Naples cupcake baker’s reality show experience brief, but 'awesome'

Bayah Harrison is part-owner of Sassy Cakes on 837 South Fourth Street in Naples.  Harrison began Sassy Cakes in July 2009 with her business partner. They decided on this new business venture because Harrison always had a knack for baking, selling her cupcakes at farmers markets, events and giving them away as gifts.  Harrison baked cupcakes in a church kitchen before opening her own store front.

Photo by KELLI STANKO

Bayah Harrison is part-owner of Sassy Cakes on 837 South Fourth Street in Naples. Harrison began Sassy Cakes in July 2009 with her business partner. They decided on this new business venture because Harrison always had a knack for baking, selling her cupcakes at farmers markets, events and giving them away as gifts. Harrison baked cupcakes in a church kitchen before opening her own store front.

Sassy Cakes

837 4th Avenue South, Naples, FL

— The latest Neapolitan to hit the reality TV circuit fell short of the Food Networks’ Cupcake Wars top prize, a chance to bake for movie director Tim Burton.

During her prime time debut, Bayah Harrison said she wants “to win Cupcake Wars because I want to prove Naples can bake with the best.”

Competitors were faced with a challenge: bake a delicious cupcake using ingredients like blood orange and absinthe. Judges said Harrison’s submission was “difficult.”

Harrison, owner of Sassy Cupcakes on Fourth Avenue South, was one of four bakers selected for Tuesday’s show, which was hosted by Justin Willman. Candace Nelson and Florian Bellanger served as judges.

Overall, 16 bakers are competing for the top prize: $10,000 and a chance to bake for Burton.

“It was an awesome experience and I’d do it again if they asked,” Harrison said from her home Tuesday night.

Although she was the first contestant to be excused from the competition, Harrison said the experience was very positive.

“It didn’t really help my cooking, but it showed me what it’s like to compete under a time crunch,” Harrison said. “The time is ticking.”

Harrison applied by sending Food Network a video of her cooking and baking skills.

She opened Sassy Cakes in February of 2009 and moved the shop to its current location on Fourth Avenue about a year ago.

Harrison has lived in the Naples area for the last seven years and previously worked in the tourism and marketing industry.

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