Red Carpet Cupcake Challenge

Katie Rousonelos of Madison, WI has been named Grand Champion in the first ever Duncan Hines Red Carpet Cupcake Challenge for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards. Selected from hundreds of recipe entries, Katie’s Red Carpet Glamour has earned the prestigious baking title.

Duncan Hines announced that this year the brand will be the official dessert sponsor of the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards and Creative Arts Awards Governors Ball. In the spirit of this excitement, Duncan Hines invited their biggest supporters—bakers across the U.S.—to enter the “Duncan Hines Red Carpet Cupcake Challenge” contest.

In the past few weeks, creative bakers submitted their most decadent cupcakes for the chance of a lifetime. From over 200 entries, the Top 10 finalists were chosen to move on to the judging event. The Top 10 were selected by most accrued votes throughout the contest period. On Thursday, July 29th, Katie was announced as the grand prize winner at the Cupcake Café located in NYC. Her cupcake was judged by a prestigious panel including Tara Bench from Ladies Home Journal, Betsy Andrews from Saveur Magazine, Kitty Morgan, Executive Editor at Better Homes and Gardens, Alan Richardson, co-author of Hello, Cupcake and What’s New, Cupcake and Chef Joe DiPaolo, Duncan Hines’ Corporate Pastry Chef.

*The other nine finalist include: Melissa Young of High Pint, NC with her Elegant Pina Colada; Liz Delia of Oswego, NY with her Blackberry Champagne; Danielle D’ambrosio of Brighton, MA with her Cherry Chocolate Bonanza; Marlina Hausmann of Portland, OR with her Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Hazelnut; Teri Blevins of St. Albans, WV with her Devilly Good Chocolate Peanut Butter; Diana Marquez of Portland, OR with her Fiesta Cupcakes; Lauren Clegg of Dallas, TX with her Star Struck Cupcakes; Saahna Bryan of Plantation, FL with her Tiramisu Delights; and Alicia Norris with her Triple Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cupcake.

As the Grand Prize Winner, Katie will have her cupcake creation sampled by Performers nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and guests in attendance at this year’s Performers Nominee Reception on August 27th. However, the excitement doesn’t stop there; Katie also received a trip for two to Los Angeles, California and two tickets to Fans in the Stands, the best seat in the house for the red carpet excitement of the Primetime Emmy Awards.

“We are thrilled that our passionate baking consumers wanted to share this experience with Duncan Hines,” says Lora Van Velsor, vice president of Marketing for Pinnacle’s Duncan Hines Grocery Division. With over 200 entries and over 220,000 votes we are excited that our consumers are still celebrating the Duncan Hines inventive spirit though our innovative programs such as the “Duncan Hines Red Carpet Cupcake Challenge” and sponsorships like the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards Governors Ball.

Below is Katie’s winning recipe. To view all the delicious recipes Duncan Hines has to offer go to www.duncanhines.com and check out a host of offerings that are sure to liven up any celebration!

Red Carpet Glamour by Katie Rousonelos
Ingredients:
Cupcake Batter-
1 pkg Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
3 tsp Raspberry flavoring
1/2 c Sour Cream

Chocolate Ganache Filling-
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tbs confectioner sugar

Vanilla Bean Frosting-
1 Container Duncan Hines Buttercream Frosting
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and insides scraped out
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz. Cream Cheese

Instructions:
1. Add the ingredients for filling in a medium microwave safe bowl. Heat until mixture is warm (20-30 seconds on high) Whisk until smooth, put in refrigerator to stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin pans or line with paper baking cups.

3. Blend dry mix, water, oil and eggs in large bowl at low speed until moistened (about 30 seconds). Then add sour cream and raspberry flavoring. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon batter into muffin pan or paper cups.

4. Place one rounded teaspoon of filling on the top of each cupcake.

5. Bake cupcakes for 19-22 minutes. Add 3-5 minutes to bake time for dark or coated pans. Cupcakes are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

6. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

7. To make the frosting, add the canned frosting, cream cheese, vanilla bean, and vanilla extract together. Beat until mixed, about 1 minute. Refrigerate filling for 30 minutes. Frost and decorate cupcakes as desired.