Winner Cake All episode review: Michael Symon needs a cake


Ready for this week’s Winner Cake All episode review? In this episode, Michael Symon needs a cake to celebrate this Las Vegas restaurant opening.

Another Winner Cake All episode review has cake fans ready to roll the dice on another confectionary creation. For this week’s episode, the VIP client is, celebrity chef and Iron Chef, Michael Symon. The big cake will be used to celebrate Symon’s opening of his new Las Vegas restaurant, Mabel’s Las Vegas.

Before the VIP client is revealed, the four baking teams need to tackle the cake topper challenge. This decoration challenge has a relatively straight forward theme. The decoration needs to represent a wild night on the Las Vegas strip. While everyone wants a winning decoration, one baking team seemed to have hit the skids.

Looking at this week’s cake decorations, the preliminary heat was slightly underwhelming. In previous weeks, the bakers had tall, detailed designs. This week’s cake toppers were a little blah. For a Las Vegas theme, they seemed to miss the glitz and glamour of Vegas Baby.

The two top cake decorations were made by Yanett and Jenna and Rachel and Samantha. Yanett and Jenna represented the theme most clearly. Their showgirl, using sanding sugar, really stood out as a cake topper. Although the design was two dimensional, it really was eye catching.

Rachel and Samantha showed their technical ability in their cake topper. While the limo bachelorette party didn’t scream Las Vegas, the design was very well made.

The bottom two teams were Melody and Luis and Melanie and Brittany. Melody and Luis had several good elements to their cake topper, but the showgirl didn’t capture the glamour. Her proportions (and her face) were a little off. But, these errors weren’t as bad as Melanie and Brittany.

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Unfortunately, Melanie and Brittany had a big technical error that just couldn’t be overlooked. With thin fondant, their slot machine had holes. Granted they did pull a cake decoration together in the final 10 minutes, the time got away from them. Although they tried to cover the mistakes, the cake decoration was just too far gone to avoid elimination. This team wouldn’t be moving on to the final round.

For the big challenge, the three baking teams had to create a show-stopping cake to celebration the opening of Michael Symon’s Las Vegas Restaurant Mabel’s. Since Symon loves everything meat (he does have a book titled Carnivore), this cake should reflect the barbecue restaurant, its menu and the rustic charm associated with the restaurant.

Additionally, Symon wants a cake isn’t too sweet. Like a lot of chefs (and similar to the Guy Fieri Winner Cake All episode), chefs prefer desserts that aren’t a sugar bomb. Lastly, the preferred cake flavors are coconut and banana. This cake is definitely a tall order for these baking teams.

All three cakes definitely were ambitious undertakings for this week’s Winner Cake All episode review. From pig waiters to bourbon barrels, all three times seem to capture the barbecue idea. The differences came down to the cakes flavors, themselves.

For the most realistic cake, Melody and Luis definitely had an edge. Their cake “food” was spectacular. Although there was no nod to Las Vegas, they captured the barbecue element.
Judges Dan Langan and Kimberly Bailey, with client Michael Symon, during judging of the cake challenge, as seen on Winner Cake All, Season 1. photo provided by Food Network
While the decorative elements shined, one layer of their cake was under-baked. Additionally, the vanilla flavor was very bold. Symon liked the flavor, but the other judges seemed underwhelmed.

For their vanilla cake, these bakers used a vanilla powder. With a dark color, the vanilla powder was a little overdone. Still, the concept of vanilla powder is quite interesting. It is curious why more bakers don’t use this ingredient versus vanilla extract.

Rachel and Samantha had the most flavors in their cake. While they had a technical baking flaw (a bubbly cake isn’t a good idea). Does anyone know why the cake bubbled? A guess could be that the cake had too much butter.

Although the density of the cake was off, the cake did have layered flavors. Caramelized pecans, sour cream layer and bananas, really boosted the flavor and kept the cake from being too sweet.

While the pig with his spilt beer bottle was adorable, the cake decoration had some issues. The logo was incorrectly sized (and possibly spelled wrong). Still, some elements were quite impressive.

Lastly, Jenna and Yannet had the most visually appealing cake. Their Mr. Big Pig had great movement and attention to details. From the pig’s proportion to the curl of his ear, those little details were quite impressive.

Unfortunately, Jenna and Yannet made a huge error in their cake itself. In these baking competitions, extracts aren’t a smart choice. Too often, judges are turned off by artificial flavors. While the banana pudding and coconut cream cheese layers could work, the artificial coconut flavor was a little too fake. If they had added some toasted coconut flakes, they would have had a better cake.

In this Winner Cake All episode review, the winning bakers were Rachel and Samantha. Even though their cake wasn’t perfect, it was the best cake of the bunch.

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Did Michael Symon and the judges on Winner Cake All make the right decision? What did you think of this week’s episode?