Winning a competition on the Food Network is becoming old hat for Fort Mill baker Heather McDonnell. The owner of Cupcrazed Cakery in Baxter Village won Monday night’s episode of “Rewrapped,” a show that challenges chefs to turn favorite treats into something new and delicious.
McDonnell, who won the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” in 2011, said Tuesday she was excited about the win.
“Hopefully it will be good for business,” she said from her shop, which was full of customers taking advantage of “$2 Tuesday.”
McDonnell has had to keep her win a secret for the last few weeks, since the show filmed in New Jersey. The show was all about Hostess HoHos.
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In the first half of the episode, McDonnell and two other competitors had to try to re-create a HoHo.
“The hardest challenge is the re-creation,” she said, “because you’re being judged by the person who makes this super-famous product.”
In the second half of the show, HoHos had to be a featured ingredient in something new. One of McDonnell’s competitors opted to prepare duck with a HoHo sauce, and McDonnell initially considered taking a big risk by making HoHo-crusted eggplant Parmesan.
Fortunately, she changed her mind.
“Just do what you do,” she told herself. “Bake.”
McDonnell ended up making a HoHo Cheesecake – something she’ll be making plenty of in the coming year because her prize for winning the show was a year’s worth of HoHos.
“I’m going to make a lot of HoHo cupcakes and cheesecakes,” she said.
Tuesdays are always busy at Cupcrazed, McDonnell said, so she couldn’t tell if business had picked up because of the exposure she got on Monday’s show. The shop was getting a lot of attention on social media on Tuesday, including a mention on Twitter from Hostess.
Regular customer Valerie White and her 1-year-old daughter, Adeline, were very happy when they saw the sign out front announcing that McDonnell and Cupcrazed had won another TV competition.
“We’re excited for them,” said White, who comes in every Tuesday with Adeline for a carrot cake cupcake. “It’s great for the community.”
Jessica Horne heard that Cupcrazed was on the “Rewrapping” show and decided to stop in.
“Their cupcakes are awesome,” Horne said. “I love how they have all different kinds, and it’s not the same normal flavors.”
Cupcrazed is known for its different flavors. Among Tuesday’s options were – of course – HoHo, cherry almond, Key Lime and Rice Krispy. “Rewrapping” familiar treats into cupcakes is something McDonnell and her staff do every day, so she knew the show would be perfect for her.
There are a few other reality competition shows out there McDonnell said she could apply for, but for now she’s content with her Food Network wins.