If your heart connects with the evident joy, creativity, and surplus of sugar associated with baking competition shows, it's just too bad that there aren't many to choose from. Just kidding. Have you ever turned on Food Network? The popular food-centric cable channel is chock-full of baking reality competition series, which all deserve an A+ for positive vibes and comfort viewing. From Holiday Wars to The Big Bake, the channel's catalog of saccharine competition shows is overstuffed.
We've barely scratched the icing-coated surface of Food Network's darlings, but of the many produced, The Big Bake — which premiered in 2019 — will surely enchant you. Hosted by former CFL wide receiver Brad Smith, The Big Bake has seen pro baking teams race to design, bake, and decorate enormous sculptural cakes. Did we mention they only have five hours? As you can imagine, the stress levels are as tall as the cakes. So, what grand prize are these talented bakers competing for?
What grand prize do 'The Big Bake' winners get?
Like many smaller competition shows, the grand prize offered by The Big Bake is only semi-sweet. This isn't The Voice or RuPaul's Drag Race, both of which boast a $100,000 prize.
The Big Bake winners get a measly $10,000 for their grandiose efforts. Shows like Food Network's The Big Bake and Netflix's Blown Away offer less in terms of prize money, but the televised publicity is priceless for the future of their careers.
Blown Away and Blown Away: Christmas contestant Alexander Rosenberg opened up about how his experience on Netflix's glassblowing competition series changed his business. "The really life-changing thing about it is just more of an opportunity to sell stuff that I do. I’ve never really been able to support myself just by making things," he told Hey Alma. "I just take a picture, put it on Instagram, say this is on sale, and somebody buys it."
Before Blown Away, Alexander was struggling to pay his bills.
What are the challenges like on 'The Big Bake'?
With a killer judging panel featuring Harry Eastwood, Yolanda Gampp, and Eddie Jackson — all of whom are prestigious chefs and bakers — The Big Bake does not play around.
Currently related to the wintery holiday season, many challenge prompts push the baking teams to the edge of creativity and to think "outside the bakery box," as Food Network puts it. Because simply baking a life-size Christmas tree cake would be too darn easy.
To paint the picture, one challenge prompted the hardworking teams to "capture all of the covert mischief that toys get up to when no one's watching," while another prompted them to "create cakes of Santa's lesser known, but definitely more fun, ride." We're currently picturing Saint Nick on a cake motorcycle.
This isn't Nailed It!; the final pieces are extraordinary creations sculpted from a bunch of sugar and flour. There's no room for confectionary catastrophes on The Big Bake.
The Big Bake airs Mondays at 11 p.m. EST on Food Network.