Sugar, spice and everything nice; commence the cupcakes.

This sweet tooth found its match at the Morean Arts Center Second Annual Cupcake Contest in St. Petersburg, Florida. Saccharine in the very best way, I was inundated with cakes of all sizes. Minis, colossal confections and everything in between, I merely moseyed up and down the aisles, capturing snapshots for this post. No, I didn’t unveil any top secret recipes from the participants and no, I don’t have any tips to share with you (I’m too impatient to bake), so this post serves as eye candy, almost literally. I followed around a crew whom were more involved in the actual “tasting” aspect of the event, serving as a photojournalist of sorts.

See below for some of my favorites from the contest. There were categories involving novice bakers, professionals, and fan favorites, but I’ll share with you the ones I thought simply looked like winners.
Above, cinnamon cakes topped with dainty dollops of buttercream and pumpkin orange sprinkles sparked a fall-like mood.

However, I might have found my match with these chocolate-covered cherry cakes – sadly, not in the vegan category so I couldn’t partake in any tasting, I donated my prop to hungry bystanders who were more than glad to take it off my hands. Maybe I was a little overdressed for the occasion, clad in my *new* golden chain tank (photo post coming!), plenty of champagne-colored sparkles and a dainty metallic tattoo, but I certainly never dress for any occasion, really.

The contest winner was decided by how many votes she or he ended up with at the end of the night- raffle tickets were sold and counted as said votes. By simply plopping tickets in small bags at every station (all my tickets went to fellow vegans), the winner was selected. More on that below…

You could almost hear the sound of sugarplum fairies dancing about at some of the stations — I loved the unique displays some of the bakers came up with. Cupcakes, glitter and roses? A surefire match, and a surefire way to get me to vote for ‘ya.

Bright pops of raspberry red and citrus greens were offset by the neutral dark roast browns and creamy whites. Dreamsicle oranges and limoncello yellows were complimented by azure blues and a hint of lavender – surely a palette for the tastebuds and eyes.

I was surely impressed by baker creativity here; maybe the most creative came in the form of Jalapeño Stout cakes, merging sweet and spicy for what I was told was a tasty bite. Retro-inspired recipes included rootbeer float frosting, while hipster favs involved bacon (of course) and cheddar. Slightly strange if you ask me, but why not go all out? Maybe the most common theme (paying homage to Florida) was tropical-inspired cakes: many piña colada flavors involving coconut, lemon and pineapple lined the baking sheets. Cue the ukulele!

The winners were decided at the end of the night – Jen of Wandering Whisk, took the second annual People’s Choice vote. Her Chai Latte cupcakes, pictured above in the post, swooned the tasters. You can view the other winners here!

Hope you enjoyed the festive bits here, a sweet escape minus the cals. Go wipe off the drool that’s been building on your computer — gross!

Because I take all photos for my blog, the images within this post are all copyright Allison Beth Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations.
If you’d like permission to use a photo, email me at

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