Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 9 recap: Marching into the finale

Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 9
Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 9 / Food Network

With four bakers remaining in the Food Network competition, Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 9 recap had an outcome that seemed quite sweet. Maybe the result was music to everyone’s ears.

For the Spring Baking Championship Season 10 semi-final episode, music influences each of the challenges. Even though the California music festival that inspired the Pre-Heat has since passed, the idea made for a pretty challenge.

In the Pre-Heat, the bakers had to create music festival inspired cupcake crowns. The cupcakes used dessert inspired flavors and were required to look like succulents. While the décor was pretty, it was the flavors that had the judges divided.

The four flavors were mesquite flour, prickly pear, chipotle, and dates. To say that these four flavors were quite different was an understatement. More importantly, one of the four flavors was far from traditional.

Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 9
Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 9 Pre-Heat / Food Network

Nickey received the hardest flavor, mesquite flour. Mesquite can be a common flavor in barbecue, but it is not often featured in baking. More importantly, the flavor can be a little bitter. Finding the balance with a sweetness required special thinking.

Overall, her cupcakes were impressive. By carefully combining the mesquite flour, it was smart. More importantly, the other smoked elements, like smoking the buttercream, was smart. It was clear that Nickey was the top baker.

Steven was probably a close second. His chipotle cupcakes were bold, but a little too spicy. Still, he was in contention.

Alex’s date and mango cupcakes were a miss. Also, Robert’s prickly pear margarita cupcakes did not have the right ratio or filling to cake. Luckily, it was just a Pre-Heat without an elimination.

In the Spring Baking Championship Season 10 episode 9 Main Heat, the bakers had to create entremets with snowball flavors. While the challenge was inspired by New Orleans Jazz Fest, some of the desserts hit more clunker notes than perfect melodies. It was a little surprising that the bakers stumbled so close to the finale.

For her advantage, Nickey received a 10-minute head start. It was refreshing that she did not cheat to pick her flavor. It was a simple gesture, but one not overlooked by her fellow bakers.

Nickey’s flavor was coffee. While there were elements that were good, there were some mis-steps, too. The powder pile on the cake was a miss and made the cake look messy. While the cream flavor was tasty, the dessert needed some salt.

Robert’s flavor was mandarin orange. His decision to use a hurricane cocktail as his flavor inspiration was smart. While the mirror glaze was a little bumpy, it was overall a successful dessert. From the chocolate note décor to the flavor, it impressed the judges.

Steven’s dessert had a lovely mirror glaze. While the combination of his wild cherry flavor, pistachio and vanilla crunch was a touch unusual, it worked.

Many assumed that Alex would have had this challenge nailed. Usually the delicate French pastries with intricate décor are his specialty. Unfortunately, the judges found that the dessert needed more sugar. It was unclear if the dessert just needed to be sweeter or it needed more flavor balance.

While Steven was a top baker, it was Robert who won the challenge. After not winning throughout the season, this dessert secured him a spot in the finale.

In a twist that no one saw coming, no one was eliminated. All four bakers headed to the finale.

Which baker will earn the Spring Baking Championship Season 10 title? Be sure to watch the part one of the finale on Monday, April 29 at 8 p.m. ET on Food Network. Episodes can be streamed the next day on MAX.