Allentown woman competing on Food Network's 'Gingerbread Showdown'

Jennifer Sheehan

Being on TV is a tremendous opportunity. But having fun while doing it is the icing on the cake, or in this case, the gingerbread house.

Stephanie White Kappel of Allentown will continue her efforts to win Food Network’s “Holiday Gingerbread Showdown” when she appears in round three on the next episode of the show, 9 p.m. Sunday.

At stake: Bragging rights, a $25,000 prize and a feature in Food Network Magazine.

The show’s premise: Three bakers compete against each other, creating over-the-top gingerbread structures and showpieces. But of course, it’s not that simple. The contestants are presented with twists along the way to up the ante. The show is hosted by Marcela Valladolid and the gingerbread masterpieces are judged by Kerry Vincent (a familiar face from “Food Network Challenge”), Molly Yeh and Adam Young.

Kappel is the owner and cookie artist at The Hungry Hippopotamus, an online cookie art business. A look through her website and you’ll see she treats cookies as delicious pieces of art. (No wonder she was picked to be on this show.) She takes custom orders through her website, and teaches hands-on decorating classes all over the US and abroad.

Kappel made it through the two rounds so far. In the first episode, Kappel and two other bakers had the theme “naughty or nice” for their gingerbread showcases. But as the show progressed, they were asked to create an edible holiday treat that also a functional part of the display.

In the second episode, Kappel and the other contestants had to create a gingerbread "North Pole," but then once again, they got a twist where they had to create a delicious holiday treat that’s part of the structure and theme.

Sunday’s episode, the third round, will have the baker contestants competing to create the best gingerbread scene inspired by the holiday comedy “Elf.” Winners will move on to the final round, which will air at 9 p.m. Dec. 16.

Of course competing on TV under creative and challenging circumstances isn’t easy, but Kappel said she enjoyed it.

“Being on the show was an amazing experience,” said Kappel. “I am so excited and humbled to be able to share my art on a national stage. “

Her “Holiday Gingerbread Showdown” experience was her first time competing on TV but she says she learned a lot.

“I've been making cookies for about 10 years, but this was my first cookie competition,” Kappel said. “It can be hard to put yourself out there and have people critique you and your art. It was an amazing experience that helped me to grow both personally and professionally. I would most certainly welcome the opportunity to do it again.”


How to watch

* What: "Holday Gingerbread Showdown," featuring contestant and Allentown resident Stephanie White Kappel,

* When: 9 p.m. Dec. 9

* Where: Food Network

Twitter @jenwsheehan