Baking Contests

If baking delectable desserts isn’t reward enough, how about getting paid for your dessert creations?  Well, you can, if you win a baking contest.

And as you’ll see, these baking contests award very appealing prizes.

Pillsbury Bake-Off

2013 ushers in the 46th Bake-Off

The Pillsbury Bake-Off is the biggest baking contest and its very generous prizes might even tempt non-bakers to pick up rolling pins.  The grand prize winner is awarded $1,000,000 plus GE appliances.  The second and third prize winners don’t walk away empty handed; they receive $10,000 and $5,000, respectively, plus GE appliances.  Sponsor awards sweeten the pot.

Contestants compete in one of these three categories:

  • Simple Sweets and Starters (baked goods account for the majority of grand prize winners)
  • Amazing Doable Dinners
  • Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts


Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Recipes must: include seven ingredients or less; take 30 minutes or less of preparation time; and use two different eligible products (from a long list of products).  While contestants’ creativity is therefore somewhat limited, a very interesting sounding “Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream” recipe took the grand prize in 2012.

The book, “Cookoff:  Recipe Fever in America” by Amy Sutherland is a fascinating look at a number of cooking contests/contesters, including the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Scharffen Berger’s Chocolate Adventure Contest

Starts in October 2013

The grand prize winner takes home $25,000 (plus chocolate, cookies, and a book) and each of the 10 honorees receives an iPad.  There’s one category – sandwich cookies.  Not surprisingly, contestants must use Scharffen Berger chocolate. In 2012, at least one of these 12 “adventure ingredients” also had to be incorporated into the recipe:

  • Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tapioca or Tapioca Flour
  • Tequila
  • Banana
  • Chili Pepper
  • Pine Nuts
  • Corn Meal
  • Sumatra Coffee
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Yerba Mate Tea
  • Cacao Nibs


Margarita Moon Pies

Margarita Moon Pies

“Margarita Moon Pies” received the grand prize in 2012 and the “adventure ingredients” used were tequila and chili pepper.

The American Baking Competition

Summer of 2013

The winner receives $250,000 in addition to a cookbook contract.  It’s not a traditional baking contest.  Rather, it’s a reality TV show.  Each week the group of amateur bakers is presented with three baking challenges: “Signature Bake,” Technical Bake,” and “Showstopper Bake” and one contestant is eliminated each week.

Do you know of other baking contests with lavish awards?  Please let us know.


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