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20 Best Bakeries in America 2016 (Slideshow)

20 Best Bakeries in America 2016 (Slideshow)


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Looking for the best baked goods in America? Try any of these 20 brilliant bakeries

#20 Maison Kayser, New York City

French chef Eric Kayser opened Maison Kayser in Paris in 1996, and he now has more than 100 bakeries around the world in 13 countries, with all the U.S. locations currently located in New York City. Try their pain au chocolat, or even better, their plié au chocolat, which has a filling of pastry cream and many tiny chocolate chips that make the strip of chocolate in pains au chocolat seem stingy. And then there are the pistachio financiers, cake-like cookies, nutty multigrain baguettes, olive bread with shiny chunks of real green and Kalamata olives, and other delicacies that will transport you to Paris in a single bite.

Speaking of Paris, did you hear about the city’s meat-dispensing vending machine. Click here for the weird details.

#19 Sullivan Street Bakery, New York City

#18 Liliha Bakery, Honolulu

Liliha Bakery opened in 1950, selling butter rolls, glazed doughnuts, dobash (chocolate) and haupia (coconut) cake, and more to Hawaii’s community. Liliha is known for its coco puff, which debuted in 1970 without much success, but made a comeback in 1990 when now-retired baker Kame Ikemura tweaked the recipe. The coco puff is filled with chocolate pudding and topped with Hawaiian Chantilly cream. You can also pick up traditional raised doughnuts, pineapple cakes, brioche rolls, and assorted Danish pastries.

Looking for a non-dessert meal in Hawaii? Click here for the eight best restaurants in Hawaii.

#17 Sweet by Holly, Orlando

#16 3 Brothers Bakery, Houston

#15 SusieCakes, California (Various locations) & Dallas

#14 Buzz Bakeshop, Alexandria, Va.

A bakery that serves booze? Sign us up! Buzz Bakeshop, located in Alexandria, Virginia, is built on the simple belief in quality, tasty products. Enjoy their signature items like scones and biscuits, warm cinnamon rolls, and the irresistible “9:30 Cupcake,” a treat inspired by the Hostess chocolate cupcake, filled with vanilla buttercream, and topped with a chocolate ganache frosting — which is then all dipped in chocolate. Afterward, grab a brew or a glass of wine and relax with your dessert.

Want more info on Virginia wines? Click here to read about the state’s recent Wine Summit.

#13 Flour Bakery + Café, Boston

Flour Bakery’s "eat dessert first" motto is hard to disagree with when it comes to their freshly baked pastries, cookies, tarts, and more. Owner and pastry chef Joanne Chang has been bringing America’s sweet comfort foods to the next level since 2000. Start your morning with a cinnamon cream brioche topped with crème fraîche and cinnamon sugar or an old-fashioned sour cream coffee cake, rich with brown sugar-pecan cinnamon swirl. If you’re just in the mood for a sweet nibble, try a customer favorite: the Chunky Lola cookie, made with oats, chocolate, coconut, and toasted pecans.

The Boston Marathon runners likely don’t frequent this shop, but click here to find out how they do eat.

#12 City Bakery, New York City

#11 Butter Lane, New York City

#10 Baked, New York City

With the goal of opening a “great American bakery that is not a cupcake shop,” owners Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito left their lives in the advertising world to pursue the confectionary dream now known as Baked. This Brooklyn-based bakery, which also has a location in Manhattan, features breads and pastries that represent the wide range of baking styles across America. Their original items, like “Brooksters” — deep, dark, brownie-based tarts filled with chocolate chunk cookie batter — are made with a rigorous attention to detail and a lot of passion.

Since Baked isn’t a cupcake shop, you might want to peruse this list of the 101 best cupcakes in America.

#9 Amy’s Bread, New York City

Amy’s Bread delivers handcrafted breads that are made through slow fermentation and traditional baking methods. Don’t let the name fool you, though: This bakery is good for more than just bread. Their yellow cake with pink buttercream frosting puts any yellow cake mix to shame. They have been serving New York since 1992, proving that American-style bakeries are on equal footing with their more ooh-la-la French equivalents.

Did you know you can make bread in your microwave? Click here to find out how.

#8 Bouchon Bakery, Various locations

Chef and owner Thomas Keller, inspired by Parisian boulangeries, decided to open Bouchon Bakery next to Yountville, California’s Bouchon Bistro — much to our pleasure. Now, there are also locations in Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, and New York City, where you’ll find the works: macarons in vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, caramel, and seasonal flavors, as well as breads, cookies, and other seasonal sweets. A bite into their chocolate chip cookie will forever reshape how you think of chocolate chip cookies.

Want to know the secret for making the perfect chocolate chip cookies? Click here.

#7 Dominique Ansel, New York City

Dominique Ansel’s eponymous bakery in New York City's Soho neighborhood has garnered wide attention since it opened, especially for the innovative (and long-line legend) cronut, which has inspired plenty of copycats across the world — but Ansel is no one-hit wonder. In 2014, he created the cookie cup, a dense and delicious cookie that could actually hold milk, and he continues to innovate and turn out picture-perfect examples of classic pastries.

Click here to learn how to make your own cronuts at home.

#6 Grand Central Bakery, Portland, Ore., and Seattle

Since 1989, Grand Central Bakery has been making rustic artisan breads that make every meal better. The goldenale, an old-fashioned pan loaf flecked with whole wheat flour (available in Portland only), is a hearty and homey bread, while the campagnolo, made with a touch of honey, is perfect for sandwiches. Don’t forget to check out their flaky pastries as well.

#5 Tartine Bakery, San Francisco

Tartine (which means “buttered bread” in French) was opened by James Beard Award-winning chefs Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson in 2002 and excels at both breads and pastries. Their baked goods are just as delicious as they are picture-perfect. While the classic breads — available in a variety of flavors and styles — are most notable, the shop also excels at Mexican wedding cookies and pain au jambon, a smoked ham and Gruyère pastry.

Click here for a list of the 2016 James Beard Award winners.

#4 Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, New York City

They don’t call him the “S-veet (Sweet) Genius” for nothing! You may know passionate baker Ron Ben-Israel from his Food Network cut-throat baking show Sweet Genius, but while he is a guru of all things sweet, his main focus is on gorgeous and elaborate cakes. Growing up fascinated by his mother’s skills in the kitchen, Ben-Israel’s eponymous bakery currently makes some of the most delicious and decadent cakes out there, with every detail building toward a grander, bigger picture.

Click here for a virtual tour of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes.

#3 François Payard Bakery, New York City

With three François Payard Bakery locations throughout New York City, New Yorkers know this is the place to go when they’re craving a delicate and perfected French macaron in all its colorful glory. Patrons can also enjoy goods from a robust selection of organic artisanal breads that range from pretzel morissettes to chocolate bread.

Click here for some surprising facts about macarons.

#2 Levain Bakery, New York City and Wainscott, N.Y.

Levain Bakery’s moist and decadent cookies, which come in tried-and-true flavors like oatmeal raisin and dark peanut butter chip, are one of those foods you cannot leave New York (or the Hamptons!) without tasting. Other unbelievable baked-in-house goods include chocolate chip brioche and rustic fruit tarts, and a selection of French-style breads, such as baguettes and country boules.

Click here for 14 essential French foods to know.

#1 Momofuku Milk Bar, New York City

When it comes to bakeries, people tend to favor the traditional, using a few key ingredients to make classics taste comforting and familiar. Not Momofuku Milk Bar; They make bold and brave decisions with their pastries that actually work. Take their chocolate chip layer cake, for example, which sounds simple enough, but incorporates coffee and passionfruit. The result is so surprising yet pleasant that you can’t help but smile with every bite. Their “crack pie,” a buttery pie that’s basically as addictive as its name implies, is one of the most sought-after desserts at this bakery. They also offer savory pastries like the volcano, loaded with potato gratin, caramelized onions, pancetta, Benton’s bacon, and Gruyère.

Momofuku and Milk Bar locations are opening in Las Vegas later this year. Click here for details.


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


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