HECHS students compete in Cupcake War!


     Let the baking begin! Hidalgo ISD’s Early College High School (HECHS) Culinary Art instructor, Irene Olivarez, and her students took the initiative to present the staff and community with their annual Cupcake War Competition.

     Inspired by the well-known television show “Cupcakes Wars,” the Culinary Art class faced off with their very own version of cupcake wars. Students were tasked with creating a cupcake that used a theme, a secret ingredient and profile. “We are baking cupcakes for our competition and our theme is ‘Shark Attack,’ the secret ingredient is coconut, and our profile is blue cupcake icing with buttercream and strawberry filing,” said Junior, Emily Sanchez. “I have a really good feeling about winning this competition because we have worked really hard as a team!” When it came time for the baking, it came easy for the students as they completed a planning sheet to help guide them through the process.

     The students were encouraged to work together in a group of three to plan and execute their ideas. Each one of them had a designated task that helped contribute to the team. “We each have a different purpose on the team, for instance I made the filling, and my teammates worked on the frosting, and the other one on the baking,” explained Sophomore, Juan Soto.

     There was a total of nine teams that competed in the cupcake wars. “The students implemented all the baking skills, techniques, and knowledge that they learned throughout the school year,” explained Olivarez.

     Each group was assigned multiple tools and ingredients to include in their cupcake. On the first day, the students were given an entire class period to prep and bake the cupcakes. The second day was for decorating the cupcakes and setup. Spectators were welcome to attend on both days and they were allowed to question the competitors.

     The cupcake wars competition was a fun and exciting way to spark the students’ creativity and help build their leadership and communication skills while working together as a team.

     Additionally, Culinary Art class enriches students’ lives by giving them the necessary tools, gain experience and confidence in the kitchen using a variety of styles and skillsets. This program is also designed to give the students the opportunity to embrace their love for baking and cooking. “My sister introduced me to baking and cooking, but this class has taught me so much as well,” said Soto. “It’s been a cool experience overall, and I plan on returning next year to learn more about the kitchen,” said Soto.

     Olivarez looks forward to bringing back the cupcake wars competition next year. “The students did an outstanding job! They gave it their all on this project, and it showed throughout their work,” Olivarez said. “I am very proud of my students!”

     The winners were Itzel Jaramillo and Itzel Rodriguez with a perfect score of 20. Their theme was Avatar. “They nailed it! From the delicious cupcakes, amazing pipping skills and detailed display,” declared Olivarez.

     Although it was a competition and there was only two winners, all the students ended up winning in the end because everyone had the opportunity to make a cupcake, then enjoy it afterwards!