Holiday Baking Championship serves up memorable holiday pies

Jesse Palmer posed next to Naughty or Nice board and oversized cherry pie, as seen on Holiday Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo courtesy Food Network
Jesse Palmer posed next to Naughty or Nice board and oversized cherry pie, as seen on Holiday Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo courtesy Food Network /

Ready to enjoy a slice of Holiday Baking Championship holiday pies?

In this Holiday Baking Championship episode, it was all about the holiday pies. From the pre-heat to the main heat, these bakers better know how to handle that dough or they will fall to the bottom of the naughty list.

Before going through the various challenges, the naughty or nice list on this season of the Holiday Baking Championship is a nice twist. While Food Network fans have always wondered if the bakers really do go from top to bottom during the competition. With this updated list after every challenge, the proof is right in front of their eyes.

Although the naughty or nice list might be fun for fans at home, it can be a mental mind game with the bakers. From becoming complacent to baking with fear, these bakers have an added mental game this Holiday Baking Championship season.

For the pre-heat, the bakers had to crate mini holiday pies topped with cookies. Now, this idea isn’t an Elegant Farmer cookie crust pie. The bakers literally had to make cookies and place them on top of the pie.

While the bakers needed to make three bites of perfection, some of the pies were far from that description. Although the bakers randomly chose their pie flavor, they could choose any holiday cookie as a topper.

The biggest take away from the pre-heat was how many bakers had pie problems. From under-cooked pie dough to unbalanced flavors, some of these mini pies were big disasters.

Anyone who has watched Holiday Baking Championship over the years knows that pie is often the bakers’ biggest nemesis. While it might not be a lot of time to make that pie, these bakers should be able to make a decent mini pie in a couple of hours.

The pre-heat had cracker crusts and peppermint lemon fillings. Basically, these pies were either good or deserved a lump of coal. When the naughty or nice list was revealed, there were many bakers fell far into the red. Like poor Kess, who has done well but her peppermint lemon pie was a flavor combination that should never come out of the kitchen.

The pre-heat winner was Lorenzo. As the winner, he was immune from the main heat twist. That advantage was a big one for this Holiday Baking Championship episode.

For the main heat, the bakers had to make a type of pie using a fall flavor. From lattice pies to cream pies, these options were fairly straight forward. Unfortunately, the twist was not. The bakers had to incorporate eggnog into the pie.

While a few bakers had an experience that was easy as pie, other bakers were putting more cake challenges on the letter to Santa. Overall, the biggest take away from the main heat was flavor. Some bakers are still lacking bold flavors. As the competition gets closer, everyone will need to step up their game or they will fall to the bottom of the naughty list.

Holiday Baking Championship
Bakers Jamaal, Julianna, Jeffrey, Eva, Jon, Megan, Lorenzo, Kess and LaShonda learning the baking topic, as seen on Holiday Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo courtesy Food Network /

The two top bakers were Lashonda and Juliana. The judges appreciated Lashonda’s slab pie. From the pretty visual to the roasted chestnut flavors, this pie delivered in many ways.

Juliana felt like she was going home all challenge. From baking issues to a darker crust, it wasn’t a walk in the park. But, the judges loved her crust. Although it was a little dark, those flavors complemented the sweet chia pie flavors.

Rising from the middle of the pack, Juliana won this week’s main heat challenge. It will be interesting to see if she can build on this momentum.

As for the bottom two bakers, Jeff and Megan were up for elimination. It was surprising that Megan fell so drastically this week. From under-cooked pie dough to poor flavor choices, Megan has been slowing falling down the list. After such a strong start, it is difficult to see.

For Santa from Atlanta, Jeff, his slab pie was more like a winter wonderland pizza. The pie filling was too thin, and the pie was sad. Additionally, there was no eggnog flavor in his pie. After his pre-heat issues, it was not a good week for Jeff.

The baker leaving Holiday Baking Championship in this episode was Jeff. It was sad to see him leave. Who did want Santa to leave the kitchen?

Looking ahead to next week, it seems likely that the baker will be happy to say goodbye to pie. But, who will stay off that naughty list?

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What has been your favorite challenge in this Holiday Baking Championship season? Do you have a favorite baker yet?