Summer Baking Championship Season 2 finale: Which baker will earn the title?

Summer Baking Championship Season 2
Summer Baking Championship Season 2 / Food Network

After highlighting all types of summer vacations, the Summer Baking Championship Season 2 finale is set. With just one challenge remaining, which of the three bakers will sail away with the Food Network title?

Food Network’s baking championships usually get food television viewers voicing their opinions with great passion. It might not be quite as divisive as the recent Top Chef winner announcement, but viewers are never afraid to question under-baked desserts, titling cakes, or general dessert fails.

Summer Baking Championship Season 2 is not as engaging as other seasonal offerings. Even though the creative episode themes looked to resonate with the warm, fuzzy vacation vibes, it might be the bakers’ approach to those challenges that did not get the typical huge response. It has not been that the desserts were horrible, but they seemed to lack excitement.

The season has seen top bakers in one challenge be eliminated in the next. The lack of consistency felt almost like baking whiplash. Those dramatic swings did not really let any viewer build up a cheering section for a favorite. It seemed that everyone was teetering on the edge, almost like one of those tipsy turvy cakes.

Which three bakers made the Summer Baking Championship Season 2 finale?

In the penultimate episode, the bakers had two challenges between them and the finale. As seen throughout the season, Food Network has used this show to integrate other programs, like last night’s Discovery Shark Week, into the challenges.

For the Pre-Heat, the bakers had to create shark bite cookie bars. While the idea seemed like a fun visual, the bakers seemed to be not as excited about this concept. From wonky shark bites to lack of color, these cookie bars would not have anyone circling the table to chomp off a piece.

The most surprising aspect to this Pre-Heat challenge was that mistakes plagued most of the offerings. Rob’s cookie lacked texture. Dominick’s cookie looked like a flip flop that had sat in the sun for too many months. For bakers hoping to earn a spot in the finale, it seemed like they could have done more.

Winning the Pre-Heat was Stephanie. The judges appreciated that her beach ball’s colors matched the flavor. It was her first Pre-Heat win of the season.

The Main Heat continued the Shark Week theme. While the bakers could create any dessert that they wanted, it needed to include two elements. First, it had to show a “cage” around the dessert and, second, it had to include a shark (or shark fin) around the cage.

As many food television contestants have suggested, a broad based challenge can be more difficult than one with a narrow scope. Food Network might think that they are doing the bakers a favor, but they could be making their decisions even harder.

Overall, the two top desserts were quite clear. Rob’s mirror glaze cake with hammerhead shark and cage was clearly earning him a spot in the finale. Even if his cage broke slightly, it did not matter. He made a full shark, a visually beautiful dessert, and nailed the brief.

In addition, Rob brought delicious flavor to the dessert. From the herbal mousse to the lovely poutine crunch layer. He clearly deserved this win.

Additionally, Chris made another good dessert. Even if his chocolate cage was a little wobbly, his entremets had delicious flavor. The delicate layers were impressive.

With just one more spot left for the Summer Baking Championship Season 2 finale, Stephanie and Dominick turned into the battle for fewer mistakes. Both desserts had visual fails. From lack of complete coverage on Stephanie’s domes to Dominik’s uneven piping, these desserts were better eaten with their eyes closed.

Even though Dominick had a nice pate a choux in his paris breast, the dessert felt a little heavy. Also, he did not use the blood orange twist well.

Stephanie earned the third spot in the finale because her gelato was delicious. Getting a “dude” from Carla Hall was key. Even with the other mistakes, serving gelato in this last challenge was the difference between moving on and going home.

Which baker will earn the Summer Baking Championship Season 2 winner title? Be sure to watch the finale on Monday, July 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Food Network. Episodes can be streamed the next day on MAX.