Summer Baking Championship winner sparkled and shined with the finale cake

Host Jesse Palmer portrait for the amusement park desserts challenge, as seen on Summer Baking Championship, Season 1.
Host Jesse Palmer portrait for the amusement park desserts challenge, as seen on Summer Baking Championship, Season 1. /

Three bakers entered the Food Network finale with hopes to walk away as the Summer Baking Championship winner. While two challenges stood between the bakers and the Food Newtork title, the finale had as many ups and downs as the amusement park ride. Were you wowed by the winning desserts?

For the finale pre-heat, the bakers were inspired by amusement park treats. While the old-school theme park food has become more elevated over the years, there are some classic flavors that are always within reach. Sure, that ice cream sandwich is tasty, but sometimes people want a more over the top indulgence.

The bakers were required to create three desserts, a baked treat, a fried treat, and a treat featuring popcorn. In addition, they needed to create a dipping sauce that would complement all three desserts. Lastly, the desserts were presented on a mini-Ferris wheel.

Zoe’s desserts had everyone cheering. The desserts had lots of different textures and colors. It captured that sense of fun in both presentation and flavor. From her fried banana dessert to her caramel popcorn inspired cupcake, she impressed the judges.

Alyssa had some highs but some of her desserts played it a little too safe. It was more like the kiddie zone desserts than high adventure on the plate. While the judges appreciated passionfruit dipping sauce, the desserts needed a little bit more.

Summer Baking Championship winner
Host Jesse Palmer portrait for the amusement park desserts challenge, as seen on Summer Baking Championship, Season 1. /

Yohann took an elegant approach. His amusement park inspired desserts. It was more like the high-end park versus that local county fair. While the judges loved the cookies, the desserts needed to be a little extra.

Winning the pre-heat was Zoe. She hit all the marks with her amusement park inspired desserts. From flavor to appearance, it was definitely a huge hit. For winning the pre-heat, she received a great advantage in the main heat.

The theme for the main heat is Fourth of July cakes. With a two tier requirement and topped with sparklers, the Food Network had another element that the Summer Baking Championship winner needed to tackle. The cake needs to be able to roll on a float platform, and one baker will be rolling away with the win.

For winning the pre-heat, Zoe received exclusive use of decorative items. Stars, glitter, and more helped to make her cake stand out.

Yohann has been impressing the judges with his flavors through the season. After the first bite, the judges felt that it was a taste of summer. While the mango flavor was nice, it needed more of the ginger soak on its layer. Also, the judges felt that the blue colors needed to be more consistent.

Zoe presented a chocolate chili cake with a mango chili and chocolate filling. The judges said that it was her best cake of the season. Also, the visual best captures that float feel with the oversized décor. It was clear that the cake was a festive celebration for the 4th of July.

Summer Baking Championship winner
Judges Damaris Phillips and Duff Goldman taste Contestant Zoe Peckich’s Chocolate Chili Cake with Spicy Mango and Chocolate Buttercream, as seen on Summer Baking Championship, Season 1. /

Lastly, Alyssa took the judges advice and did not play it safe. Her peanut butter, banana and bacon cake was definitely a bold move. While the red and blue cake colors were a nice choice, she needed to handle the bacon better. It was a little chewy. Still, the judges appreciated her bold choice and pretty décor.

The Summer Baking Championship winner was Zoe. The double win was a big way to end this Food Network competition. After coming so close to winning challenges, it was her time to shine and her finale cake definitely was that big statement.

Another Food Network Baking Championship has come to a close. How many days till Halloween Baking Championship?