Halloween Baking Championship Season 7 episode 3 recap: Batty Battenberg

Host John Henson, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo courtesy Food Network
Host John Henson, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo courtesy Food Network /

When it comes to Halloween Baking Championship Season 7 episode 3, the bakers nerves seem to be even more frayed than before. As another X appears on the wall, it seems that the Camp Devils Food Lake serial killer cannot be stopped. Which baker will solve this diabolical Food Network baking mystery?

Although the previous episode had a few extra twists and turns, Halloween Baking Championship Season 7 episode 3 has the challenges back to the regular challenges. For the Thriller challenge, the bakers had to make severed pull apart cupcakes. While the image needed to be creepy, the reality is that the flavor was the most important part of the challenge.

It is clear that this Food Network season is about the creepy. Instead of that fun pumpkin or lighthearted ghost, these pull-apart cupcakes had pause when grabbing that first bite. Do you really want to eat that “toe nail?”

Overall, the pull-apart cupcakes were good, but it seems that the flavor aspect might have lead a few bakers down the same path. It seemed that almost everyone had a filled cupcake. While that aspect wasn’t part of the challenge, it appeared to be a trend.

Generally, the flavors seemed to be creative. Even though Wes’ hummingbird cake was an interesting choice, the more successful bakers picked flavors that couldn’t be found in a box. As Zac Young commented about the red velvet cupcakes, the judges want bold not a snooze fest.

Even though the Thriller focused on flavors, it appeared that appearance gave the winner the edge. Megan delivered a creative approach to her pull-apart cupcakes. The lemon basil cake with strawberry vanilla was a huge hit. It hit all the flavor profiles and pushed the creativity.

Although, the judges didn’t say anything about the more spring-like flavor. Usually strawberry and lemon is a spring forward flavor, not a taste for fall. Is seasonality not as crucial this season? Maybe it is just a Holiday Baking Championship item.

With both great flavor and an impeccable pipped design, Megan won the Thriller challenge. Her advantage for the Chiller round was to make the other bakers stop and trick or treat during the challenge. That little extra time advantage could make a difference in the outcome.

What made Halloween Baking Championship Season 7 episode 3 so technically difficult?

In the second round, the bakers were feeling a little batty because they had to make batty themed Battenberg cakes. Also, each baker received a black ingredient to include in their cake. From black garlic to black licorice, those bold ingredients made a few bakers wish that daylight would push those bats back into the cave.

While the “black flavors” were frightening, the challenge put more fear into the bakers. The British Battenburg Cake is a technically difficult task. From the marzipan to the four cube pattern, this cake is not one that a baker can “wing it.”

Although this Halloween Baking Championship Season 7 has taking the competition in a different direction, another change has happened that may not be quite as obvious. There has not been a mid-challenge twist yet. Could there be a bigger obstacle coming later in the season or is that “serial killer theme” just toying with the bakers?

Since the Chiller Challenge is more about the appearance than the flavors, it is curious that the flavors for these Battenberg Cakes were so difficult. Finding the right balance in some savory ingredients is never an easy task.

Overall, the judges were more critical of the outer appearance of these cakes versus the precision of the four cubes. Maybe all that darkness clouded their eyes.

In many ways, the line between the top and the bottom bakers was clear. Some cakes were beautifully decorated, and others looked like a hot mess. It wasn’t necessarily a time management problem, but it was a visual interpretation.

The top three cakes were by Megan, Adina and Guillermo. Looking at these cakes, the visual was quite impressive. From Guillermo’s chocolate spooky house to Adina’s hand painted bats, these Battenberg cakes were flying high.

In an interesting twist, Megan was picked as the winner of the Battenberg cakes challenge. The judges were impressed with both the visuals and the flavors. Given that Megan won both challenges in this episode, it seems like she is on a roll. Whether or not there is a plot twist is coming remains to be seen.

Unfortunately, some bakers were push to the back of the cave. The bottom three bakers were Wes, Jocelyn and Sherrelle.

Looking at these three, Wes might have been dinged because his cake was a little more whimsical than scary. While it was quite creative, it doesn’t seem to fit with this season’s theme.

As the episode unfolded, it was clear that Sherrelle and Jocelyn were going to be in the bottom. Jocelyn messed up her batter. With really only one batter, she knew that it was not going well. In addition, the shape of her cake was off because the cakes weren’t cooled when she started to assemble it. Lastly, her decoration looked more like a pig getting captured by a bat than a bat. Again, it was a good idea, but not executed well.

Sherelle had technical problems, too. Since here cakes didn’t rise enough, she had six cubes, not four. In addition, her decoration was lacking, but her flavors were impressive. Overall, Sherelle seems to have time management issues. As a home baker, this competition has a huge learning curve for her.

The judges chose to eliminate Jocelyn. Between her wonky decoration and her technical problems, it was clear that her Battenberg cake needed to go back into the cave.

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What do you think of this week’s challenge? Do you think that some bakers are rising to the occasion?