Cupcake Wars

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Cupcake Wars TV Poster Image
Dessert-focused cooking competition is mild but a bit dry.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The cooking skills of the contestants are taken seriously even though they're not famous chefs and some aren't even professionally trained; hard work, following directions, and taking criticism gracefully are explicitly praised by judges. The focus is on cooking instead of drama between the contestants.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most contestants are passionate and committed to their baking and business. Some contestants are better losers than others.


Contestants work in pairs with an assistant and often snap at them mildly.


One episode featured cupcakes with "aphrodisiac" ingredients for a match-making party.


Brand names of ingredients are hidden but many episodes feature promotions such as a SeaWorld party for a whale or an Ace of Cakes crossover.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol appears as an ingredient sometimes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cupcake Wars is a cooking competition that's clean enough for kids, but which may spark cravings for junk food. Like Chopped, Cupcake Wars brings together contestants for a one-day competition, which means contestants don't get to know each other and bicker endlessly as on some other reality competitions. Contestants are also often small businesspeople from various areas of the country, which may inspire entrepreneurial dreams. This is a decent show for kids who like to cook, particularly those who like to bake. Positive messages about the value of hard work, following directions, and taking suggestions well are all part of the series.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJla3d5 May 11, 2021

Be kind

I love watching cupcake wars but I think Candace and Florian are a little cold in their critiques. I love cupcakes like everyone else but these are cupcakes. 10... Continue reading
Adult Written byMarjacks February 24, 2021


I really am not surprised how racists this show openly is! There’s always something wrong with African American contestants. They are always eliminated. It’s no... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySwagphia October 19, 2020

They let rum lady win

The theme was kids and one of the contestants used alcohol in one of their cupcakes. For some reason, they still let them win. Cupcake wars supports underage dr... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMoviegirl700 March 28, 2019

Love this!

Great show for tweens and teens who love to bake!! There is no prejudice-trust me. It is overall very mild!
Language: 1/5 uses of hell are rare, although not in... Continue reading

What's the story?

Four contestants are recruited each week to compete in the baking competition CUPCAKE WARS. Contestants are asked to make cupcakes on a certain theme using ingredients supplied by the show that the competitors learn about just before they're expected to cook. One competitor is dropped in each successive round of baking. The final round between two competitors is the hardest. Competitors must bake 1,000 cupcakes in two hours and meet with a carpenter who whips up a custom display. Best cakes displayed in the most ingenious way wins the maker $10,000.

Is it any good?

It is nice that like Food Network predecessor show Chopped, Cupcake Wars focuses on the cooking and food rather than drama between contestants. But watching cupcakes getting made is simply not as entertaining as watching meals get made. Why? Because cupcakes are by their nature limited. Contestants whip up batter, scoop it into tins, frost. Over and over. And over. It all lacks the excitement of watching a cake decorator sculpt a towering cake, or a chef make a unique dish out of what was just a bunch of ingredients.

Cupcake Wars looks like something you could do, and that's just not that much fun. Mark this one for bakers-to-be and cupcake fanatics only.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why a cupcake baker might want to appear on Cupcake Wars. Would it be good for a business if the baker won? What about if she lost?

  • How do you think the contestants who appear on Cupcake Wars feel when they stand in front of the judges? Is there a time at school or in your life when you have to stand up and be judged like this? How did you feel while you were standing? After you sat back down?

  • Many of the battles on Cupcake Wars feature an organization that is going to have a party. Why do you think these organizations appear on the show? What do they get out of appearing? Free food? Publicity?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality shows

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