Taste TV

A fresh season: 'Best Baker in America' returns with a new batch of bakers

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Andrew Warren / TV Media
Scott Conant and contestants from "Best Baker in America"

Scott Conant and contestants from "Best Baker in America"

What's not to love about freshly baked goodies that have just come out of the oven? I don't know if I could ever decide whether the succulent aromas or the melt-in-your-mouth taste is better, but I do know that there's nothing quite like homemade treats.

Of course, while I can bake some pretty respectable breads, cakes and pastries, I'll be the first to admit that they pale in comparison to anything that a real professional baker can make, and now some of the best bakers in the country are coming together to find out which one of them really takes the cake.

A new season of "Best Baker in America" premieres Monday, May 13, on Food Network, with nine new professional bakers eager to prove their chops and outbake their peers for a sweet $25,000 prize and the bragging rights that go along with it. Frequent "Chopped" judge Scott Conant returns to host the competition, which puts the bakers through a series of tricky baking challenges. "Holiday Baking Championship" winner Jason Smith and "Mexican Made Easy" host Marcela Valladolid both return as judges this season.

In this week's premiere, the nine bakers assemble for their very first Skills Challenge: they must make perfect mini princess cakes. Once that delicate task is behind them, they move on to the week's Master Challenge, which is always designed to test their abilities to work with various ingredients and flavors. For their first Master Challenge, the bakers must use elderflower and lemon to flavor spectacular royal baby celebration cakes that are big enough to serve 100 people.

Along with Smith and Valladolid, each episode also features a guest judge to help determine which bakers get to stay and which will be sent home empty-handed. Over the course of the season, the bakers will be asked to bake many different things, from miniature versions of classic pastries to smashable desserts that feature coconut as their main flavor.

In the end, only one of the bakers can be named the best baker in America and win the $25,000 prize that comes with the title. The competition gets underway Monday, May 13, on Food Network.