Katie Bakes makes Cupcake Wars

by Leslie Turk

For Katie Meaux and Skylar Manuel, "life's short, eat dessert first" isn't just a mantra; it's a business. And this business has landed a spot on the Food Network's popular Cupcake Wars. For Katie Meaux and Skylar Manuel, "life's short, eat dessert first" isn't just a mantra; it's a business. Owner and head pastry chef of local bakery Katie Bakes, Meaux and her assistant, Manuel, have landed a spot on the Food Network's cupcake creation competition, Cupcake Wars. The episode airs this Sunday, June 23, at 7 p.m.

"We'd made a entry video to send to Cupcake Wars kind of as a joke," says Meaux. "We were being goofy, having fun in the kitchen. We never actually thought we'd get chosen, but were so excited when we did."

Photo by Camille Lejeune

Katie Bake's owner Katie Meaux, right, and her assistant, Skylar Manuel, are featured in an episode of Cupcake Wars that airs Sunday night.

After having been a dental assistant for three years, Meaux decided to follow her true passion of baking and open up her own shop on Camellia Boulevard in River Ranch in November 2011. Katie Bakes offers creations from elegant wedding cakes to a King Cake cupcake, and from a multi-tiered Phantom of the Opera cake to tiny cakepops in every flavor. If it's got the word "cake" in it, it's in Meaux's shop.

"The fun thing about cupcakes is that they're so fun to experiment with," says Manuel. And experiment they do; Meaux claims her all-time favorite is her blueberries and cream cupcake, while Skylar swears to the peanut butter and chocolate. However, they can't choose just one: "The special this month is the Tiramisu cupcake. It's so good, I've had one nearly everyday!"

The IND's choice? The red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Still licking my fingers.

Though they can't reveal any secrets about the Cupcake Wars challenge just yet, the women said this experience was one of the hardest, yet rewarding, challenges they've ever faced. Between the strict time limit and the special mandatory ingredients required in each recipe, the team learned a lot about working under pressure.

While the majority of the filming was done in Los Angeles, the Food Network crew made a stop to Lafayette to check out Katie Bakes. Not only do they hope Cupcake Wars will bring publicity to their bakery, but to Lafayette as a whole. "We're thanking Acadiana for their support and business every step of the way!" says Katie.

To check out Katie Bakes' full gallery, click here.