Spring Baking Championship Season 7 winner blossomed at the right moment

Ali Khan interacting with Derek, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo courtesy Food Network
Ali Khan interacting with Derek, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo courtesy Food Network /

Three bakers walked into the Food Network kitchen but only one was Spring Baking Championship Season 7 winner. When both the pre-heat and the main heat challenges were complete, one baker would earn the ultimate reward. Whose desserts flourished in the moment?

In Spring Baking Championship Season 7, one food trend seemed to be apparent. This Food Network baking show season was bolder than previous seasons. Beyond the intricate decorations, the flavors have been far from that vanilla and chocolate cake. While Food Network tries to introduce viewers to new ideas and options, the reality is that this season saw many bakers think beyond the traditional spring flavors.

Looking at the three finalists, each baker had strengths and could win the title. From Derek’s multi-faceted talents to Natalie’s intricate decorating to Keya’s bold flavors, the judges had a tough decision to make.

Did the Spring Baking Championship Season 7 winner earn an advantage in the pre-heat?

For the pre-heat challenge, the bakers were given an immediate twist. The bottom baker from the Spring Board, (Natalie was almost eliminated in the previous episode) would be able to pick her theme and assign the themes for the pre-heat. While this advantage may not seem huge, it was a big advantage. Every baker wants to choose her fate in the finale.

The pre-heat challenge was to create Spring songbird desserts. Natalie picked bluebird, gave Derek the Baltimore Oriole and Keya received the American Robin. To say that Derek received the hardest bird was an understatement. How do you make black and orange colors into a Spring dessert?

Also, the pre-heat had a twist. Each dessert had to incorporate a small bird feeder. Who would have thought that the pre-heat would have a twist?


Keya’s dessert focused on her strengths, the Barfi Tart was creative. The citrus and berries were a lovely flavor combination. Her decoration was nice and her bird was well represented. Unfortunately, her tart’s crust was not perfect, being slightly under-baked.

Derek was criticized for his colors. The dessert looked more like fall than springtime, but his technique of using pastry cream to make a nest should have been given more credit.

His entremet featured peach, which was a smart choice considering his bird. But, like the colors that needed to pop, his flavors needed to be bolder, too. Unfortunately, Derek’s dessert was not song-worthy.

Natalie was very smart with her dessert. Although she was plating till the last minute, her chocolate transfer with a delicately drawn bluebird was stunning. Plus, the chocolate slightly melted into the blueberry flavors which was quite tasty.

More importantly, Natalie incorporated a “bird snack” into her dessert. The nut/granola like mixture was a smart choice. It captured the theme well.

Winning the pre-heat was Natalie. For her win, she was able to pick and assign certain components on the main heat dessert.

What did the Spring Baking Championship Season 7 winner make for the main heat?

In the Spring Baking Championship finale, the main heat challenge required the bakers to make a two- tier cake. While the cake needed to have some certain critters on the outside, the inside had to have a surprise.

All three cakes were amazing. No one had a flaw. Basically, the judges were picking the best of the best. As Duff said, Spring Baking Championship is about having the mental fortitude to make it to the end. Which baker can stay focused on the task?

Derek was an over achiever in his finale piece. He had an entire display. From the saturated colors to the intricate details, it was an amazing cake.

For his inside surprise, Derek’s cake look like it was cutting into rock. It showed layers and textures. Although his raspberry jam was a huge hit, the banana component was a miss. Bananas with no banana flavor was off.

Keya went with flavors that were meaningful to her. Looking back to her childhood, she made a cardamom and golden milk cake. The flavors were quite impressive. More importantly, the walnut crunch layer tied everything together. To say that her soft, velvety cake was delicious is an understatement.

But, Keya’s design did have a misstep. She didn’t get to decorate the back of the cake. Still, her design captured the garden theme. It was a lovely spring cake.

Natalie had the most visually impressive cake. It told a story. Any little girl would want to live in that fairy world. It was simply stunning.

Unfortunately, Natalie’s cake had an issue. The cake itself was too dense. While the visual was a winner, the taste was not.

In the end, only one baker would be the Spring Baking Championship Season 7 winner. As the Spring Board turned, Keya was revealed as the champion.

It seems that her flavors were simply too good. In some ways, her willingness to offer the judges bolder flavors in a creative way earned her the title.

Through Spring Baking Championship Season 7, the judges leaned toward the bolder flavors. This season wasn’t about the tradition. It was about looking forward.

Even though both Natalie (second) and Derek (third) made impressive desserts, it seemed that Keya was blossoming at the right time. Some Food Network fans may not agree, but they aren’t the judges at the table.

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What did you think about this season? Do you agree with the choice for the Spring Baking Championship Season 7 winner decision?