CakeSpy Note: this is a delicious dispatch from Cake Gumshoe Aditi, who blogs at Follow the Red Velvet Road. Do follow her sweet adventures, starting with this one:
Ybor Saturday Market Annual Cupcake Festival
Saturday, October 18th, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Since I moved to Tampa, I have been looking forward to this day. As a cupcake enthusiast, I have been searching for a festival that honors the glory that is the cupcake. After returning to the U.S. from Uganda, I did a great deal of research, looking for festivals or special days for cupcakes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very successful…until I looked in Tampa.
Every Saturday, the city of Ybor hosts a Saturday market. Most Saturdays it a market where individuals promote their small businesses by selling items. There is also a fresh produce market and various food stalls. Once a year, in the fall, there is a special themed Saturday Market especially devoted to cupcakes. On this day, cupcake bakeries from all over the Tampa Bay area are welcome to show off their best and most delicious treats.
This year amateur bakeries were also encouraged to join in the festivities, including a cupcake competition. Bakers were judged on presentation as well as taste.
At the event this year, there were 17 local bakers competing. The bakers ranged from professional pastry chefs to at home bakers. Most had store-fronts or online order shops, but there were a few who did bake for fun, not necessarily for money.
The competition was solid this year. The local bakers as well as the home-based first timers were really bringing their A game. Traditional cupcake flavors like red velvet and chocolate peanut butter were present along with some really unique tastes, like chocolate Reese’s cupcakes and a Guinness stout cupcake. I believe the judges had a hard time this year, but one baker came out on top. “A Piece of Cake” bakery, located on West Hillsborough Avenue, took the first prize for taste. They concocted a Guinness stout chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting garnished with pretzels, caramel, and chocolate drizzle.
Compared to the other cupcakes, this one was moist, light, and the flavor combinations were delicious. Some of the other hit cupcakes were the Reese’s cupcake from the “Cupcake Mama” bakery located on West Euclid Avenue...
as well as the Tres Leches cupcake made by “Chocolate Therapy by Jack” which is an online based bakery.
Overall the experience was great. I got more than my fill of cupcakes and got a taste for the cupcake bakery scene here in Tampa. I look forward to re-visiting the places I enjoyed or missed. There were only a couple that weren’t to my taste, but where there are cupcakes there will be customers!
Now I anxiously await the 2015 Ybor City cupcake festival.
All photos credits go to Siva Beharry