When it comes to baking contests, the Pillsbury Bake-Off is among the biggest and best. Now in its 46th year, this influential contest is the event which has given America such recipes as the Tunnel of Fudge Cake and Peanut Butter Blossoms.
The concept is simple: amateur bakers from all around the country submit recipes which include Pillsbury products. The entries are narrowed down to the one hundred best. This year, the entries were divided into three categories: Amazing Doable Dinners, Simple Sweets and Starters, and Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts. The creators of the finalist recipes were all assembled in Las Vegas, where they all baked their recipes at the same time.
The finished recipes were then delivered to a panel of judges which comprised of a variety of food experts. While there were secondary prizes, only one was crowned the million dollar winner. This year, that honor went to Glori Spriggs of Henderson, Nevada, with her recipe for Loaded Potato Pinwheels, a savory recipe with potato fixings rolled in crescent roll dough.
This year, I was invited as a media guest, which meant that I was granted VIP access to the Bake-Off, including entry on the contest floor.
The entrants were given privacy during their first 20 minutes on the floor to get comfortable and settled and to start on their recipes in peace. But after that, a select few were allowed to wander the floor and interview, taste, and observe.
Here are some snapshots to give you an idea of what went on at the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.
About the author: Jessie Oleson Moore is a writer, illustrator, gallery owner, and cake anthropologist who runs Cakespy, an award-winning dessert website. Her first book came out in October 2011, and her second book came out in May 2013.