Britain’s National Cupcake Champion 2011 has been announced – and the winning craft baker, who has been a baking for less than a year, won with a vegan cupcake that used no butter or eggs.

Jennifer Buls (27), who launched her fledgling business, Absolute Treats, with her mum, Virginia, while she studied for her MA, took two category awards and the overall title at the National Cupcake Championships, which are staged by British Baker magazine in the run-up to National Cupcake Week (12-18 September).

At the judging event, which took place at the ICA overlooking The Mall in London, Jennifer, from Carmarthenshire in Wales, won Best Free-from of the Year Cupcake, Best Tasting Cupcake of the Year and also took the National Cupcake Champion title for her delicious, summery Lime and Coconut creation.

“I’ve always loved cakes. I’m a vegetarian and I have an allergy to dairy,” says Jennifer. “So I was determined to make a vegan cupcake that tasted just as good as any other. Absolute Treats is home-based at the moment, but we supply some outlets across the West Wales area, and we are Vegan Society-approved.”

Jennifer – pictured left with celebrated cake-maker Peggy Porschen – beat off stiff competition from 55 innovative craft bakeries, independent cake emporiums and high street multiples who were battling it out across six different categories for the ultimate prize – to be crowned National Cupcake Champion 2011.

They included the high street favourite Greggs; the 2009 champion Kevin Sibley from Mama’s Cupcakes in Cheshunt; and Rich Products, which creates cupcakes for Asda.

Commenting on Jennifer’s triumphant win, British Baker deputy editor Andrew Williams said: “Jennifer’s cake was probably the least assuming cupcake on show, with understated decoration, but it was head and shoulders above the rest on the most important criterion: taste. Her victory is all the more remarkable given that it’s a vegan cake, using no butter or eggs.”

The 2011 competition attracted more than 100 entries from professional bakers. The category winners of the 2011 National Cupcake Championships are:

  • Best Decorated Cupcake (sponsored by Renshaw) – Rosalind Miller, Peggy’s Cupcakes, London
  • Best Free From Cupcake – Jennifer Buls, Absolute Treats, St Clears, Camarthenshire
  • Best Presented Cupcake (sponsored by Chevler) – Victoria Forward, Let Them Eat Cake, Waterlooville
  • Most Innovative Cupcake (sponsored by FDQ) – Rufaro Matsinde, Cocktail Couture – CC Treats, London
  • Best Cupcake Crafted for Multiple Outlets – Sean Coughlan, Munch@Coughlans, Thornton Heath
  • Best Tasting Cupcake (sponsored by Puratos) – Jennifer Buls, Absolute Treats, St Clears, Camarthenshire
  • National Cupcake Champion – Jennifer Buls, Absolute Treats, St Clear, Camarthenshire

National Cupcake Week 2011 will run from September 12 to 18, when a range of special events and promotions take place in craft and high street bakeries across the nation, alongside a series of special programmes on The Food Network.