Professional bakers are going head-to-head with amateur chefs in the latest culinary craze: monthly cupcake-offs.The Iron Cupcake event debuted in the US and launched in the UK earlier this summer, encouraging entrants to bake cupcakes with a theme or key ingredient.Everyone who comes to the event takes part in a mass sampling and votes for their favourite. All entries are photographed and published on the ironcupcake.co.uk website so bakers can promote their cakes.Competitions are open to both professional and amateur bakers, and pro bakers entering the bake-offs so far have included the Gourmet Cupcake Co, Baked by Ellie, and PMT Cupcakes. Said organiser Paul Taylor: “We are the first Iron Cupcake franchise outside of the US and in the four events run so far have been amazed at the response and enthusiasm shown. Our last event had nearly 100 attendees and 34 variants of cupcake. Some are professional bakers, but they don’t always win – however, we are thinking of running a pro only event soon.”A matcha (finely powdered green tea) and chocolate cupcake filled with a bean paste mousse topped off with matcha cream cheese frosting, won the last event. The fifth challenge will be held on Monday 5 October at a venue to be confirmed, with the theme of ‘booze’.