Cupcake Wars – Casting Guide


  • Contestants: Four Per Episode
  • Top Prize: $10,000
  • Selectivity: 2 Star
Cupcake wars is one of the best reality cooking shows. The show has a maximum prize of $10,000, but the real key is the exposure and marketing that the bakery gets for appearing on the show. Even if someone goes out in the first round, they will be able to advertise they were selected to appear on the show. By making it to the second round, the contestant can advertise they were in the “Top 3”, “Cupcake Wars Finalist” or “Cupcake Wars Winner”. Ultimately, appearing on this show is worth thousands of dollars in growing a business, and it will really allow the participants’ businesses to standout in the local market.

Show Details

The show is divided into three rounds which are judge by Florian Bellanger, Candace Nelson, and a guest judge that will change each episode. The first round will be a taste test in which the contestants will be provided ingredients which don’t normally go into cupcake. This could include raw seafood, green vegetables, meat or savory food. This really forces the contestant to think on their feet as they can’t simply come in with a predetermined recipes. After this round, the team which creates the worst cupcake is eliminated.

The second round requires each team to make three cupcakes which are judged equally on taste and appearance. There are no restrictions for ingredients in this round so it’s the best strategy is to come in with recipes set for 5-6 different cakes to cover different flavor profiles. The other half of this is decoration which is greatly undervalued by many teams. Before appearing on the show, at least one of the people on the team should be comfortable with fondant sculpting and molded chocolate. Even if this isn’t something that is done in your local shop, this is one of the main skills to win the show. Once again after this round another team is eliminated leaving two teams.

The third and final rounds pushes the bakers from someone who creates the treats to someone who is leading a small army. While the first rounds were based on making remarkable items, the final round gives only a couple of hours to create 1000 cupcakes. To put the task in perspective, each team has a head baker, an assistant, and four production workers who each have to create an average of 167 cupcakes in 3 hours meaning. The effectively works out to about 1 minute of labor for the entire cupcake. Additionally, each team is responsible for creating a stand for the cupcakes.

Show Tips

This is one of the most popular shows on our site, and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback for tips that we want to pass along to our readers when you make the show.
  1. In round 1, always avoid fish, onions, and hot dogs. You want to use one of the more memorable ingredients, but don’t pick the one with the strongest flavor on the table.

  2. In round 1, don’t play it entirely safe. There is almost always an option to choose two or three fruits that will fit a normal cupcake. This is a trap. The judges will grade more harshly expecting an amazing flavor, and there’s an incredibly high chance you’ll be going home.

  3. In round 1, use the minimum number of ingredients. In later seasons, many contestants try to prove their chops by throwing in more ingredients than necessary. You do not show off by adding more than the normal number, you are instead diluting the overall flavors.

  4. In round 1, decorate your cupcake. Having a nice appearing cupcake will greatly improve your chances should you make it to the final. Additionally, when a nicely decorated item is submitted in the first round, it very rarely gets eliminated.

  5. In between the first two round work with your assistant on your stand design. I recommend keeping some paper and pens with you to rough sketch and talk through ideas during the judging. This will allow the idea to simmer while working through round two.

  6. For Round 2, ignore all ingredients from the first round. One contestant will get stuck in the ideas from round one and try to incorporate those flavors going forward. This is a complete mistake as all previous ingredients should be forgotten.

  7. Create one chocolate cake, one spice/flavor cake and one fruit cake. The daily theme should not impact the cakes and frosting you make as you should focus the branding with the decorations.

  8. Decorations should demonstrate multiple techniques. You always want a piped chocolate and some fondant pieces. Additionally, adding a candied item like nuts, bacon or pretzels really helps add a bit of texture. These items be worked out in advance of appearing on the show, and only the decorations need to change.

  9. For round 3, create a 360 degree stand that has shelves starting about waist level. You want the logo and brand of the event front and center, and it helps to have an interactive element with a smoke machine or video screen.

  10. For round 3, avoid sparklers or fire. Contestants who go this approach usually don’t win the show as the decoration becomes a fire hazard. Find other ways of making the stand vibrant.

  11. Also patronize the judge and agree with their recommendations. In your kitchen, you are the boss, but on set listen to them and make the cake to their tasting even if you feel they are completely wrong.

  12. Don’t make red velvet cake. This cake is done too often, and making it is a sure way of having the judges feel your cake fell short.



Casting Videos

As we know a lot of you out there are creating your casting videos, our editors wanted to include some of the best /video submissions.
The submission from Rise cupcake is one of the best we’ve seen as it hits all the elements. The head baker and assistant are very photogenic and memorable. They look to have fun while dancing and being silly around the store. They also have a very nice store meaning that if they win, the cupcake wars brand wouldn’t be embarrassed to be associated with them. Additionally, the images of the cupcakes also show a high level of decorating skill. Finally, by talking about her staff and the large orders the store has done, they demonstrate the ability to lead a team of people to be able to accomplish the 1000 cupcake for the final round.


Applicant Requirements

  • Must Over 18 Years Old
  • Must Be Eligible to Work in United States


Casting Calls – Date & Location
This show has completed casting for the 2014 season and is currently airing. We will be updating this page when the casting for the next season opens up.


Finally, if you applied to be on this show, we’d love to hear your story whether or not you were selected to appear on air. Feel free to click the link below to share your story with us and our┬áreaders.

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