Top Creations Seen on Best Baker in America

Step inside the sweet competition for a look at the judges' winning picks.

Photo By: Jessica Brooks

Photo By: Jessica Brooks

Photo By: Katrina Marcinowski

Photo By: Katrina Marcinowski

Photo By: Katrina Marcinowski

Photo By: Katrina Marcinowski

Photo By: Katrina Marcinowski

Photo By: Katrina Marcinowski

Photo By: Katrina Marcinowski

Souffle Success

Andy earned high praise for what judge Marcela Valladolid called "a gorgeous souffle," which she compared to "biting into a cloud."

A Cake Worthy of $25,000

This showstopped of a dessert, Dwayne's bourbon-scented Double Barrel Devil's Explosion Cake, earned the baker the coveted $25,000 prize and the title of Best Baker in America. "It was probably the moistest chocolate cake that I've eaten in a long time," judge Jason Smith told Dwayne.

The Right Reflections

"It is a gorgeous, gorgeous glaze. It's really shiny," Marcela said, praising Dwayne's German Chocolate Mirror Glaze Cake, which earned top honors in the Skills Challenge. She, Jason and host Adam were even able to see their reflections in the seemingly flawless exterior on Dwayne's cake.

When Savory Meets Sweet

The bakers were tasked with highlighting not just one ingredient but two — fennel and chiles — in their plated desserts, and Thiago wowed the panel with his offerings of a fennel-scented panna cotta and a molten gochujang cake. "They look like desserts that came from two totally different pastry chefs, and I like that," Marcela told him.

A Southern-Style Staple

Dwayne's peach cobbler-inspired take on crème brulee earned high marks from the judges, as Marcela Valladolid told the baker, "I just want to eat the whole thing."

Harmonious Hazelnuts

Andy's first win in the competition came from his Master Challenge Hazelnut Opera Cake, which featured no shortage of hazelnut applications. "It looks like an art show piece, really," Jason Smith told Andy. The judges were pleased with the cake's hazelnut-forward taste as well as its stunning appearance.

Fruit Showcase

Featuring a dual filling of jam and pastry cream, Cherly's tart earned her top honors in the Skills Challenge. "The pâte sucrée just melted in my mouth, and iwant to eat the whole thing," judge Jason Smith noted after tasting.

When a Risk Pays Off

Though the judges were conflicted over Thiago's choice to serve a cappuccino cup inside his St. Honoré cake, they couldn't deny his dessert's over-the-top flavor. "Your puff pastry is perfect," judge Marcela Valladolid proclaimed simply.

Flavor Forward

See Adalberto's green-tinted macarons? They're Blueberry Mojito Macarons, filled with a delicate mojito-inspired filling.

Focus On: Strawberry

Part strawberry shortcake and part baked Alaska, Dwayne's creative take on the Master Challenge wowed the judges and earned him highest honors this round.

Strong Start

In the first challenge of the competition, Dwayne opted to highlight pineapple in his upside-down cake, presenting it with a salted caramel sauce that impressed the judges with its complex flavor profile.

Herbs Galore

Though perhaps not traditional, Cheryl's use of basil in her wedding cake earned rave reviews from the judges. "It's not overpowering with basil, which is a good thing," judge Jason Smith explains. "And then the lemon comes through very well."

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Best Baker in America