Cupcake Wars TV Poster Image

Cupcake Wars



Dessert-focused cooking competition is mild but a bit dry.

What parents need to know

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

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.

Not applicable

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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Premiere date:December 27, 2009
Cast:Candace Nelson, Florian Bellanger, Justin Willman
Network:Food Network
Genre:Game Shows
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byMwalrus March 10, 2014


I think this show is fun
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byAnn Nonymous January 11, 2015

Not Inapproperate

Fun show. Offers kids a look into a culinary career or a baker. Shows creativity and transormation of ingreidents. Might show alcohol like beer, wine or whiskey as an ingredient. Sometimes a competer might swear under the pressure. They might say "Oh my god" or something.
Kid, 11 years old July 7, 2014

Fun Competitive Television Show Is Suitable for All Ages

Cupcake Wars is a competitive television show where four bakers compete for 10,000 and to see who has the best cupcakes. In fact, I'm not even positive why there is a page on Common Sense Media for this. It really is suitable for all ages! I rated this iffy for 7+ because younger children may not understand the competition between the bakers. Children may also find it boring. If I were to give a few warnings, I would do it on mild violence and mild references to alcohol. I really don't think that this show is violent. A few characters bicker due to stress, but I don't think a child would be frightened. What kid would be afraid of a person screaming at their assistant because they dropped the cupcakes? Alcohol is commonly an ingredient found in cupcakes. Most kids won't even recognize the names of the alcohol (rum, etc.). It will just go over their heads. I love this show! It is inspiring and features an awesome competition! I wouldn't be worried about your children viewing this show.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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