Top Moments from the Finale of Holiday Baking Championship

Browse behind-the-scenes photos from the Gingerbread Worlds finale and find out who won the $50,000 prize.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

The Toughest Challenge Yet

"Bakers, it's gingerbread time," says Bobby, showing them a tableful of items they can use to create their displays, which must include three ginger-infused baked treats. They have 10 hours to bring their most-special holiday memory to fruition before the judges. Only one can win the $50,000 prize.

Gingerbread to the Extreme

"I'm making my own version of a Mad Hatter tea party," says Erin, who uses domes to form the three-dimensional gingerbread shapes. She needs "at least 15 pounds of gingerbread" for her display, but her dough cracks all over as she's handling it, so she has to freeze it. She still hasn't begun her treats.

Working Ahead of the Pack

Bill is already on to his three treats, making eclairs, macarons and yellow cake to accompany his ski chalet. "I gotta do what I know, and that's classic pastry," says Bill. He's making sure his flavors are spot-on, worrying that competitor Naylet has always been praised by the judges for her flavors.

Putting It All on the Line

Bobby checks in on Naylet, who's under pressure to make her dream of owning her own bakery a reality. "I wish I had more time," she tells him, hoping her 'Twas the Night Before Christmas theme will capture the fun and anticipation of the holiday. As the only home baker in the bunch, she's worried.

Game-Time Judgment Call

"I have a ton of plates and cups and saucers," says Erin for her display, but she still hasn't come up with a game plan for her three treats. "If I'm able to create the strongest display, I'm taking that title home," she says of her decision to focus on the display. "Decorating is what I do," she says. "I live for this."

Imagination at Play

Naylet plates her cupcakes, walnut tassies and chocolate cookies for the tasting. "I'm frantically working in my kitchen," she says. Earlier she finished the scampering mice she made with the marzipan with which Bobby surprised the bakers. She arranges them around her display, using the tassies as little seats.

Working with What You've Got

"I do have a physics degree," says Bill, building his ski chalet. But he knows it's a risk using freshly baked gingerbread that hasn't dried out, because "the weight of it could cause the roof to warp." That's exactly what happens. "I can't fix this," he says, but he thinks his baked treats could still help him win.

Tasty But Not Tough Enough

All around, the judges praise Bill on the success of his baked treats. However, Duff found a major flaw in his presentaion and says he expected more visually: "I really needed you to explain that the macarons were the ski lift," he says. And if the dough had been tougher, the roof wouldn't have collapsed, Lorraine points out.

Christmas Missteps

"I feel very, very confident about my display," says Erin, "but I'm a little bit nervous about my baked goods." The judges do find her treats are dry overall, but Nancy is thrilled to see Erin's "personality is all over that display." Lorraine, however, is let down, telling Erin, "You can do better than this."

Holiday Shortcomings

"You need a little bit more time in the decorating department," Nancy tells Naylet of her display. But when it comes to her treats, the judges agree her cupcakes are a hit. "I'm questioning whether I'm even a contender at this point," says Naylet. "But I'm proud of what I've done."

The Best Baker of Them All

Bobby tells the finalists the judges based their decision on flavor, creativity and execution. He announces that "one baker just edged out the others," and that was Erin, winning $50,000. "I am so happy," says Erin. "I can barely breathe." Duff tells her, "Everything you bake says something about you."

Go Inside the Holiday Baking Championship

Get more from the competition, get to know the host and judges, and go behind the scenes.

Holiday Baking Championship

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