When was the last time you were giddy looking at a regular-size cake? The way the latest trend in desserts is going — arrivederci gelato, we hardly knew you Krispy Kreme — bakeries specializing in cupcakes will be popping up in every neighborhood faster than Pinkberry. Until then, haul your taste buds over to the Nesquik Cupcake Challenge, where two dozen SoCal bakeries, restaurants and caterers from downtown and Long Beach to Santa Barbara compete for batter-covered bragging rights. Last year's sold-out event attracted nearly 500 lovers of moist, frosted goodness, who, along with a panel of judges, voted on such exotic flavors as blood-orange mango creamsicle, chocolate with orange and Jack Daniel's frosting and sweet potato pie. Remember, pace yourself, and bring a wide purse for smuggling.

Sat., Feb. 20, 4-7 p.m., 2010

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