Food Network’s new season of “Halloween Baking Champion” really puts the “treat” in “trick or treat.”
Hosted by John Henson, this year’s contestants entered an eight-week long stay at a haunted hotel, where Henson is the caretaker. Each week, the competitors must impress the judges — Carla Hall, Zac Young and Stephanie Boswell — otherwise they will be sent to the 13th floor where guests never return.
In addition to those sweet bragging rights, the winner of this year’s competition earns the title of Halloween Baking Champion and an all-expense paid trip to the ten most haunted hotels in the United States.
The new season officially kicked off on Sept. 12 with 12 bakers heading into the kitchen. After doing some detective work, the bakers worked to create faces out of pie. Two bakers came out on top, Kristi Descher and Maricsa Trejo, with Drescher making a brown butter apple and rum-soaked cranberry pie while Trejo made a blueberry danish pie that ultimately won the round.
The competition continued with the Killer challenge, which leads to the elimination at the end of each episode. For this week’s challenge, the bakers went head to head to create blood spatter-themed cakes. Each treat had to have four layers of sponge cake, a specific blood spatter pattern and an edible knife to complete the dessert.
Baker Lauren Rogers ended up on top with her vanilla sponge with cherry filling and white chocolate buttercream. Unfortunately, someone had to be eliminated, and the first one gone was competitor AJ DeDiego. Though he had good flavors in his cake, the presentation ultimately sent him packing to the 13th floor.
As the weeks go on, competitors will be truly put to the test. On Sept. 19, Puss in Boots is coming to lead the group in three cat-themed challenges that will keep all of the bakers on their toes, so be sure to tune in and see what happens!
“Halloween Baking Championship” airs on Food Network and discovery+ on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.