Sweet Talk: Local Cupcake Bakers Win Cupcake Wars

Two local cupcakeries -- Sweet Cheeks Baking Company and Corner Cupcakes -- have done San Diego proud by winning Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.

Krista Lautenbach and Kristina Swietek of Sweet Cheeks Baking Company (above left) serve up a reduced-guilt take on cupcake classics—organic butter, cage-free eggs, and whole wheat flour are hallmarks of the Sweet Cheeks kitchen, but green consciousness doesn’t come at the cost of flavor. In their July 19 episode, Lautenbach and Swietek were called to prepare 1,000 cupcakes for the Pageants of the Masters festival in Long Beach. And while Lautenbach has called the whole debacle two of the most stressful hours of her life, the duo came out on top, taking the cake with a mouth-watering spicy double dark chocolate cake.

Corner Cupcakes (above, right), the original San Diego cupcake truck, takes a different tack, serving up fresh-baked ‘cakes in traditional flavors like strawberry, vanilla, and red velvet—though, in light of the bakery’s Aug. 23 Food Network appearance, owners Tina Swanson and Amanda Schnitzius have been offering two of their winning flavors from the show: full house, belly buster, and two pear—clever plays on their poker-themed episode of "Cupcake Wars." If you can't track down the truck and feel like baking up a batch of cupcakes yourself, check out the winning recipe for Corner Cupcakes' coconut cupcakes with lemon-curd filling.

Neither bakery currently has a retail store for impulse sugar cravings, though Sweet Cheeks orders can be placed online, and Corner Cupcakes regularly updates its location via Twitter.

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