Two Arkansans Compete in Ultimate Cook-Off Series on NBC Today

NEW YORK, N.Y. - In the final installment of TODAY's Ultimate Cook-Off series, two finalists met up to compete for the best dessert recipe. Unbeknownst to them, they were both from Arkansas. 

The contestants and their recipes

Andrea Aaron from Heber Springs is a mother of five and a writer for a country music news website. Her tasty cupcakes are flavored with fresh banana, frosted with caramel buttercream and served with vanilla bean ice cream. She thinks the best — and only way — to eat a cupcake is upside down.

"This recipe is a unique twist on three summertime favorites: banana splits, cupcakes and ice cream," says Aaron. "The bottom of the cupcakes makes the perfect platform for a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream with a drizzle of caramel sauce."

Diane Roark from Little Rock is also a mother of five and a writer for two blogs. Her decadent, chocolaty cake is loaded with caramel sauce, whipped topping and crunchy candy. She loves cooking and baking for her family.

"This dessert is so delicious and easy to make because it uses boxed cake mix," says Roark. "Butterfinger is one of my favorite candy bars. When I found a bag of crushed Butterfingers, I immediately grabbed it and tossed it into my shopping cart. I knew right then I was going to make something great with it."

And the winner is...

Andrea Tiffany Aaron's Upside-Down Caramel Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice Cream! Ellie and Dylan were pretty torn, but ultimately, because Andrea's cupcakes had a "nice pop of texture" with the toffee bits, according to Dylan, they won!

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