Friday, February 23, 2024

Mint chocolate cupcakes with candied mint leaves are among the fares available at Harvard Square’s Crema Cafe. The cafe’s chefs appear on Sunday’s episode of “Cupcake Wars” on The Food Network. (Photos: Crema Cafe)

Crema chefs Meghan Coleman, left, and Gwen Rogers.

No spoilers here: To know how Harvard Square’s Crema Cafe stacks up against the competition on Sunday’s episode of “Cupcake Wars,” you have to watch.

Chef Meghan Coleman and her fellow competitor, chef Gwen Rogers, can’t say. They can’t even say when the Los Angeles filming of the show took place.

“The Food Network is very strict,” Coleman said. The network didn’t even let Crema Cafe start publicizing its chefs’ appearance until this week. “People have to watch and see what happens.”

All that’s known is that after judging Kristin Cavallari for her love triangle with Stephen and Lauren in a few episodes of “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” Coleman got to be judged by Cavallari in Crema’s “Cupcake Wars” episode, “Kristin Cavallari’s Baby Shower.”

“We met her. She was very nice,” Coleman said of Cavallari, who began appearing on the MTV reality show when she was a junior in high school and has managed to stay in the public eye via “The Hills,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “Get This Party Started” and now — after appearances in dramatic television and film roles — is back on reality television in a very different way: as the guest judge of cupcakes baked ostensibly for use in the shower for her baby, Camden Jack, to whom she gave birth today.

“I don’t expect to hear from her,” Coleman quipped.

The show gives bakers “Iron Chef”-style challenges, meaning they’re asked to use exotic or atypical surprise ingredients such as oysters or nacho cheese in the first round of competition. “The list of ingredients included some kind of wacky ones. We used some of the tamer, but definitely more savory, ingredients in our cupcakes for the first round,” she said.

Rogers and she knew what to expect going in, Coleman said. They’d watched the show and sent their exploratory e-mail and audition tape conscious of the challenges and curious to see how they’d stack up against bakers who all cupcakes, all the time.

“Crema is a full-service bakery and cafe, so cupcakes are only a small portion of what we do. It was an honor to compete against people who focus mainly on cupcakes,” she said. “I believe it came in handy, because we’re used to working with different types of ingredients. The way that our kitchen is run, we use a lot of fresh ingredients that come in, and what looks great at the market we’ll wind up incorporating into a dessert. We’re used to working on the fly and working in a very fast-paced, crazy environment.”

Recipes made on the show will be baked and for sale Sunday, the day the show airs, but will also rotate through the cafe’s shelves over the month — produced by the chefs without the craziness of competition.

“It was a lot of fun and really great to be in the position to see what we could do under those conditions,” Coleman said.

The show is broadcast at 8 p.m. Sunday on The Food Network. There is no official viewing party set up in Cambridge, but Crema fans can follow the buzz via the Twitter hashtag #cupcakewars.

Update: The Crema crew is saying on its Facebook page that a “casual hangout” to watch the show is planned for 8 p.m. at the terrace bar of Harvard Square’s Legal Seafoods, 20 University Road (in the courtyard of the Charles Hotel).