Halloween Baking Championship recap: Creative costumes tell a story

Carla, Zac and Stephanie at tables during elimination, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network
Carla, Zac and Stephanie at tables during elimination, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network /

On this Halloween Baking Championship episode, creativity is on display.

As everyone has seen, Halloween Baking Championship has been very different this season. From traveling from haunted house room to room, the themes and single challenges have brought a different twist to the Food Network baking competition. In some cases, it has pushed the bakers’ creativity.

For this episode’s theme, the bakers had to create a costume for a costume ball. That costume then became their inspiration for their cake. While some bakers pushed the creativity, a few bakers should have gone back to the drawing board.

In addition to the costume element, the bakers had two twists. First, they had to incorporate rum into the cake. This twist was not overly difficult. Although, Brian might have wished that he was still in the competition.

Second, each cake had to include a decorative accessory that fit with the costume. If the bakers didn’t see this twist coming, they were remiss. While this idea is similar to a previous challenge twist, it wasn’t too difficult.

Has anyone wondered why the dagger challenge never returned? That twist in episode one was just a single event. It is curious why there have been no advantages the remainder of the season.

Since a place in the finale was on the line, the bakers seemed to walk a fine line of playing it safe yet pushing their creativity. Just because they could have designed any imaginable costume doesn’t mean that the idea would translate to a cake. The execution has to be on point, or the cake doesn’t work.

Additionally, these costume cakes were more on the sweet and sassy side versus the dark and scary version of Halloween. Previously, Halloween Baking Championship winners have brought extreme cakes to the judging table. From realistic hearts to scary characters, the fright was as bold as the flavor.

This season seems to be more about the approachable. From flavors to décor, there is a more delicate hand. Maybe the real world is scary enough.

Looking at all the bakers’ costume ideas, they are very different. The most interesting choice was Aaron’s school girl. That plague mask was more timely than anyone could have realized.

Zac Young on Halloween Baking Championship
Zac interacting with Renee, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network /

Overall, the bakers seemed to interpret their costumes into cakes well. Did anyone catch how Zac encouraged Renee to rethink her design yet Sinai’s cat costume cake didn’t receive the same feedback? For Renee, it was a good thing that her cake was different and stood out.

Clearly, Renee had the most successful cake. Given the time frame and her cake design, the almost exact replica of her costume was sublime. That unicorn princess cake would be perfect not only for the Halloween Baking Championship but also for birthday parties and more.

For both the interpretation of the theme and a great cake, Renee was clearly the winner. Although she did skimp on the rum, it can be understood. Unicorn princesses probably don’t drink the spiked punch at the costume ball.

Sinai had a nice cat inspired cake. The leopard print stood out and her flavors worked well. Even though a few of the judges thought that there was a touch too much rum, she made the finale. Maybe her cake had a bigger Scary Spice influence than just a pretty cat.

Carla Hall on Halloween Baking Championship
Carla interacting with Sinai, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network /

Aaron had an interesting interpretation of the schoolgirl. Although he could have pushed the décor more, his flavors delivered. His carrot cake brought all the warm, fall spices to the plate. This cake showed that carrot cake can really be an exploration of flavor.

Unfortunately, Melissa and Michael were in the bottom. Melissa went out on a limb with her costume. The zombie-like farm hand was ambitious. While her cake reference was clear, the judges wanted a little more. It was a column with a crazy head.

Her flavor was red velvet. While the chocolate was delightful, the cake seemed to miss some of the tang that is expected from a red velvet cake. Without that sour cream note, the cake seemed to be a touch flat.

Halloween Baking Championship costume ball episode
Stephanie interacting with Michelle, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 6. Photo provided by Food Network /

Michael made a few mistakes. His accessory was clearly a last-minute addition and added nothing to his cake. While his werewolf had some scary teeth, the werewolf should have used them to take a bite out of a better accessory. Anything would have been better than that gold dusted sandwich cookie.

The most curious part of Michael’s cake was the flavor. He picked key lime pie. By now, the bakers should know that their cakes should have some reference to fall flavors. While key lime is tasty, it has nothing to do with fall (or werewolves). His flavor choice was part of his downfall.

Additionally, Michael had technical issues with his cake. From his curd being too stiff to the cake’s texture problems, the moon was about to rise and his werewolf was going to be howling good-bye.

The Halloween Baking Championship finale is set. While it can be hard to predict a winner, Renee and Aaron seem to have the best chance at the title. These two bakers have come on strong in the most recent challenges. Sinai should put up a good fight, but everyone will have to watch the Halloween Baking Championship finale to see.

Only one baker will make it out of the Halloween Baking Championship haunted house as champion. Who will survive these Food Network baking frights?

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What has been your favorite Halloween Baking Championship challenge this season?