Strap on your frosting bag, pack up your flour and prepare for .... camp. That's right, throw out your tents, your canteens and necessesary first-aid kits (actually, maybe not those), because Cupcake Camp has come to town.
On Nov. 4, Soroptimist International of Artesia-Cerritos threw its 2nd Annual Cupcake Camp, a chance for amateur and professional bakers to show off their baking skills.
Headed by Cupcake Camp Chair and Soroptimist club member, Dr. Annalisa Fernando-Langit, this year's event was held in the Cerritos High Schoolymnasium. This year, since it was a charity event, the amateur vendors donated about 46 dozen cupcakes, while the professional bakers donated about 150-300 cupcakes, doubling the amount of cupcakes donated at last year's Cupcake Camp. Attendees gave a $10 donation, and in return were able to pick six cupcakes of their choosing from any of the amateur and professional vendors.
"We have about 27 vendors (non-bakery) inside that donated raffle prizes," Fernando-Langit said. "Everything goes to charity. Our women's club donates a lot to women and children's charities -- Ronald McDonald's House, Community Family Guidance Center and Su Casa Domestic Violence Shelter."
Not only is Cupcake Camp a charity event, but it's also a way for bakers/bakeries to clash oven mitts. Cupcakes made by both amateur and professional participants were entered for judging in three different categories: Best of Show, Best Decorated and Most Unique Ingredient.
Judging the professionally-made cupcakes were ABC School Board president Olympia Chen, former Cerritos Mayor Paul Bowlen and Cerritos Chamber of Commerce President Linda Frisbee. Judging the amateur-made cupcakes were Cerritos College Boardmember Jean Mchatton, ABC School Board Vice President Celia Spitzer and Cerritos High School Principal Janice Peterson.
Winnie De Guzman placed in all three Amateur categories. De Guzman placed 1st for Best of Show with her Red Velvet Coffee Cake, 3rd for Most Unique Ingredient for her Bacon Maple and 2nd for Best Decorated for her Chocolate Malt Ball. De Guzman bakes in her spare time and during holidays.
"Cupcakes, cookies, cakes, whatever I can (bake)," De Guzman said. "Each cupcake you can create your own little design on it. The good thing about cupcakes is you can eat one a day, and you're satisfied!"
Karolynh Tran of Karolynh's won 3rd for Professional Best of Show with one of her vegan cupcakes. Since it was her 2nd Cupcake Camp, Tran had a better strategy in presenting a type of cupcake that some might not be used to.
"I'm more experienced now, so I know how to time everything," Tran said. "I still have to fight off the people that think vegan is ... not good. I let them taste it first, and then I tell them it's vegan."
Also attending the Cupcake Camp was Soroptimist club member Cindy Yen Chen and her daughter Celina. Chen said Cupcake Camp is a fun event because unlike the some of the more adult-attended city events, this is something the entire family can enjoy.
"This is something that kids can come to," Chen said. "They're enjoying these delicous cupcakes, and we all know it goes to charity. You eat and you don't feel guilty."
This year, the Soroptomist club invited non-cupcake vendors to showcase their crafts and products alongside the bakers.