Sad news. This year's Pillsbury Bakeoff has been canceled.
In a press release dated October 11, 2016 the company announced that "we are currently assessing how this 67-year-old contest comes to life in a relevant way for a new generation of home chefs."
The announcement was released just before the expected November 2016 call for entries. Insiders say the homey, feel-good contest may have become a factory-line competition with too many rules and too many contestants, a victim of its own success.
The most recent blow was Pillsbury's move to allow online fans to judge the four finalists. It proved very unpopular with many contestants and among critics who warned that the bake-off was losing its luster.
So is this the end of the Pillsbury Bake-Off? The best hope is that it returns to its roots and scales the contest back to a simpler format next year. Stay tuned....
All about the Pillsbury Bake-Off
In the world of cooking contests, the Pillsbury Bake-Off is the big one.
For the first twenty years of Pillsbury Bake-Off history, the cooking contest was held once a year, and the prize money, although significant, was set at a (whopping, by the day's standards) $50,000.
Eventually, contest came to be hosted bi-annually. In 1996, the Grand Prize became a cool million dollars plus $50,000 in runners-up prizes.
Along with firmly establishing their baking prowess, national fame is also bestowed upon lucky winners in a nationally televised event that has featured such notable hosts as Bob Barker, Art Linkletter, Alex Trebek, Marie Osmond, Oprah Winfrey, and Martha Stewart. The 2014 Pillsbury Bake-Off rewind
To encourage simpler, original recipes, submissions were limited to seven ingredients and could only take 30 minutes or less to prepare. The 2014 Bake-Off also featured four chances to win in four separate entry periods.
The 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off competition kicked off in February, when a call for entries went out for the first of two categories that competitors could enter -- "Simply Sweet Treats" and "Savory Snacks". The following month, a call for entries went out for recipes in the "Weekend Breakfast Wows" and "Doable Dinners" categories.
Next came the winnowing down of entries throughout the summer as updates were announced on Pillsbury's Facebook page -- including a chance for Pillsbury fans to vote on the recipes submitted by the chosen four finalists.
With voting completed, and the clock ticking down, the four category finalists appeared on ABC’s “The Chew” on December 3, 2014 for the announcement of the 47th Bake-Off Grand Prize Winner.
The $1 million prize was awarded to Beth Royals from Richmond, Virginia, in the "Simply Sweet Treats" category for her original recipe Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters
How to win the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest
The twist to the Pillsbury Bake Off is that contestants must use products from a list of products made by Pillsbury. Beyond that, they aren't many regulations, and past winners have made a wide variety of dishes from
cookies to pies to paninis.
Another secret ingredient to a winning bake-off recipe? Avoid the overly-complicated in favor of 'ease and speed', say bake-off veterans. But keep in mind that recipes are judged in four separate categories including taste (25%), appearance (25%), creativity (25%), and crowd appeal (25%)
Finalists who send in their recipes and make it through the judging process have their recipes hosted on the official
bake-off website where they are judged by visitors. Past winner and finalist recipes are also hosted on the website, along with detailed cooking instructions, ratings, reviews, and plenty of mouth watering pictures.
The 48th annual contest is expected to heat up again with a new call for entries expected to go out in early 2015. Meanwhile, keep it here for more details as they are announced.
Will your recipe have a chance to win the grand prize in the 2015 Pillsbury Bake-Off? You'll never know unless you try. So, hey, get baking and ... best of luck!
about the Pillsbury Bake-Off around the Web:
Bake-Off - The official site featuring submission tips, entry form, FAQ, photos and featured recipes from contests past. .