The duo behind Temecula's Incr-Edible Cupcakes took the grand prize on the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" on Sept. 28, which included $10,000 and the opportunity to serve cupcakes at the re-release of "The Wizard of Oz."
When the Food Network asked Diana Colletti and Lisa Rosendahl to compete on the popular Cupcake Wars, they quickly got to work, practicing their favorite flavors in case they could use them in a round of the competition.
Colletti recalled one of the major challenges of the competitions to be working with surprise ingredients during the first round of competition.
The first round requires teams to bake with secret ingredients and the second round allows teams to bake a cupcake of their choice. During the third and final round, teams use cupcakes they created in the first and second rounds to create a theme and a third cupcake.
For the Incr-Edible Cupcake ladies, the on-set environment proved to be another challenge.
“It’s so much more stressful than it shows on TV…” said Colletti. “You have cameras flying in on booms and you’re just not used to that when you’re in your own kitchen.”
Critic Leonard Maltin acting as guest judge was "intimidating" said Colletti, but the Cupcake Wars champion says he surprised her with his "sweet" nature when he picked her up off of the ground after she and Rosendahl won.
Colletti started baking when her doctor suggested she get a hobby to relieve stress from her full-time job. Using her love for cooking and natural knack for being able to identify ingredients in foods to recreate them, she decided to take on baking, a skill she admittedly lacked.
“I could never bake, not for the life of me,” said Colletti. “I’m kind of a busy body. [When you bake] you have to measure, you have to be precise, you have to pay attention to timers, and I was never good at that…”
Colletti opened up her own cupcake shop after working as a caterer. When her baker went on maternity leave, Rosendahl stepped in as a replacement.
“Lisa has a passion for [baking],” said Colletti. “That’s what she always wanted to do. She enjoys it. So, when you have someone like that, it just works and she’s my full time baker now.”
The duo have gained loyal customers who go out of their way to get Incr-Edible Cupcakes. Because the shop does not sit on the front street of Old Town Temecula, Colletti said she wants to open a second shop in Menifee.
“We have people driving from Palm Springs, Orange County and Carlsbad, so I think we have a good product. We just need more people to find us,” said Colletti.
Although the duo’s "Cupcake Wars" fate can only be seen on Saturday's episode, Colletti says she hopes the show will bring in new customers so they can see just what sets Incr-Edible Cupcakes apart from other cupcake shops.
During a visit from the health inspector, Colletti was surprised to learn she and Rosendahl were the only shop of its kind in Riverside County to use butter instead of shortening.
“We use fresh ingredients every day,” said Colletti. “We make our frostings every single day and I know not everyone does that because it’s time consuming, but that’s one of the things we pride ourselves on.”
Visit Incr-Edible Cupcakes located at 42072 5th St., Suite 105, Temecula, CA 92590 and on Facebook here.