BURLEY — Two Cassia County teens will bring their A games to the first 4-H Cupcake Wars on Aug. 16 during the Cassia County Fair and Rodeo.
They will part of the eight Cassia County 4-Hers to use their creativity and cooking skills on Aug. 16 to compete for top honors in the program’s Cupcake Wars debut.
Team members and cousins, Rebecca Anderson, 15, of Burley, and Jonathan Winder, 15, of Rupert, will be the oldest contestants during the two-round event, which will be held at 2 p.m. at the 4-H building. The public can watch the competition.
A champion and reserve champion will be named.
The team competed in two preliminary competitions to win the right to compete in the event at the fair.
What is their strategy to catch the judge’s eye during the cupcake decorating contest and win the opportunity to go up against the Twin Falls County Fair 4-H Cupcake War winners?
Keeping their cool under pressure, knowing which types of candy can be easily manipulated and bringing all of their creativity.
Rebecca said she has been scanning Pinterest for ideas.
“When I first heard about it I thought it was cool but I hadn’t done anything like it before, Rebecca said.
Jonathan, who loves to cook and bake admits he’s “a little nervous, but usually does pretty good when the air conditioner is on.”
However, there will be no air conditioning in the building during the competition and the four teams of two will be under time limits to decorate the six cupcakes for the judges during two differently themed rounds.
Each team member will spend 45 minutes as the chef with other member as sous chef and then they will switch places during the second round.
Rosie Davids, Cassia County 4-H program coordinator said they hope the new program will generate more interest in the family and consumer sciences.
Home economics skills used to be taught in the schools and churches, but for the most part they aren’t being taught anymore, Davids said.
“We are trying to stir up more interest,” she said.
The new program also helps people see that 4-H isn’t just about raising a market animal, she said.
Some children who live inside the city limits can’t raise animals but there are many other projects that they can do.
Another new program is call Duds to Dazzle, where the 4-Her takes something old and transforms it into something new.
“We are inventing different ways to look at 4-H projects,” Davids said.
For the Cupcake Wars competition, the teams were given the themes “Super Heroes,” and 4-H Livestock” prior to the event.
They may make 30 percent of their decorations prior to the competition and they must make their own icing from scratch. They will be judged on how well they communicate with their team member and the judges, how the icing tastes, creativity and cleanliness along with the presentation.
“There will be some mentors present to help them so there aren’t any meltdowns,” Tiffany Anderson, Rebecca’s mother said. But family members or bystanders are not allowed to help.
Rebecca said figuring out a plan for the design is hardest part of the competition.
“The hardest part for me is opening the bags,” Jonathan said. “And it’s hard cutting designs out of the candy.”
Do they ever disagree?
“All the time,” Rebecca said. “We have to compromise.”
Learning how to work as a team has been one of the biggest lessons for the teens, Anderson said. “And their creativity has been the best part of it to watch.”