Next Great Baker

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Next Great Baker
Also known as Cake Boss: Next Great Baker
Presented by Buddy Valastro
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 40 (List of episodes)
Running time 42 minutes
Original channel TLC
Original run December 6, 2010 (2010-12-06) – present
Related shows Cake Boss
Kitchen Boss
Ultimate Cake Off
External links

Next Great Baker (also known as Cake Boss: Next Great Baker) is an American television series that airs on TLC, hosted by Buddy Valastro, the star of his own reality series, Cake Boss. The show features contestants participating in challenges that test their baking and decorating skills. Each week, a contestant will be eliminated; the last contestant standing will win a grand prize package that varies by season; other prizes for winning a challenge or the week's competition are also offered during the series.[1]


Each round has three stages:

  1. Baker's challenge: Each contestant has to meet a challenge set by Buddy the cake boss, such as making a pastry, baking a cake or in the first season finale, filling buckets of grease. The winner of this challenge receives a special bonus, revealed after the challenge.
  2. Elimination challenge: Each contestant has a set amount of time over two days; usually three hours on the first day and the remaining time on the second to make a cake to specifications set by Buddy.
  3. Final elimination: Buddy and the judges (the judge from the Baker's Challenge and a client) decide which three cakes are the best and which two cakes that are the worst. After the decisions are made, the contestants (who were waiting in the baker's lounge) enter the judging room. Contestants determined "safe" are then dismissed. Then, the three contestants with the best cakes are announced, with the one with the best cake in the challenge singled out. The remaining contestants have the worst cakes in the challenge; one of these will be told to leave the competition, transported away by Danny (an employee of Carlo's Bakery and Buddy's close friend) inside a box truck marked "Not the Next Great Baker".


Season Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Season premiere Season finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 8 December 6, 2010 (2010-12-06) January 24, 2011 (2011-01-24) N/A N/A N/A
2 11 November 28, 2011 (2011-11-28) January 30, 2012 (2012-01-30) N/A N/A N/A
3 12 November 26, 2012 (2012-11-26) February 11, 2013 (2013-02-11) N/A N/A N/A
4 10 June 24, 2014 (2014-06-24) August 19, 2014 (2014-08-19) N/A N/A N/A

Season 1[edit]

The first season of Next Great Baker was taped inside a special kitchen studio set up at the Hudson County Community College Culinary Arts Institute in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was televised from December 6, 2010 to January 24, 2011 on TLC. Dana Herbert, the last contestant standing out of a field of ten contestants, won $50,000 cash, a Chevrolet Cruze and an apprenticeship at Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. Following his win, Dana had been featured in some episodes of Cake Boss, but he had his own bakery before his appearance on the show.

Season 2[edit]

The second season of Next Great Baker was set at the new Carlo's Bakery facility at Lackawanna Center in Jersey City, and was televised from November 28, 2011 to January 30, 2012 on TLC. Marissa Lopez, the last contestant standing out of a field of 13 contestants, won $100,000 cash and a four-page spread in Brides magazine,[2] along with an opportunity to work beside Buddy in the bakery.[3]

Season 3[edit]

Season 3 premiered on Monday, November 26, 2012.[4] The winner was Ashley Holt. She now is working at Buddy's bakery and is on Buddy's other show, Cake Boss.

Season 4[edit]

Season 4 premiered on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.[5] This season, contestants competed in pairs.[6] Ten pairs total are vying for a $100,000 grand prize and an opportunity to work for Buddy Valastro at the new Carlo's Bakery at Las Vegas’ The Venetian. Chocolatier Jacques Torres and Magnolia Bakery chief Bobbie Lloyd will be permanent judges for season four alongside Buddy.[7]


  1. ^ "Cake Boss Gets Competitive with New Spinoff Series". 
  2. ^ "Lots of Perks and a Bit of Baking". TLC. November 29, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ "It's Go Time!". Next Great Baker. Season 2. Episode 1. November 28, 2011. 06:31 minutes in. TLC. "The winner is gonna get to work with me, to learn what it's like to be at Carlo's Bakery, and I'm gonna teach you all my tricks."
  4. ^ "Season Three of TLC's 'Next Great Baker' to Premiere Monday, November 26". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ "'Next Great Baker' Season Four to Premiere Tuesday, June 24 on TLC". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "TLC's ‘Next Great Baker’ Returns for Season 4 in June With a Few Twists (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Acken, Lori (June 20, 2014). "We talk Next Great Baker Season 4 with new judge Jacques Torres". Channel Guide Magazine. Retrieved July 1, 2014.