Season's greetings! Host Jesse Palmer gets some welcoming inspiration for the first Preheat as he challenges the 12 bakers to create meringue pavlova wreaths in yummy fall flavors. For the Main Heat, Jesse settles a long-standing debate over the best holiday dessert by dividing the kitchen into the pie team and the cake team. The better bake wins immunity for their whole team, and judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall send one baker from the losing team home.
After a grocery delivery gone wrong, host Jesse Palmer tasks the bakers with creating tasty desserts featuring ingredients used to make Thanksgiving dinner, including carrots, cornbread stuffing mix and sausage. Then, the jolly gingerbread man knows that he could be more than just a cookie -- and it's up to the bakers to make it happen! In the end, judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall send one baker heading for the exit.
These days, holiday turkeys can be smoked, fried, brined, roasted and bacon-wrapped, so host Jesse Palmer uses the five-way turkey as inspiration for the bakers' Preheat challenge. Then, the competitors divide into teams to create a flight of pies that takes judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall on a flavor progression journey, just like a flight of bourbon. Bottom crusts up, everyone! In the end, one baker goes home.
The holidays are a season for indulgence, so some families splurge on their festive celebrations at a steakhouse. In the Preheat, host Jesse Palmer asks the bakers to transform classic steakhouse desserts into holiday treats. For the Main Heat, the competitors turn one of the most-iconic steakhouse desserts into a baked Alaska Christmas tree. In the end, judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall will send one baker home.
With the popularity of English period dramas at an all-time high, host Jesse Palmer dons a Regency-era waistcoat and challenges the bakers to create a splendid holiday high tea. In the Main Heat, it's all about the rom-com as bakers use an ingredient inspired by a holiday movie trope to create a dessert that's dripping with festive decorations. After all the desserts are tasted by judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall, one baker will be sent out the door as the credits roll.
Kwanzaa is right around the corner, so host Jesse Palmer tasks the bakers with crafting desserts that feature fresh corn for a traditional Kwanzaa display. For the Main Heat, the competitors get their passports ready and put their personal stamp on international holiday desserts, like Filipino leche flan, Japanese Christmas cake and Puerto Rican guava rolls. In the end, judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall will send one baker flying home.
With the holidays fast approaching, host Jesse Palmer gets into the Hanukkah spirit by asking the bakers to create ugly sweater cakes using halvah as a featured ingredient. Then, the competitors feel the holiday rush as they quickly transform a basic store-bought cake into a tasty centerpiece for a dessert table. Finally, the bakers face the final crunch with a fast holiday decoration: a snowman croquembouche. When the flour settles, one competitor heads for the exit as judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall send the remaining bakers to the finale!
Ready for a holiday getaway, host Jesse Palmer escapes the cold weather by challenging the bakers to create desert-inspired succulent tarts. The two least successful bakers ski into a cookie cake showdown that will keep one competitor on track for the final bake. In the Main Heat, the remaining bakers use cake to highlight some of the most popular holiday vacation spots before judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall award the best cake maker with $25,000 and the championship title!