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Manheim-based baker Blayre Wright wins Food Network’s ‘Halloween Baking Championship’ | Food

The finale of the Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship began just like the ending of the previous episode – with Manheim-based baker Blayre Wright once again on the verge of elimination.

And once again, Wright – the Manheim-based baker and owner of Flouretta Sweet, a private wedding cake studio – was able to avoid elimination and the fate of being sent to the dreaded “13th floor” of the show’s “haunted hotel.”

In fact, Wright was the only baker to never take a trip to the 13th floor.

When judges Carla Hall, Stephanie Boswell and Zac Young convened for the final time to determine which of the four remaining bakers would be champion of the Halloween Baking Championship, they decided Wright was the winner.

Episode 8 (titled “Cheers to the Newlydeads”) of season 8 of the spooky baking competition found the remaining four bakers — Wright, Jill Davis of Michigan, Zac Mercer of Colorado and Lauren Rodgers of Washington — at their stations inside host John Henson’s haunted hotel Henson ready to compete for the championship and the prize of a trip to the 10 most haunted hotels in the country.

Henson introduced the final “thriller” challenge to the contestants, noting the unlike previous episodes, one baker would be eliminated after the first challenge and only three would go on to the final “killer” challenge to compete for the championship.

Henson asked the bakers to create their interpretations of a sweet and savory board for a doomed wedding that never took place because the bride and groom were poisoned. Henson explained the judges were looking for one sweet baked good and one savory; one of the items should be a representation of a head and the other a heart. Bakers had two-and-a-half hours to create their boards.

Contestants were handed envelopes each containing a type of cheese they needed to include in their baked goods. Wright received brie.

Wright decided to make a savory heart-shaped hand pie with rosemary and thyme and a savory mixture of onion, garlic and bacon inside. Her sweet treat was a fudgy brownie with raspberries and brie melted into ruby ​​chocolate ganache.

“It would mean everything for me to win this,” Wright said during the segment. “My clients at home see me as a cake maker but I know I’m so much more than that. And it’s just about proving that and making my family really proud.”

Wright made easy work of her bakes and cruised through the challenge without an issue.

The judges Carla Hall, Stephanie Boswell and Zac Young were once again impressed with Wright’s work, specifically her flavors and textures. The only problem was they were slightly more impressed with two of the other bakers’ creations – one of whom baked a classic Lancaster County dessert. Mercer made a whoopie pie that wowed the judges.

Wright and Rodgers stepped in front of the judges to learn which of them would go on to the final challenge and compete for the championship. But, Henson said, the judges were so impressed with everyone that they decided neither of the bakers would be sent home and all four would compete in the final challenge.

The final challenge was perfectly suited for Wright – a wedding cake baker by trade. Henson asked the bakers to create a three-tiered black wedding cake in five hours. The flavors would be up to them. Each baker received an envelope with a theme inside. Wright’s theme was “gothic.”

“Five hours for a wedding cake is a feat,” Wright said during the segment.

Wright decided to use one of the most haunted flavors she could think of: blood orange. She created a blood orange-scented cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting, blood orange curd, a crunchy hazelnut ganache and fresh blackberries.

For decoration, she designed two skulls as cake toppers and showed off her palette knife skills with decorative flowers.

Wright’s wedding cake baking expertise came in handy as she made her way through the challenge without any issues.

After the final “killer” challenge, the four remaining bakers got together for a big group hug and then the judging began.

The judges praised Wright’s cake.

“I loved the fact that you took a classic wedding shape and decor and just reversed and darkened the whole thing,” Boswell said. “I would have that at my wedding. The texture is perfect. This is awesome.”

Hall loved the fruit flavors but noted she wished the hazelnut would have been crunchier.

Young only had five words to say. “Brown. Butter. Cream. Cheese. Frosting.” Viewers could almost see the hand clap emojis between each word.

Henson gathered the bakers around to announce the winner saying that week in and week out the four remaining bakers proved they had baking in their blood, but the winner was Wright.

“I’m in shock,” a visibly emotional Wright said. “I expected to come here and meet a bunch of people who are super competitive, and I met 11 people who are super passionate and so amazing. I’m checking out of this hotel, but I’m checking out as the Halloween baking champion.”

With a final nod to “The Shining,” Henson told Wright she was the hotel’s new pastry chef – and in fact, she’d always been the hotel’s pastry chef.

Read a recap of each of Wright’s appearances on the show here.

Catch up on the complete season 8 of Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship on Discovery+.

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