Winners announced in Pittsburgh's Best Cupcakes Contest 2012

by: Rob Johnston Updated:


WPXI viewers submitted thousands of votes and on Thursday, I surprised the winners of the Pittsburgh's Best Cupcakes contest.

Video: WPXI Surprises Pittsburgh's Best Cupcakes contest Winners

The first-place winner was returning champion Vanilla Pastry Studio, located in Pittsburgh. Vanilla is no stranger to the contest, joining the competition to defend it's 2011 title as Pittsburgh’s Best Cupcakes.

The second-place award went to Tin Man Sweets in Evans City. The Bakery has only been open for a few months, but the sweet treats have gained quite a following.

Sugar Social in Butler won third-place in the competition. Sugar Social has created a number of unique flavors including a Mountain Dew cupcake topped with a Dorito tortilla chip. The majority of the bakery’s orders are placed online through its website

Photos: Pittsburgh's Best Cupcakes Contest winners revealed

A big "thank you" to all of the great Pittsburgh bakeries that participated in the Pittsburgh's Best Cupcake contest!

The winners were determined by a combination of the public vote and taste test scores.



On Nov. 7, the Pittsburgh’s Best Cupcakes blind taste test was held at the Channel 11 studios.

Click here to watch video of the taste test.

Our young panel of celebrity judges included international singing superstar Jackie Evancho with her brothers and sister, and Mikey & Bob from 96.1 KISS FM with their daughters.

Each bakery submitted both a classic vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting, and a second cupcake of their choice for the blind test.

We received a wide variety of flavors, from Salted Carmel Chocolate Covered Pretzel to a delicate Cannoli cupcake. The Bethel Bakery submitted a rainbow colored vanilla cupcake that scored big points with the judges.

Click here to see photos of the taste test.

The winner of the taste test was Priory Fine Pastries, with its delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache. The delectable Almond Hazelnut cupcake from Sugar Social in Butler was a close second. The third-place winner was Bella Christie’s & Lil Z’s Sweet Boutique in Aspinwall, with its unique Maple Bacon cupcake. The chocolate covered strip of bacon resting on the top of the cupcake was met with a lot of mixed opinion, but after tasting the cupcake, it was a major crowd pleaser.  

The cupcakes were judged on taste, texture and appearance.

If your favorite bakery didn’t place in the top three of the taste test, never fear. Voting will be open to the public Monday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. on and close Monday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m.

The winners will be revealed during the week of Dec.3. Award plaques will be given to the first-, second- and third-place winners as determined by the public vote. Award certificates will be given to the remaining finalists.


Cafe Chocolade

Priory Fine Pastries

Dozen Bake Shop

Bethel Bakery

Le Cupcake Shoppe

Sugar Social

Tin Man Sweets

Sugar & Company

Vanilla Pastry Studio

Bella Christies & Lil Z's Sweet Boutique


1. The Top 10 Cupcakes will first be determined by the number of valid nominations received and second, by the willingness of the bakery to participate.

2. The nomination process opened Wednesday, October 10 and closes Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 3 p.m. Our finalists will be determined at that time.

3. A taste test will take place at the Channel 11 studios during the week of November 5. Each finalist is required to deliver a sample of their cupcakes for the test. If a bakery does not show up for the taste test they will be disqualified.

4. Voting opens to the public Monday, November 12 at 12 p.m. on and closes Monday, November 19 at 3 p.m.

5. The winners will be revealed the week of November 26. Award plaques will be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners as determined by a combination of public vote and taste test scores. Award certificates will be given to the remaining finalists.