The Secrets to Winning a Cupcake Day Contest | HerCanberra

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The Secrets to Winning a Cupcake Day Contest

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I’ve eaten a few cupcakes in my time. In my early years, my mother had the only professional cake decorating business in our small hometown of 10,000 residents. That meant I had more taste testings and spoon lickings under my belt than the average teenager.

Last year I experienced my first RSPCA ACT Cupcake Day fundraiser. For two weeks I felt like my life revolved around cupcakes. From the Nutella Stuffed Chocolate and Raspberry to the light and refreshing Coconut and Lime; cupcakes ruled my life. I probably ate at least three dozen cupcakes or so within a two week period.

Cupcake Day is on the 17th August, I know that it’s only supposed to be a single day event, but it’s impossible for my team to attend every morning tea. We love being able to visit organisations that are holding a morning tea and to bring a four legged friend along to show what all the hard work is about. As such, the many businesses, government departments and schools who participate in Cupcake Day are kind enough to spread out their hosted events throughout the month.


I’m one of the privileged few that not only gets to see the amazing imaginations and talents of our local amateur bakers, I often get to taste them too (especially when they choose to include a bake-off type contest as part of the fun).   While my waistline doesn’t like this time of year, I’m more than happy to be a judge at any Cupcake Day contest when the primary purpose is to help RSPCA ACT raise funds to fight animal cruelty.

After gaining a decent amount of experience from my mother’s baking and at last year’s Cupcake Day, I thought I might share a few tips for those inspiring bakers that are seeking bragging rights for the Top Cupcake Chef in your organisation this year:

  • Make it Look Awesome – With so many cupcakes to choose from, judges are naturally bias towards the ones that are decorated the best.
  • Stick to the Theme – Given that these cupcakes are baked and sold to raise funds for RSPCA ACT, my favourite cupcakes are those with animal themes. I’m always surprised by the imaginations of the bakers, and the fact that there are so many ways to elaborate on the theme.
  • Chewy, Gooey Please – I love a moist and gooey cupcake. I can remember a contest last year at a senior home where they insisted that I taste-tested every cupcake in the contest without a cup of coffee or tea. That was a tough one!
  • Stand Out from the Rest – Whether it’s the decorations and/or the type of cake hiding underneath, the more unique the cupcake is, the more likely the judges will remember it after they have tasted a half a dozen other cupcakes.

Regardless of whether or not you are the next Adriano Zumbo or Maggie Beer, we at RSPCA ACT are extremely grateful to each and every organisation that hosts a Cupcake Day this year.

Your Sweetest Day of the Year is helping us care for the many animals in need in our community. For more information, head to

Tammy Ven Dange is the Chief Executive Officer of RSPCA ACT. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @tvendange as she visits the many hosted Cupcake Day events this month. Images courtesy of the RSPCA. 

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