Season 1: Episode 3 - Let Them Eat Cake

Let Them Eat Cake: LET THEM EAT CAKE!

With only eight bakers remaining the competition is heating up. Their skills are put to test through three tough challenges where Elaine once again rises to the top to take Star Baker for the second week in a row. Though Kolette has struggled with her presentation, she manages to come through in the end and it is Jeremy, who under performed with two raw cakes, who is the next to go.


The remaining eight amateur bakers once again make their trek into the baking tent. Last week’s Star Baker, Elaine, doesn’t think she has a leg up on the competition. Jeremy has newfound confidence after his comeback performance during cookie week. Kolette knows the judges have not approved of her presentation up to this point and knows it could come back to bite her.

Jeff reveals to our bakers that today that the Judges want to see their personality come out in making a one-layer cake for Cake Week! They will have an hour and a half to complete the challenge. On your marks, get set, bake!

The bakers are all excited to make cakes. Kolette can barely contain her enthusiasm, but Judge Paul Hollywood warns that 90 minutes is not a lot of time to make a cake since it does not allow room for error. Judge Marcela Valladolid explains the process of making a cake, the importance of when to add wet and dry ingredients, creaming the butter etc. to obtain the correct cake texture.

Jeremy reveals that he is making a cake that has been in the family for a long time, his mother-in-law’s Cinnamon Chocolate Cake, which his wife has enjoyed all throughout her life.

Elaine is making a cake that her mother used to make, a pineapple upside down cake with coconut. When the judges come by to visit, Paul reveals that his mother used to make a very similar cake for him while growing up. Once again Elaine is also being judged against Paul’s mothers recipe. When Paul asks how much baking powder she is using for the rising agent, Elaine has trouble reading if Paul thinks she is using too much or too little in the recipe.

Paul let’s us know that the bakers will be using a leavening agent of some sort to make their cakes rise. That agent could be something like egg whites or baking powder, but the choice is theirs. Another misconception is that the leavening agent makes the cake lighter, but it’s really the way you mix the ingredients together that will affect the texture more. Marcela also informs us over mixing has its effects too, as it will create a dense crumb with no air pockets.

Jeff, Paul and Marcela visit Francine who tells them she is making a Cherry Soda Pop Cake, and that the leavening agent is actually the soda pop itself! Francine goes on to tell Paul that this is a Sunday funeral cake, which he doesn’t quite follow. She goes on to say that when someone passes, you take this over to his or her family, which Paul understands. All that Paul asks is that it is not too sweet, which Francine assures him it won’t be.

Kolette is making an Oatmeal Spice Cake with cinnamon. It’s an old family recipe that her grandmother and mother both made and she is using the family’s sifter to sift the ingredients. When Jeff and the Judges come by, Jeff is curious if this cake legally could qualify as breakfast since it has oatmeal in it, which Kolette agrees with. Marcela wants to know if Kolette is using any other flavors besides cinnamon, to which Kolette tells her no, just cinnamon.

Paul tells us that the judges are looking for interesting and unique flavors. Marcela lets us know that their flavors should stand out without overwhelming. If you’re going for orange, it should taste like orange.

The judges and Jeff stop by Brian’s station where he is franticly working away. Brian tells us that he is making a Dark Chocolate Truffle cake. When Marcela asks if there are any other flavors, Brian tells her it’s just chocolate, and it will be a “chocolate explosion!” He will also be decorating the cake with edible pansies.

With one hour left, the bakers begin greasing their pans. Jeremy tells us he normally makes this cake in a smaller pan but wants to make it bigger for the competition.

James tells us he is making a coffee cake that is layered with cinnamon, brown sugar and roasted nuts. Most of the bakers put their cakes into the oven and await the results, but Brian and Jeremy are behind and get their cakes in last. Paul tells us making a cake is all about time management. If the bakers don’t use their time wisely, they will come out of the oven too late to cool before frosting.

Jeremy’s cake is just not cooking fast enough and he grows terrified it won’t be ready for judging. With fifteen minutes remaining, Brian also turns his oven up to assist with his cake’s baking. As most of the baker’s take their cakes out of the oven, Brian and Jeremy take theirs out last, but does that guarantee a good bake?

With just five minutes left in the Signature Bake, the bakers rush to apply their cakes frosting. Brian decides last minute to change the edible pansies on his cake to flowers he picked himself, though they are not edible.

All the bakers take the final minute to adjust their cakes for presentation and then time is called and they all step away from their cakes.

First up for judging is Elaine’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake with coconut. Marcela notes it needed to be taller and Paul suggests another egg in the batter to help with the lift. Marcela likes the sweet flavor and Paul agrees, saying it reminds him of a British cake.

Paul doesn’t like the look of Kolette’s Oatmeal Spice Cake with cinnamon, continuing her presentation issues from the previous 2 weeks and her cake is borderline raw as well.

Both Paul and Marcela have a serious issue with Brian for putting inedible flowers he picked himself on his Chocolate Truffle Cake and let him know that. In addition, his cake is too bland for Marcela.

Darlene’s It’s Tiki Time Cake, featuring bananas and pineapple, is a hit with the judges.

James’ Grandma Nannie’s Coffee Cake is a disappointment to the Judges as it is burnt and over baked.

Effie’s Orange Cardamom Pistachio cake wows the Judges with its flavor.

When Paul tries Jeremy’s Mother In-Law’s Cinnamon Chocolate Cake, he notes it’s still warm and tells Jeremy that is due, once again, to poor time management. Jeremy tells Paul he made it in a bigger pan to which Paul informs him he needs to adjust his recipe for pan size. In addition, the cake is raw.

Francine’s Cherry Soda Pop Cake looks homemade to Marcela. The cake’s bake and look work for Paul, but he can’t stand the flavor. All that is coming through is the Cherry Soda Pop, which is too sweet for the Judges.


Jeff tells the bakers it is now time for the Technical Bake. Paul and Marcela won’t be there for this bake, and will judge the results blind, not knowing whose bake belongs to whom.

Once Paul and Marcela leave the tent, Jeff informs the bakers they will each be making Marcela’s Chiffon Cake with a Tequila Orange Glaze. They will have 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete the challenge.

As the baker’s pull the coverings off their ingredients, they quickly realize this is going to be their hardest Technical Bake yet as the recipe reads more like a list of ingredients.

Meanwhile, in the Judges Tent, Marcela talks to Paul about the Chiffon Cake, saying the texture should be spongy and springy in the center, display an even coloring and the glaze should not be absorbed into the cake.

Marcela then goes on to tell Paul the initial steps to preparing the Chiffon Cake. First, the bakers need to mix the egg yolks with the oil, orange juice orange zest and vanilla. The oil is used instead of butter as oil is liquid at room temperature and will help ensure the cake stays moist. Then, the dry ingredients are sifted at least once before they are incorporated into the yolk mixture. The egg whites are then separated in a bowl and whisked to stiff peaks. Once that is done, the whites are folded into the mix a bit at a time.

The baker’s overall confidence is not too high as they attempt to follow the instructions. As Marcela explains that the bakers should not oil or grease the inside of their cake pans so that the egg whites can stick and climb the walls, we see many of the bakers’ oil and greasing their pans.

The Chiffon cakes go in the oven, but the bakers have no idea how long to bake them for. Instead, they sit in front of their oven, watching it bake. James, joined by Jeff Foxworthy, ends up singing to his cake so it won’t burn. As the bakers wait, Brian notices something is burning. Francine opens her oven to reveal a thick cloud of smoke, which is from some oil splattered on the bottom of the oven. Francine tells everyone not to panic as it is just oil.

As the bakers take their Chiffon cakes out of the oven, they have 30 minutes to let their cakes cool and make the glaze. Jeff checks in with Effie who is confused by the tequila. It turns out she’s never had a drink in her life so she doesn’t know how much tequila to add. Jeff warns her a little goes a long way.

The next step is taking the Chiffon cakes out of the pan. Although nerve-racking, the bakers manage to get their cakes out. Knowing how much presentation means to her staying in the competition, Kolette begins to trim any brown sports on her cake until it is trimmed completely to a rich yellow color.

As Jeff calls out one minute left, the bakers frantically begin glazing their cakes for final presentation. The bakers bring their Chiffon cakes to the main table and place theirs behind their photos.

Jeff calls for Paul and Marcela to come back in the tent to judge the Technical bake. Upon returning, Marcela immediately can see some of the Chiffon cake pans were greased, resulting in collapsed cakes.

The judges start with Kolette’s Chiffon and immediately Paul remarks it looks as though it’s been trimmed too much. Not only did the judges not like the look, they also didn’t like the texture.

Jeremy’s Chiffon cake has a good texture inside.

Effie’s Chiffon is over baked and Marcela points out it appears Effie greased the pan since her cake collapsed.

Up next is Elaine’s Chiffon. Paul remarks that he like the flavor of her cake.

When the judges try Darlene’s cake, Marcela notes it is too dense from not cooling properly.

Brian’s Chiffon cake gets called out for having too much icing on it, probably to cover up the fact that it is burnt. Marcela notes the pan was probably greased since his cake collapsed.

Francine’s Chiffon cake is praised for its height. Paul notes that it melts in your mouth and both judges think it is lovely.

Last up is James. Marcela likes the structure, texture and the fact it didn’t have too many air bubbles.

In last place was Kolette, followed by Effie, Jeremy, Brian and Darlene. Elaine came in 3rd place, followed by James in 2nd. Francine took home first prize, her first so far in the Technical Bakes and it made her so happy she wants to follow it up by winning Star Baker as well.


Jeremy knows he needs to step up his game going into the Showstopper Bake or he could go home. Francine is confident going into the Showstopper after coming in first in the Technical Bake. Kolette is looking to dominate on the Showstopper since she did so poorly in the first two bakes. If Kolette doesn’t come through, she could be leaving the competition.

With all the bakers in the tent, Jeff announces that today’s Showstopper challenge is to bake a Surprise Inside Cake, a cake that when it is cut into reveals a hidden design inside. The bakers have 5 hours to complete this challenge.

Paul notes that the Surprise Inside Cake is a very tricky challenge since it’s all about the design on the inside of the cake.

Darlene is really hoping to do well in the challenge.

James is making an Underground Surprise Cake that when cut into will reveal the different layers of the earth (grass, dirt and water) covered in coconut grass. His biggest concern is that the cake won’t be elegant enough for the judges.

Effie is inspired by her family’s catch-phrase of “I Love You To The Moon and Back” for her cake, which features the moon, stars and night sky in every slice.

As Jeremy kneads dough, he points out that he is making a pie and not a cake since his cherry pie will go inside his single-layer Cherpumple Cake. Paul questions Jeremy about this cake since a cherry pie usually is covered in pastry, and Jeremy tells Paul that this cherry pie will indeed be covered in pastry. Jeremy states that his cake will either be spectacular or it will crash and burn. Paul totally agrees.

Marcela notes that because they are making cakes with a surprise inside, they will need to make multiple cakes in different colors for different layers. These cakes take a lot of precision and a lot of planning.

Brian tells us he is making an All-American Lemon Cake that when cut inside will reveal the different layers of a cheeseburger.

Francine is confident in her cake, telling us it’s not brain surgery, it's just cake. She is making a Floating Hearts Cake that when cut into will reveal a chicken and multiple floating hearts throughout.

As the bakers put some of their cakes in the oven, host Jeff Foxworthy takes a moment to let us in on some cake history, specifically about the Baked Alaska. To learn the backstory on the Baked Alaska, Jeff takes us to famed New York restaurant Delmonico’s.

The classic Baked Alaska is made by placing ice cream on top of a small piece of cake. Then, meringue is piped all around the dessert until it is covered and it is baked at super high heat. The meringue acts as an insulator and keeps everything cool inside.

The dessert was made famous by Delmonico’s chef Charles Ranhoffer in 1867 to celebrate Alaska’s entry into the United States of America as our 49th state.

Meanwhile, back in the baking tent, the cakes are coming out of the oven. Kolette is happy with how her cakes look and says she is going to let them cool and then cut them in half. Kolette is making an ambitious 12-layer cake then will look like a checkerboard pattern when cut inside. Marcela reminds Kolette that they are really going to be paying attention to her presentation when they judge and Kolette is well aware.

Paul notes that this is a very difficult challenge, as you have to be part baker and part architect. One of the biggest problems the bakers face is that they have no idea how their Surprise Inside Cakes will turn out until the judges cut them open.

Now that Kolette has cut her cakes in half, she has her cutting rings and a ruler to measure precisely where to cut her cake into rings. Francine is busy cutting her chickens and hearts out of her cake to then be placed back into a cake pan. Once her cutouts are inside, Francine pours more batter over the shapes and puts it back in the oven. This is known as a twice-baked cake.

Darlene tells us she is making a cake called Give The Dog A Bone cake, which will feature a dog bone in every slice as well as a homemade fondant dog on top.

As we reach the halfway point of the bake, Jeremy is piping his cake batter into his pan and then he gently puts the cherry pie over the bottom cake layer. Once he is happy with the result, Jeremy continues to put more cake batter on top of the already baked pie. Although his cherry pie has a slight crack on top, Jeremy is still encouraged as he puts blue cake batter on the top of his cake.

Jeff stops by Elaine to see how she is doing and notes she is like a surgeon as she is filling her cake with mousse. Elaine is making a Valentine’s Day cake made up of vanilla and chocolate cakes with fresh strawberry mousse inside in the shape of a heart. Jeff like the mousse so much he ditches his spoon for a spatula and digs right in!

As the bakers work to assemble their cakes, Kolette is applying Chantilly cream on the inside of her cake rings to act as edible glue. Jeremy takes his cake out of the oven and takes some of the top off the Cherpumple cake, as it hasn’t cooked all the way through on top. At this point many bakers are taking their cakes out of the oven so they can cool. The bakers can’t frost their cakes if they are still warm.

Jeff stops by to see Darlene, who is adding rum to her frosting. She isn’t sure how much to add and Jeff offers to taste the frosting, which will be the grass the dog sits on. Jeff says it is some of the best grass he has ever tasted!

With 15 minutes left, the bakers furiously work at frosting their cakes. Francine runs into issues with her frosting being too thin, so she whips up a new batch of stiffer frosting. Brian removes the candied lemons from his frosting. In the final seconds, the bakers make final adjustments as they plate and everyone finishes and is ready to present at the end.

Now it’s time for the Showstopper Bake judging.

James is up first and Paul and Marcela like the look of his cake. Once they cut into it, the layers of the Earth are revealed much to Paul’s delight. Unfortunately, James’ cake is over baked and too dry.

Francine brings her cake up and from the outrageously colored and bright frosting, it’s enough to make Paul think it’s made for a 5 year olds birthday party. Despite the look of the exterior, the judges like her design inside.

Paul didn’t like Brian’s cake, saying it was too dry and the cheeseburger design inside was too simple for him.

The judges are both very impressed with the look of Effie’s inside and out as well as the texture. Unfortunately, Paul says it lacks flavor.

Marcela tells Darlene that she is concerned with the look of her cake’s base, as the green grass frosting is uneven and messy. But it’s the cake’s overpowering rum flavor that knocks Paul over and makes it almost inedible.

The judges both like the look and taste of Elaine’s romantic Valentine’s Day cake. Even the strawberry mousse tastes great. Paul is impressed.

Paul is really looking forward to cutting into Jeremy’s Cherpumple cake. Jeremy’s worst fears are true as the cherry pie in the middle pushed up too much and didn’t cook properly. In addition, the cake is raw.

Kolette has a lot riding on this Showstopper cake and both Paul and Marcela appreciate the work she put in on the appearance of the cake. Once cut, the cake did in fact reveal a checkerboard pattern. Paul loves the cake all around.

Jeremy is disappointed the cake didn’t go as he had hoped. He knows he could be in trouble. Kolette is happy about the reaction to her Showstopper cake, but she doesn’t want to get too excited and then be sent home.


Jeff tells the bakers it is now time for Marcela and Paul to decide who will be this week’s Star Baker and who will be going home.

Jeff notes that this is an interesting week since none of the bakers has been consistent. Paul says you need to look at the three bakes across the board and pick a Star Baker. Marcela points out that Elaine deserves consideration for her bakes. Paul points out Francine deserves to be considered as well.

In danger of going home this week are Kolette and Jeremy.

Elaine is awarded Star Baker.

Jeremy is sent home due to his two raw cakes and finishing in the bottom of the pack for the Technical.