Cupcake contest Saturday on Ithaca Commons for the Sophie Fund

Ithaca mental health organization The Sophie Fund is hosting its second annual cupcake baking contest this Saturday, October 14th. The contest, for amateur bakers only, will feature over $500 in prizes.

Cupcakes from the 2016 Sophie Fund cupcake contest. Photo provided.

Entrants can bring their cupcake submissions to the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Ithaca Commons between 10am and 11:30am on Saturday. Winners will be announced, and prizes awarded, at a ceremony at the pavilion at 3pm. Judges include Amelia Sauter of Felicia’s Atomic Brewhouse & Bakery in Trumansburg.

Each competitor should bring a batch of six cupcakes with a complete recipe printed on an 8.5×11 sheet of paper. Registration forms are available at and will be available at the contest registration table on Saturday.

Judging will be based on taste, originality, and appearance, say contest organizers, and the grand prize is $250. The contest is sponsored by GreenStar Natural Foods Market, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, and La Tourelle Hotel, Bistro and Spa, and supported by Waffle Frolic, Active Minds of Ithaca College, and Alpha Phi Omega, Phil Sigma Pi, and Cornell Minds Matter of Cornell University. In a week of tabling on Cornell’s Ho Plaza and at GreenStar’s Collegetown store this fall, service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega has already raised over $500 for The Sophie Fund that will go to Ithaca’s Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service.

At last year’s contest, Monica Lee Cotto took home the grand prize with a pumpkin cheesecake cupcake, set in a chocolate cage and topped with a confectionery yellow and coral rose and a butterfly crisp. A youth award went to 9-year-old Natalie McCaskill Myers, who baked lemon cherry cupcakes laced with lavender.

The Sophie Fund was established last year in memory of Cornell University art student Sophie Hack MacLeod, to support mental health initiatives aiding young people. Event organizer Mickie Quinn says, “Sophie’s own longstanding passion for baking and cupcakes inspired the launch of the contest” last year. At the time of her death by suicide at age 23, while on a medical leave of absence from Cornell, Sophie was active in Ithaca’s vibrant culinary scene. According to her father Scott MacLeod, who’s a driving force behind the contest, she hoped to open her own bakery after completing her Cornell degree.

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