Halloween Baking Championship recap: Vampire buffets are spooky feasts

Judges Zac Young , Carla Hall and Stephanie Boswell, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network
Judges Zac Young , Carla Hall and Stephanie Boswell, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network /

In this week’s Halloween Baking Championship, the bakers’ buffet needed to satisfy hungry vampires.

As the bakers move into another haunted room, Halloween Baking Championship takes another turn that is even more frightening, the dreaded team challenge. While the pair of Food Network bakers must create a vampire buffet, this episode’s desserts might never see the light of day.

Team challenges are always tricky on Halloween Baking Championship. While everyone seems to have good spirits, no one wants to go home based on a teammate’s mistake. Sometimes you are only as good as the luck of the draw.

Overall, the teams created both visually interesting and flavor forward vampire buffets. Although there were a few questionable choices, the majority of the desserts worked.

Of course, every episode has two twists this season. The flavor twist was to incorporate black garlic. While this ingredient offers a nuanced flavor in savory cooking, the fermented garlic didn’t go over well with the bakers. Many bakers had never used the ingredient before. Luckily, the black garlic didn’t burn their tongue, but it did lead to questionable desserts.

The second twist was to include an edible coffin. While no one used pretzel rods to bonded together with chocolate, a few coffins might have been purchased at the bargain store. They were starting to decay before even being put into use.

Halloween Baking Championship
Contestant Sinai Vespie process, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network /

The most successful team this week was Sinai and Michelle. After last week’s bottom finish for Sinai, she surged to the top.

The reason why this team received the big accolades was because they stuck to what they knew. They went with desserts and flavors that they knew delivered. While still sticking to the theme, they were smart with their dessert choices.

Sometimes, Halloween Baking Championship is about being strategic. When it comes to a vampire buffet, the desserts can be disguised to have a dark, sinister feel. At the same time, the flavors can be similar to popular plated desserts.

Who says that a cheesecake can’t be dressed up to look like a vampire? It’s like a Halloween costume for desserts.

Winning this week’s challenge was Sinai. She had the best use of the black garlic with her shortbread jam cookie. Overall, her desserts delivered on flavor and wowed the judges. It goes to show that flavor always wins in this Food Network competition.

Other bakers had both highs and lows in this challenge. The two previous winners, Renee and Aaron did well, but they had a few issues.

Their coffin was busted, and their flavors were slightly askew. Instead of having some savory with the sweet, too many treats were just sugar forward. While vampires might gorge on blood, sometimes they need a palate cleanser.

Halloween Baking Championship
Contestants Tamara Brown and Michael Gaddy speak with Host Carla Hall, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network /

Michael and Tamara had a few issues but we able to move into the next challenge. Michael’s design choices needed to stay in the cellar. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the judges totally misread his ideas. Someone should have given the judges blindfolds when eating.

The bottom pair were Holly and Brian. Holly had done well in previous challenges. In this Halloween Baking Championship episode, she committed a cardinal sin, using premade dough for a pie.

Her choice to use phyllo dough was a mistake. In addition to the filling oozing out the sides, the judges do not want to see shortcuts. They expect more.

Also, Brian faltered in this challenge. While he was a top choice last week, he seemed frazzled again, like in the first episode.

Additionally, he is getting labeled in the competition. While adding a little booze to a dessert can be nice, it can’t be his only type of dessert. Boozy dessert after boozy dessert can get the judges a little punchy.


Lastly, this team’s coffin was a huge misstep. Baking phyllo dough into a rectangle is not creative enough for Halloween Baking Championship. With so many options, the team could have done more. Then again, it was better than a pretzel fence.

Given the phyllo dough choice, pie filling issue and overall lack of direction, Holly was sent home this week. If Brian doesn’t show some sober desserts next week, he might be the next to go.

What did you think of this week’s Halloween Baking Championship? Are these bakers going to survive journeying through Food Network’s haunted house?

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What is your favorite Halloween dessert? Would you make any of the desserts from this episode?