FARMINGTON – Young chefs gathered at the Sycamore Park Community Center on Saturday to show off their skills decorating cupcakes.

The annual Cupcake Wars and Craft Fair challenges children to create masterpieces that are then judged on presentation and taste.

Rebecca Aranda, 8, eagerly awaited the chance to show off her skills. When she first watched the cupcake wars about three years ago, she wanted to participate, but her family wanted her to wait until she was older. She said she had a hard time sleeping Friday night because of her excitement and nervousness.

"We've been practicing this a lot," she said as she applied frosting to the cupcakes with the help of her grandmother, Lydia Aranda, and her cousin, Christine Chavez, 16.

The family decided to decorate the cupcakes based on the Pixar movie "Inside Out."

"She loved the movie, so we just went along with it," Chavez explained.

The cupcakes were decorated to resemble characters from the movie, including Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Bing Bong. Each character had a distinct flavor. For example, the cupcakes that were decorated to resemble Joy had a lemon flavor, while the cupcakes representing fear were grape flavored.

On the other side of the room, Annabella Roberts, 9, had a similar Disney theme for her cupcakes, which she made to resemble Mickey Mouse ears. Annabella said she makes cupcakes almost every day.

"I like giving them out because I like seeing people smile," she said, explaining that she frequently gives her neighbors and family members cupcakes.

Other children wanted a more Valentine's Day type display.

Taylah Steerman, 17, and her neighbors, Devyn Erickson, 9, and Chase Erickson, 7, chose the theme "First Love." Chase Erickson carefully dipped cherries in chocolate and helped place them on the pink frosting on the cupcakes in front of a sign that his sister, Devyn, designed.

The Erickson children and their neighbor voted on the cupcakes they would make while looking through a cookbook Steerman owns.

"She has a book on how to make them, and she says this is her favorite and she makes it all the time," Devyn said.

At another table, Karime Delgado, 11, and her sister, Yari Delgado, 10, created a fashion display of cupcakes in front of the Eiffel Tower. The red velvet cupcakes included stilettos and cupcakes decorated with purses and bows.

The sisters chose a Parisian look because of Valentine's Day.

"They call it the city of love," Yari said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.