Announcing the Winner of Our Cupcake Decorating Contest

These cupcakes are a thing of buttercream beauty!

The votes are in, and a buttercream bouquet is the winner of Taste of Home‘s Vanilla Bean Cupcake Decorating Contest.

Back in January, we launched a decorating contest to go along with the month’s Bakeable challenge: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. We invited bakers to share photos of their edible art, and they came through with dozens of designs—snowflakes, princesses, monsters and plenty of sprinkles.

Then voters picked their favorite cupcake creation from the batch. The frosting flowers by Maryland reader Barbie Levy quickly rose to the top.

Meet Our Winner, Barbie Levy

Barbie’s creativity doesn’t stop with buttercream frosting. She’s a professional jewelry designer. (Check out Barbie’s jewelry!)

“I have been making and selling my work for 30 years,” says Barbie. “I have always said that if I ever stop making jewelry, I would either want to work in a flower shop or a bakery.”

And that’s what inspired her winning cupcake design: “Two of my favorite things combined with my favorite flavor of cake!” We’re sending Barbie $100 in honor of her first-place finish.

Barbie Levy's Winning Buttercream Flower Cupcakescourtesy Barbie Levy

Barbie’s Cupcake Design Inspiration

Believe it or not, buttercream blooms haven’t been in Barbie’s repertoire for long. “With COVID-19 and being quarantined, my jewelry sales slowed down almost entirely starting last March,” says Barbie, who stayed busy by taking two online classes on making frosting flowers. “I have had so much fun with them! I love creating all the different colors and look at pictures of fresh flowers to help with color combinations.”

“The best advice I’ve gotten is to practice and have fun with it,” Barbie says. We can tell she does!

Not ready to make buttercream bouquets just yet? Try these easy cupcake decorating ideas.

Ellie Martin Cliffe
Ellie has spent almost 20 years writing and editing food and lifestyle content for several well-known publishers. As Taste of Home's content director, she leads the team of editors sharing tasty recipes, cooking tips and entertaining ideas. Since joining Taste of Home 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing cookbooks, curating special interest publications, running magazines, starring in cooking and cleaning videos, working with the Community Cooks and even handing out cookies and cocoa at local holiday events. Gluten- and dairy-free since 2017, she’s a staff go-to on allergy-friendly foods that actually taste good. If she's not in her plant-filled office, find Ellie in her family’s urban veggie garden, in the kitchen trying new GF/DF recipes or at a local hockey rink, cheering on her spouse or third grader.