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.

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Ellie Martin Cliffe
Now Taste of Home's content director, Ellie has been writing about food and parenting for almost 20 years. When she isn't at TOH HQ, she's likely trying gluten- and dairy-free recipes, canning whatever's in season, listening to anything with a fiddle, or playing Forbidden Island with her family.