Wedding Cake Championship: Ready for a little puppet love?


On the Wedding Cake Championship Season 2 premiere, the six baking duos set out to impress the judges. But did one playful wedding cake miss the mark?

Wedding Cake Championship Season 2 is back on Food Network. With six talented baking duos vying for the title and cash prize, the competition is quite heated. Which baking duo will find a way to please the client and win over the judges? The first episode could give a glimpse of a potential winner.

Similar to last season’s Wedding Cake Championship, the baking duos compete in two challenges per episode. Winning the cake topper challenge gives a team an advantage. The team losing the cake round is eliminated.

Like last year, the baking duos are competing in a tent. This scenario isn’t ideal for creating beautiful cakes. Even in the first challenge, several bakers seemed to struggle under the conditions.

For the first cake topper challenge, the baking duos needed to be inspired by a city of love. The theme wasn’t necessarily a particular city. Rather, it was a city that represented love to the team.

Overall, the first challenge was a little wonky. Some teams seemed to grasp the theme while other teams took a lot of artistic license in the interpretation. Overall, the cake topper challenge was slightly confusing.

Contestants Leila Shook and Cory Jong with Hosts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, during the Topper Round, City of Love Topper, as seen on Wedding Cake Championship, Season 2. photo provided by Food Network

For a team to have a successful cake topper, it needs to convey the theme and have visual impact. Some cake toppers didn’t have height, others lacked detail and others were just strange. Sometimes sticking to traditional, universal themes (especially on the first challenge) might have been beneficial.

Additionally, few of the cake toppers had height. If these cake toppers needed to have an impact from across the room, the designs needed a little more punch. Then again, I could never imagine making these decorations in such a limited amount of time.

Winning the first cake topper challenge was Ida and Hemu. Their cityscape with the couple sitting in the park was adorable. Comparatively to the other cake toppers it was the strongest submission. Their advantage was an exclusive table filled with unique fruit.

While the show didn’t say all the exotic fruit on the table, it appeared to have starfruit, figs, pear and much more. Given all those choices, it was a little disappointing that they chose passion fruit syrup. They could have pushed on flavor a lot more.

For the cake challenge, the baking duos have to create a wedding cake for a couple who are puppeteers. The cake needed to be an elegant, traditional, flower covered cake with puppets and featuring fruit flavors. No ever said that these Food Network challenges would be easy.

Since this wedding cake challenge was the first one of the season, the baking duos needed to be smart. No one ever wants to be the first team eliminated. At the same time, no one wants to play it safe. The right balance is key.

In some ways, this theme was quite difficult for the first challenge. Creating puppet figures takes a lot of skill. Add to that the totally opposite idea of an elegant buttercream cake with flowers is a tall task. Given the five hour time frame and the hot tent, these baking duo did well under the circumstances.

Hosts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir with Contestants Dana Iannelli, Cara Albertelli, Ida Sunday, Hemu Basu, Robin Cates, Shelby Bower, Traci Rankins, Erik Rankins, Courtney Olivari, Ebonie Carzo, Leila Shook, and Cory Jong, during the Cake Round, Wedding Cake For Andrea and Jared, as seen on Wedding Cake Championship, Season 2. photo provided by Food Network

One team succeeded in finding that balance, making the cake unique for the couple and delivering on the big fruit flavors. Dana and Cara won the first challenge.

Their rotating cake had the elegance that the bride wanted and the theatrical whimsy of the puppets for the groom. It was a perfect representation of the couple.

More importantly, the cake was delicious. It brought all the fruit flavors in every bite. While a few other cakes did well, this wedding cake was the one that delivered on all counts.

While no one wants a disaster to happen, the cake disaster is always a big moment in these baking competitions. It was surprising that the first challenge had a cake disaster. The hardest part was that the cake was fine at the end of time, then it collapsed. It was so sad.

Even though many wedding cakes had mis-steps, the first team eliminated was Cory and Leila. In addition to their puppets falling off the cake, the cake itself didn’t deliver on flavors. It wasn’t fruit forward enough.

Based on the first episode of the new Wedding Cake Championship season, it will be curious to see if a team can emerge from the group. All the baking duos are talented, but it appears that they need smarter choices. Execution is the word to remember.

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What did you think of the Wedding Cake Championship Season 2 premiere? Do you think that there will be more cake disasters this season?