Two British bakeries have appeared on a special episode of hit American TV show Cupcake Wars during National Cupcake Week.
Indulgence Cupcake Company, based in Brighton, and Mama Doreen’s Cupcake Company from Harrogate, were picked as contestants for the first UK edition of the programme, which aired last Friday (21 September) on television channel Food Network UK.
The two bakeries battled it out to test their skills as cupcake bakers, going head-to-head against two further bakers based in America but originally from Britain – The Picadilly Bakery and Little London Cake Shoppe.
Jeremy Jacobs, owner of Indulgence Cupcake Company, which signed a deal with Virgin Atlantic back in June, told British Baker: “It has been an absolutely amazing experience, the programme has already aired in America, but we have been waiting for it to be broadcast in the UK and see the reaction of people back at home.
“Since the programme, we’ve had a lot of interest on our social media sites, as well as emails and messages from new and existing customers. It’s a bit too early to tell whether Cupcake Wars will have an effect on the business, but it has planted a seed in our head about trying to expand over in America. Being British, and using our own British recipes, it’s something that would do very well over in the States.”
Jacobs, who appeared on the programme with one of his employees, Jo Gathern, added that the Virgin contract, which required Indulgence to produce 50,000 cupcakes as part of the one-year deal, has completely changed the business and has increased its workforce to 10 members of staff.
Jessica Wyatt of Mama Doreen’s Cupcakes, who appeared with her mum Justine on the show, said: “Doing Cupcake Wars was an amazing opportunity; the production company actually asked us to apply for the programme and we were chosen to take part.
“It was very daunting and surreal to be in a television studio, because I watch the programme back at home. But it has been amazing since the show aired – we’ve actually had two women fly over specially from America to come and visit us in our Harrogate shop because of seeing us on the show.”
She added that the opportunity would open up a lot of doors for Mama Doreen’s Cupcakes, including overseas.
The bakery teams took part in a series of British-themed cupcake challenges to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, competing for a cash prize and the opportunity to produce their sweet bakery goods for an exclusive party at the British Consul in Los Angeles.