San Diego Bakers Claim Cupcake Prize

Two San Diego women won the July 19 episode of "Cupcake Wars"

Sprinkles, watch your back: Two San Diego women have claimed the crown as the “Cupcake Wars” queens.

Sweet Cheeks Baking Company employees Krista Lautenbach, 28, and her 22-year-old assistant Katrina Swietek, won the July 19 episode of the popular Food Network show.

Each week the show features four bakers who compete for a $10,000 prize. The winner also gets to showcase their cupcake at a winning event.

Lautenbach and Swietek displayed 1,000 cupcakes at the Pageants of the Masters festival in Long Beach, Calif. Their epic presentation and tasty cupcakes secured them the winning prize.

The filming took place in March, but Lautenbach kept her triumph a secret until yesterday. She said the two-hour competition was difficult, even with the help of Swietek and two Food Network assistants.

“It was pretty insane,” she said. “It was probably the two most stressful hours of my life.”

Now that they’ve claimed their sweet victory, the bakers are hoping to expand their store to a retail location. Lautenbach and Swietek are staying busy, too, with an influx of orders to bake throughout the summer.

Lautenbach, a Point Loma Nazarene University alumna, was the bakery’s first employee. She called the owners after watching them on television and asked if they were hiring.

“They totally took a chance on me, but it was an instant fit,” she said.

While Lautenbach has no formal culinary training, she grew up baking with her grandmother and has a passion for cooking.

Lautenbach hopes the owners will allow her to keep a portion of the $10,000. Should she receive the some of the prize, she’s wants to do something a little unusual with her reward.

“It’s been my lifelong dream to have a slip-n-slide with buttercream,” she said. “It’s definitely something I want to do. Hopefully I can make it happen.”

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