Martha Stewart sampled former Sharon resident, and current Easton resident Emily Cioffi's Whimsical Garden Cake recipe on national television today, and then gave her a present.
It was the trophy in the "Today" Show's Quest for the Best Birthday Cake competition.
"Emily takes the cake!" Stewart declared after sampling the three finalists' confections on the NBC program this morning. The recipes are here.
Stewart, whose appearance was a surprise, said that when judging birthday cakes,
"I look for creativity, originality. I look for beautiful design. And I look for taste. And that's all in the execution of a baked cake."
"These are quite something!"
Cioffi, now of Easton, submitted her recipe, which the show's website describes as a "chocolate cake with Italian meringue buttercream frosting and marshmallow fondant."
Stewart started with Mona Shroff's Champagne Bottle Cake with Cupcake Bubbles, which the website says is a "minty chocolate brownie cake."
Stewart then sampled Kathy Karrasch's Sand Castle Cake, which the website says is a "dark chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse filling and peanut butter frosting."
Stewart sampled Cioffi's cake last.
The domestic diva asked the University of Vermont student, "How long have you been baking?"
"Since I was little, with my parents. And I've been decorating cakes since high school," replied Cioffi, who lived in Sharon until fifth grade, and danced and taught at Sharon's , according to her grandmother, Louise O'Brien. Cioffi's mother, Marie Cioffi, teaches math at , O'Brien added.
Emily Cioffi said her cake is lopsided intentionally.
"It's actually quite stable. And it won't usually fall over," she said.
Stewart asked, "Are you thinking about being a professional cake decorator?"
"I've thought about it," Cioffi replied, but said she hoped to attend medical school.
Stewart said all three cakes were "amazing" and "original and creative."
However, "it always comes down to taste for me," she said.
"Congratulations," Stewart told Cioffi.
"And keep up with your baking, despite the medicine. Medicine is good too, but you can always pay for medical school."
Share your favorite birthday cake recipes in the comments section.