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  • Writer's pictureCheré Dastugue Coen

You Can Win and Eat Your Cake, Too

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

The Morean Arts Center of St. Petersburg, Fla., is looking for the city’s finest cupcake. But what makes this culinary contest special is the unique piece of art that winners take home. The Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest Award is a lovely glass cupcake created by local artists from the Center’s Morean Glass Studio.

The contest — to be held Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 — began in 2012 as a way to celebrate the artistry of St. Pete residents and it quickly became a hit. First and second place awards in the Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest are given in both Novice and Professional categories as well as the People’s Choice. There’s also the Youth/Teen category for aspiring bakers ages 10-16 years old, and the Specialty category for those choosing to offer gluten-free or vegan recipes. The contest is capped at 100 contestants and Morean will continue to accept entries through Aug. 20, 2022, as long as there is availability.

morean center cupcake award
The Morean Cupcake Award made in the glass studio.

Past cupcake flavors have included Thai Tea with Swiss Meringue, Key Lime Pie, Raspberry Lemonade, Chocolate Guinness Pretzel Cake, Sunshine Carrot, Red Velvet with Active Charcoal Frosting and Sweet Corn & Blackberry.

Hungry yet?

And here's more incentive to join the fun. In previous years, St. Pete residents and visitors waited in long, hot, and sweaty lines to enter and taste the entries, placing votes for which cupcake deserved the People’s Choice Trophy. Introduced last year were timed tickets for advanced purchase, which guarantees guests a sweet taste without the wait. To-go containers will be provided along with a QR code for digital voting. Tickets can be purchased via the Morean Arts Center’s website.

This year’s Judging Panel for the Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest features many of the city’s chefs, including Rachel Gelbman from Grateful Bakes, who took the People’s Choice award three years running plus Judge’s Awards.

“The Great St. Pete Cupcake contest is always such a fun, vibrant and positive event. As a contestant, I’ve competed for three years and the contest has challenged me to come up with new, exciting flavors and produce some of my best work”, said Gelbman in a press release. “I’m looking forward to being a judge this year and seeing the other side of the contest, learning what goes on behind the scenes, and of course sampling all the delicious cupcakes.”

Judges’ Awards will be announced at 3 p.m. the day of the event — Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. The People’s Choice award will be voted on by the attending audience and tallied digitally. Voting will continue through 5 p.m. with winners announced that evening via television broadcast and social media.

The Morean Arts Center offers programming, unique art experiences and special events. Visitors may enjoy the elaborate and colorful Chihuly Collection, the Morean Glass Center where glass artists demonstrate their hot creations and the Morean Center for Clay, in addition to the main Arts Center. Plan to spend an afternoon for there's plenty to see.

The Morean Arts Center also sponsors Operation: Art of Valor, a veterans-only program that focuses on improving cognition, social interaction, physical dexterity, teamwork, and confidence outside of clinical care. Read more about that inspiring program here.


Here's this year's (2022) winners!

People’s Choice:

1st Place: Y2 Olivia McLaughlin – Blueberry Lemon Blossom

2nd Place: N8 Hailee Hunter – Strawberry Cheesecake

3rd Place: P17 Sara Angelosanto – Bananas Foster

Youth/Teen (Judge’s Awards):

1st Place: Y1 Sofia Chapman – S’mores

2nd Place: Y6 Kariss McGarrah – Chocolate Peanut Butter

Specialty (Judge’s Awards):

1st Place: S3 Tiffany Georggi – Vegan Strawberry Oreo

2nd Place: S2 Michele Cababe – Gluten Free Churro Cupcake

Novice (Judge’s Awards):

1st Place: N6 Brenda Hnatiak – Orange Dreamsicle

2nd Place: N11 Sarah Spratley – Churro Cupcake

Honorable Mention: N2 Monica McLaughlin – Swedish Princess

Professional (Judge’s Awards):

1st Place: P17 Sara Angelosanto/The Modest Kitchen -Bananas Foster

2nd Place: P15 Heather Cole – Chocolate Overload (Ice Cream Cone)

Honorable Mention: P4 Sara Angelosanto/The Modest Kitchen – Lemon Blueberry

We recently visited the Morean Arts Center but much of this story is derived from a press release.

morean chihuly
The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center of St. Petersburg. Credit: Cheré Coen
morean glass studio
The Morean Glass Studio at the Morean Arts Center of St. Petersburg. Credit: Cheré Coen

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