Crazy for Creative Cupcakes

Daniella Haugland was pronounced K104.7’s Cupcake Wars winner on Saturday, May 6 for her whiskey-centered pecan pie cupcake. Photo by Natalie Aguilar.

With dozens of stands ranging from appealing jewelry to scrumptious cupcakes, K104.7 radio station hosted its sixth annual cupcake festival on Main Street in Beacon on Saturday.

The festival was initiated by the Cupcake Wars, a segmentation on Woodman In the Morning Show, according to K104.7 WSPK promotion director Patrick McKeon. The show, one of the Hudson Valley’s top morning radio shows, hosted the on-air competition every Friday for about six weeks leading up to the festival and plans to continue the practice. The Cupcake Festival was originally hosted on the Newburgh waterfront, but after its first year, immediately outgrew the space, which moved the event to its second location on Main Street in Fishkill. 

Hosts of K104.7’s Woodman in the Morning Show such as The Woodman, Jill, Bill, Blackberry and Diva were present at the festival and acted as some of the judges for the final cupcake war. The last round was comprised of nine contestants who had previously competed on-air.

After an hour of cupcake tasting and judging, the winner of the $1,000 prize was Daniella Haugland, who wowed the judges with her whiskey-centered pecan pie cupcake. Other interesting creations included a tasty chocolate cannoli cupcake, a chocolate cupcake with a kumquat and strawberry filling and Melissa Torres’ brownie delight. With judges calling it “death by chocolate,” Torres’ cupcake was comprised of an Oreo filling and chocolate ganache. 

While most contestants did not have their own stand in the festival, 16 cupcake stands were present with seemingly neverending lines and anxious children persistently wanting every single one. One of these stands included Antonio’s Cupcake Factory, located in New Windsor. Described through their site as “a family and locally owned business,” Antonio’s Cupcake Factory prides itself on being an “expert, craft bakery which uses only natural ingredients for items served at a reasonable price.”

“This is my first year here, but my third year in business,” said Antonio Frontera, owner of Antonio’s Cupcake Factory and author of  “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Kids In the Kitchen.”

Frontera explained that although he did not have enough time to run this year, he plans to in the upcoming year. At the festival, Antonio’s highest selling treat was his blue velvet cupcake, which he described as a simple twist on the classic red velvet cupcake — but he thinks the color blue tends to get people’s attention. 

The festival was jam-packed with people of all ages and backgrounds, mainly catering to the youth demographic. Bounce houses,  face painting, colored sand art, ice cream vendors and more captured the children’s attention while adults entertained themselves with food stands of local Hudson Valley vendors and small stands selling jewelry, clothing and home appliances. 

With Beacon becoming a growing tourist destination in the Hudson Valley, McKeon explains that securing a spot is more a “first come, first serve basis,” with this year filling up quicker than previous years. 

“The Cupcake Festival really has it all, from the obvious cupcake creations, other amazing sweets, traditional and unique food options and a number of vendors selling various goods,” McKeon said. “I believe that the showcasing of Hudson Valley vendors and keeping this a local-centric event is very appealing. It is also a day for the community to get outside and come together.”