The annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest sparks creativity beyond the oven

(Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

For over 50 years, the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest has inspired bakers to share their recipes and stories. While one person may be crowned the winner, the annual baking event is more than just a celebration of the best bites. The contest inspires home bakers to think about food in different ways. In a twist for a bake-off, this year’s contest encourages bakers to turn off the oven.

While the summer heat can deter anyone from turning on the oven, this year’s annual Pillsbury Bake-Off contest actually requires bakers to use “anything but the oven to prepare their recipe.” Although that element might seem counterintuitive to a bake-off, it captures how many home cooks adapt their recipes. Not every tasty treat needs an oven. Isn’t it time to think about those other kitchen essentials?

As Tiffany Seelen, Pillsbury Brand Experience Senior Manager said, “Pillsbury fans are using air fryers, grills and other tabletop appliances to cook their go-to Pillsbury products and this contest will celebrate the fun and innovation they have in the kitchen.” Whether it is a social media trend or food television, there are many ways to make a recipe without the oven. During the summer, who hasn’t had a grilled dessert?

This concept goes to the core of the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Every year the contest brings an element of popular trends enjoyed from the home kitchen. Beyond the flavor element, these recipes represent how and what home cooks are making. In some ways, it can be a tasty barometer of home baking trends.

What else is new for the 51st annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest?

While the submissions and eventual winner are often the focus of the annual baking competition, this year’s event is offering home cooks a little celebrity inspiration. Eva Longoria has joined the celebration and is sharing two recipes that she makes in her home kitchen.

The actress, producer, director, entrepreneur and cookbook author said, “I love getting creative in the kitchen and am always exploring new recipes and cooking methods. Throughout the years, Pillsbury has made that easy and a lot of fun for me and my family. I can’t wait to see the creativity from my fellow home cooks as they too turn off their ovens and share their favorite recipes.”

Offering a little sweet spark, Longoria shared some non-oven recipes that are favorites in her home. From the savory Air Fryer Crescent Roll Quesadilla Pockets to the Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze, these recipes are great examples that have the “no oven required” stamp of approval.

As home bakers start to think about their submissions, this no-oven required element could encourage more people to make versus buy. Whether it is putting some cinnamon rolls or crescent dough in a waffle maker or finding new ways of making a pizza in an air fryer, there are plenty of uses for all those kitchen essentials that are sitting on the counter. And, if you haven’t made microwave cake, it is time to master that skill.

Submissions for the 51st annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest are open now through August 14, 2022 and can be made at On October 3, 2022, the winner will be announced.

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Do you have a great recipe that doesn’t require an oven? Are you looking for ways to be more creative in the kitchen?