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Attendees enjoy the spoils of Cupcake Wars

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - Updated: 9:27 AM


C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- On Friday evening, bakers (many local) were given the chance to show off their most unique cupcake creations, all while bringing in money for the Canajoharie Library during the well-attended, successful second annual Cupcake Wars and Basket Raffle.

On the sunlit side of the library facing the outdoor garden, a seemingly endless assortment of cupcakes lined tables stretching across the Great Room. During last year's event, the first ever, there were about 300 cupcakes available to attendees, which sold rapidly, leaving some people without. This year, the event's co-chairs Marigrace Hoag and Heidi Meka made sure that there were more than enough cupcakes for everybody, signing up anyone and everyone to donate, accumulating between 800 and 1,000.

"There were so many varieties," commented Library Director Leah LaFera, who baked 70 cupcakes for the event. There were even some left over, which were boxed and sold at a discounted price the next day. Pastor Zach LaBagh, in attendance at the event with his family, also took leftovers to sell at his church over the weekend.

LaFera said, "the thing that's really nice with an event like this, is that it's not just a fundraiser -- it's a way to bring people in to use the library," to view and interact with the space.

"It's a great community event," she said, noting that numerous people informed her that Friday's gathering gave them a chance to mingle with old friends they may not have seen in years.

"It's also a nice opportunity for bakers to get some business, to get some exposure -- it's a great advertisement for people to see and taste their products."

The displays this year were especially creative, and a category was created to honor the effort the bakers put into their presentation. While last year's competition featured a single winner, this year's had three, as cupcakes and displays were judged in numerous categories: Best Tasting (won by Shelby Colegrove for her cafe latte cupcakes, representing Bridge Street Bakery and Cafe, St. Johnsville); Best Display (won by Jennifer Veit, of Canajoharie, for her farmstand-style display featuring fresh produce, tulips and lemon-basil cupcakes adorned with fondant vegetables); and Most Unique (won by Char Nichols and Marcia Rider, of Cakery Cafe, Dolgeville, for their peach cupcakes with creme Chantilly filling, peach champagne frosting and a handmade fondant peach).

Also notable were displays by The Ayres House, who created a rainbow backdrop, the color filled in by an arch of cupcakes that baker Debra Hyde frosted in front of a curious crowd.

Gino's Restaurant created lemon zest cupcakes with white chocolate shavings, which took on the appearance of spaghetti and meatballs, their display table tastefully adorned with glasses of wine.

Blu Box Bakery, of Ballston Lake, created a fairytale display, with both in-tact and shattered Humpty Dumpty and nursery-rhyme emblazoned carrot cake and cream cheese frosted cupcakes, while Grandma's Kitchen, of Canajoharie, created a french toast cupcake with bacon crumbles. "Bacon goes with french toast!" exclaimed Grandma's Kitchen Owner Gail Murray, who noted that she had created the french toast/bacon cupcakes for the first time specifically for the event.

Veit, who participated for the second year, said, "I've really enjoyed both Cupcake Wars. For the second time, I'm excited to have the opportunity to support a very worthwhile organization at an event that's fun for the whole community."

All in all, the library brought in $3,892 from basket raffle tickets and cupcake sales, the funds going toward the library's general operating budget.

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