Sift wins Cupcake Wars!

Local bakery wins big on Food Network cupcake contest

Winning cupcakes from the Food Network

Their cupcakes runneth over:  Sift Cupcake and Dessert Bar took home the big win last night on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars with owner Andrea Ballus’ (recipe) Raspberry Cupcake with Champagne Butter Cream Frosting. Ballus competed against three other bakers for the win and takes home a $10,000 grand prize.

Ballus, who has three cupcake and dessert bakeries in Sonoma and Napa (downtown Napa, Cotati and Santa Rosa), focused on a Wine Country theme for her winning cupcakes which included the popular pink champagne cupcake, a ginger and gingerbread cupcake with zinfandel frosting and a version of their Samoa cupcake with a caramel center.

She plans to use the winnings to get her first mobile cupcake unit on the streets.

From Judge Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkle’s Cupcakes: “Andrea’s (cupcakes) screamed outdoor wedding and rustic Wine Country elegance. Florian, Mindy and I had to deliberate for longer than normal, but in the end, the lush colors and personalized cupcakes as well as her consistent theme throughout the day meant Andrea was the winner!

Sift's Andrea Ballus
Sift's Andrea Ballus

The Sift crew celebrated with a party and big screen viewing at Toad in the Hole and plenty of buttercream treats. See the photos of the event on Their Facebook page is bursting with congratulations.

Ballus’ bakery recently changed its cupcake focus to a dessert bar, adding whoopee pies, profiteroles, ice cream sandwiches, cupcake truffles and frosting shots to their menu.

Says Ballus: “From the moment we first saw Cupcake Wars we knew that the Sift team had what it takes to frost our way to the top. Baking has always been a passion of mine and now it is so much more. During the show, the competition was intense, but in the end our creativity, dedication, and talent paid off. We couldn’t have done this without the support from our team, family, and, the best fans ever: I would like to thank them all.  Turns out victory is indeed sweet.”

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