Wedding Cake Championship finale: Romantic Italian elegance takes the prize


Wedding Cake Championship finale celebrates the romance that lasts long past the wedding day. Which first anniversary cake won the title?

Who won the Wedding Cake Championship finale? The last episode of this Food Network show took a turn from the traditional wedding cake. For the final challenge, the three remaining baking teams had to create a first anniversary cake for the show’s co-host, Tara Lapinski and her husband Todd. Would this twist celebrate wedding bliss or be a lackluster cake?

As the episode starts, Tara and Todd share some ideas that they would like to see in their first anniversary cake. Themes include travel, Italy and sophisticated elegance. Tara says that she loves chocolate while Todd likes mint, but both enjoy classic Italian flavors.

Listening to the couple’s wants, it seems clear that the bakers need to balance all the ideas that the couple likes with a visually appealing cake. Just because Tara and Todd want boats, bicycles and the Italian countryside, it doesn’t mean that all those items should be on a single cake. A keen editing eye is imperative for a winning finale cake.

Of course, this Wedding Cake Championship finale wouldn’t be complete without a twist. As the bakers were in the middle of the bake, Johnny tells everyone that they needed to create a cake topper, which would be judged within an hour. This little twist had all the bakers extremely flustered.

Host Tara Lipinski with husband Todd Kapostasy during the Cake Round, Surprise Topper, Make a Wedding Cake for Tara and Todd, Wedding Anniversary Cake, as seen on Wedding Cake Championship, Season 1. photo provided by Food Network

Looking at the three cake toppers, all of them had issues. First, Reva and Viki’s cake topper was lovely, but it had a huge mistake. They misspelled a word. Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but this one was a big oops.

Jared and Stephen had a cute idea, but it was a little kitschy, not elegant. I really liked the idea of the Roman Coliseum, but the gold Roma was a little too much. Maybe a more antique color scheme or more subtle lettering would have been better.

Sabrina and Regina had a great idea, but they didn’t execute the cake topper well. The gold bike was a smart way to incorporate travel and Italy. The little basket was cute with the wine and food. But, this cake topper was a little too ambitious for the challenge timeframe.

Still, Sabrina and Regina won the cake topper challenge. Their prize was a five minute chat with Tara and Todd. During that chat, the bakers learned some important facts and information to incorporate into the anniversary cake. Ideas like the couple’s wedding date and Todd’s nickname for Tara were a huge help. Still, the facts alone won’t automatically give these bakers the title. They still need to executive the final cake.

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Looking at the three final cakes, there were cakes that excelled in flavor and cakes that excelled in design. For the flavors, two cakes focused on chocolate and mint and one went for tiramisu. Personally, I would have loved Reva and Viki’s cake flavor. While Tara wanted more chocolate, these flavors were more elevated and clean.

The other two cakes focuses on chocolate and mint. Stephen and Jared’s mint buttercream with cookie pieces was smart. The flavor and texture made this filling a delicious option.

Sabrina and Regina had the most subtle yet unique flavor. The Devil’s Food cake with mint filling brought the bold chocolate while still highlighting the mint flavor. Infusing the cream with real mint leaves was the smartest culinary choice of the finale.

But, taste was only part of the challenge. Sure, Tara and Todd loved the chocolate and mint cakes. The judges seemed to favor the tiramisu style cake. The cake design would definitely be the deciding factor.

For the three Wedding Cake Championship finale cakes, the designs had both good and bad. The team with the most elegant, well-edited cake was clearly Reva and Viki. Their rose gold design screamed old world elegance. It appealed to Tara’s feminine side yet wasn’t overly girly.

Judges Maneet Chauhan, David Tutera, and Kimberly Bailey with Contestants Viki Kane and Reva Alexander during the Cake Round, Surprise Topper, Make a Wedding Cake for Tara and Todd, Wedding Anniversary Cake, as seen on Wedding Cake Championship, Season 1. photo from Food Network

The judges appreciated that it incorporated the Italian culture without being too literal. There were nods to travel, to romance and to Italy itself. It was a lovely interpretation of the couple’s wants but still letting the baker’s aesthetic coming through.

Sabrina and Regina had time management issues, again. Part of this Food Network competition isn’t just designing a stunning wedding cake; it is executing that design within the time frame. This team struggles with the time restraints.

Hosts Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski with contestants Sabrina Jurado and Regina Valencia during the Cake Round, Surprise Topper, Make a Wedding Cake for Tara and Todd, Wedding Anniversary Cake, as seen on Wedding Cake Championship, Season 1. photo provided by Food Network

Their final cake was really unfinished. The colors may be similar to a Tuscan sunset, but that same color scheme could be said of many locales. Yes, they did incorporate birds, the anniversary date and other little touches. Still, those items aren’t enough to make up for an unfinished cake.

This anniversary cake could have been so pretty and elegant. Combined with the amazing cake flavor, this team could have won it all. Unfortunately, the final product was lacking and they didn’t win the $25,000 prize.

Stephen and Jared produce over the top cakes. While some people love these over-designed cakes, the judges have commented that this team needs to learn how to edit. With this cake, the design had some lovely elements, but other elements should have been scaled back.

The suitcase layer of Stephen and Jared’s cake was lovely. It was understated but perfect for the theme. Unfortunately, the two middle layers didn’t match the other parts of the cake. It was as if two cakes were mashed together to make one.

Host Tara Lipinski with husband Todd Kapostasy, Host Johnny Weir, and Judges Maneet Chauhan, David Tutera, and Kimberly Bailey during the judging of the Cake Round, Surprise Topper, Make a Wedding Cake for Tara and Todd, Wedding Anniversary Cake, as seen on Wedding Cake Championship, Season 1. photo provided by Food Network

Given the mint/cookie filling, the flavor of this cake could have put this anniversary cake into the win column. Unfortunately with the over design, this cake couldn’t win the title.

The team winning the Wedding Cake Championship finale was Reva and Viki. Throughout the season, this team created several stunning cakes. Even if the cakes weren’t in your personal style, the cakes were extremely impressive.

It will be interesting to see how this title helps Reva and Viki. Will they get more couples wanting to have a Food Network champion baker? Maybe the Food Network will feature them on some other baking shows.

Now that Wedding Cake Championship season 1 is over, would you want this show to continue next summer? Or, would you like to see Tara and Johnny come back as co-hosts on a Food Network Show? I liked the duo on this show. They added a different flair to the baking competition show.

Next: Tara Lapinski talks wedding cakes, hosting, and her sweet tooth

Going into the fall, the Halloween themed baking championship and the Holiday Baking Championship show will surely return. I wonder what other baking competition shows could appear on Food Network. What type of shows would you want to see?