it up a bit it might have taken the cake for me.  However the fact that it does look a little like a snake slithering out of a steamy pile of chocolate do-do DOES makes me happy.” – Justin Howard

“Not only amazing looking, creative and looks like it took forever- but sounds like it would taste good.” – Amy Dumas

Check out Melissa’s description here.

Boom Boom Berry Blintzes – Heather Finnimore

“I loved this one because I wanted to eat it right away. I also liked the thought put into something and the creation not being such a literal translation. I think Colt Cabana would approve.” – Amy Dumas

Check out Heather’s description here.

The Marshmallow from Madrid – Nicole Sevcik

“I would have put this at #1, as I have a soft spot in my heart for my ex-husband, but I think this creation is better looked at than eaten- marshmallow overload.” – Amy Dumas

“Fucking bad ass.  I’m amazed at what people can do with food – and this food artist, YES artist – has got some skill.  The creator mentioned wanting to bite his nose off, but I for some weird reason really want to peel that fruit roll up candy off his face and make a mask of my own.  Fucking awesome job.” – Justin Howard

Check out Nicole’s description here.

If you’re curious, I had a few favorites of my own:

Dusty Rhodes Fallen Muffler Cupcakes – If you’d asked me to turn this disgusting story into a cupcake I would have told you it was impossible. Kudos to this entry for going there.

“Oh what a Whoop!” Legion of Doom Whoopie Pies – This entry proves that you don’t have to be a cake sculptor to tell a story. I love that I could actually make these.

Ultimate Warrior (Cup) Cake – Dude. His face paint is inside the cake. How?!?! Is anyone else seeing this?

The Rocky Road Warrior Suuuuugar Ruuuuuush – I just love picturing this thing being in someone’s house. Wouldn’t it have been awesome to go to the party where this was served?

Luna Vachon Daughter of Darkness Moon Pie Cake – I personally declared the contest over when I saw this one. I idolized Luna Vachon when I was a kid and this rendition was done with love, I can tell.

Sheikie Baby’s Hulk Hogan Raisin Balls  – A tribute to the greatest Twitter account of all time, Iron Sheik. He’ll fuck your ass and make you humble, and also, you have raisin balls.

But enough about me! Here’s a word from Mike Edison about this year’s finalists:

“YOU PEOPLE ARE FUCKING SICK AND I LOVE YOU.

So it’s come down to this – two of the most disturbed things to come out of an oven since 1943. Too soon, you say? Eat me. I am a lot less scary than these confections.

I just heard that CM Punk, current WWE champ and a real fucking mensch (the first part of that equation will naturally come and go, the second is forever) is going to be the tie-breaking judge and jury in this here SugarSlam, and I envy him not. I have no idea what I’d do….

My first reaction to Jake the Cake was to call John Carpenter and see if this were the true remake of ‘The Thing.’ Frankly, it is fucking with my head and I wish someone could have just done something nice for a change, but there you have it. Thought this one was the winner until I saw…

Kane The Marshmallow from Madrid, and even if this entry doesn’t win, the artist responsible deserves some kind of award coz anyone who can write a sentence like ‘The eyes are sour apple French Bon Bon candies, coated in gel icing (store bought) with chocolate sprinkle eyelashes & a thin sliced layer of black Twizzler for eyeliner’ let alone execute it should prolly be working for Industrial Light and Magic.

Dunno if I am in a rush to put either of these things in my mouth, but holy mother of all things big and small, you brainfuckers are sending me straight to the bong guitar. Thank yer lucky stars the guy who is making the decision doesn’t go that route. Punk – they are in your hands now.” – Mike Edison

 And the winner is…

The Marshmallow from Madrid by Nicole Sevcik!!!

“The description alone wins. Mucho detail and thought, reading it was a joy. I’m not a marshmallow guy, though. So I don’t think I’d enjoy eating it as much as Jake the Cake. So Kane it is!” – CM Punk

Congratulations!!!!

Don’t forget to vote for the People’s Choice winner!

There’s one more champion to crown – the People’s Choice winner. Don’t forget to visit the gallery and vote for your favorites by leaving comments. Remember, all comments count as votes – so even if you say “this sucks” you voted for that entry! Vote on as many as you like, but only one vote per entry, please. Stay tuned for the final People’s Choice Award showdown right here on Bake and Destroy – and congrats to our World Champion!

Posted in BLOG, Sugar Slam, SugarSlam III | 23 comments

SugarSlam III People’s Choice Award Voting is Now Open

It’s official – voting for the SugarSlam III People’s Choice Award is open! The judges have seen the gallery and are in the process of choosing a World Champion. We’re doing things a little differently this year – so pay attention! And remember, there are piles of awesome prizes up for grabs so head to the gallery and cast your vote today.

SugarSlam IIIHow to vote:

  • Visit the gallery.
  • Comment* on the submission(s) you like.
  • Remember, every comment counts as a vote – so if your comment is “this sucks” you technically still voted for that entry.
  • You can vote on more than one entry, but do not vote more than once for a single entry. Duplicate votes will not count.
  • Voting ends Monday, August 27 – 9pm CST. No votes received after that date will count.
  • The entries with the most votes at closing time Monday night will be our finalists. There will be a final vote here on Bake and Destroy to determine which of those finalists is the official People’s Choice Award winner.

*Commenting will require that you have a Flickr account, but don’t worry – it’s fast and easy to sign up. I will not accept votes any other way, sorry!

Good luck to all of our competitors, and stay tuned to find out who will be crowned the SugarSlam III World Champion!

Update

Voting is now closed, thanks! Please click here to read more about why there are 15 finalists this year.

Posted in BLOG, Sugar Slam, SugarSlam III | 1 comment

The SugarSlam III Entries Are In

We received 82 entries this year and I do not envy our judges! Comments are currently closed to everyone except for guest commentator Mike Edison, but you can begin casting your vote for People’s Choice starting 8/24. I’ll post again with full instructions then – until then, please visit this year’s gallery and enjoy!

Thank you to all of our sponsors!

Posted in BLOG, Sugar Slam, SugarSlam III | 2 comments

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