Pillsbury Bake-Off

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The Pillsbury Bake-Off is a cooking contest, first run by Pillsbury Company from 1949 to 1976, and since 2013 as an annual contest. From 1978-2012, the contest was held biennially. In 2016 the contest may return to a biennial format. [1] The next contest will be in November 2015 or 2016, site TBD.


The first contest was held in 1949 as the Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest and hosted in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Until 1994, the grand prize was $50,000.[2] Since 1996, the grand prize has been $1,000,000.

The only required ingredient in the early contests was Pillsbury's BEST Flour.[3] There was no contest in 1965 because the contest was moved from October to February.[4]

Occasionally, there has been a male category (1978, 1990, 1992, and 2002). The only male champion was Kurt Wait of Redwood City, California, who won in 1996; that year, 14 of the 100 finalists were men.

The contest went back to an annual contest beginning November 2013, after the previous 18 contests were held on the even-numbered years.


Year(s) Host Network Notes
1949-1957 Arthur Godfrey CBS
1958-68 Art Linkletter CBS
1970-82 Bob Barker CBS Placed in the same hour as a half-hour episode of The Price is Right (except 1970-1972)
1984-88 Garry Collins CBS
1990-1992 Willard Scott CBS
1994-1998 Alex Trebek CBS
2000 Phylicia Rashad CBS
2002 Marie Osmond CBS
2004-2006 Not aired N/A
2008 Keegan Gerhard Food Network Aired as an episode of Food Network Challenge
2010 Oprah Winfrey Syndication Winner was announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show
2012 Martha Stewart Hallmark Channel Winner was announced on The Martha Stewart Show
2013 Padma Lakshmi Syndication Winner was announced on The Queen Latifah Show
2014 Carla Hall ABC Winner was announced on The Chew

Location Held[edit]

1949-56: New York 1957: Los Angeles 1958: New York 1959: Los Angeles 1960: Washington D.C. 1961: Los Angeles 1962: New York 1963: Los Angeles 1964: Miami, FL 1966: San Francisco 1967: Los Angeles 1968: Dallas 1969: Atlanta 1970: San Diego 1971: Honolulu 1972: Houston, TX 1973: Beverly Hills 1974: Phoenix 1975: San Francisco 1976: Boston 1978: New Orleans 1980: Miami, FL 1982: San Antonio 1984: San Diego 1986: Orlando 1988: San Diego 1990: Phoenix 1992: Orlando 1994: San Diego 1996: Dallas 1998: San Diego 2000: San Francisco 2002: Orlando 2004: Hollywood, CA 2006: Orlando 2008: Dallas 2010, 2012: Orlando 2013: Las Vegas, NV 2014: Nashville, TN 2015 or 2016: TBD

Grand Prize Winners[edit]

Year Recipe Grand Prize Winner
1949 No-Knead Water-Rising Twists Theodora Smafield
1950 Orange Kiss-Me Cake Lily Wuebel
1951 Starlight Double-Delight Cake Helen Weston
1952 Snappy Turtle Cookies Beatrice Harlib
1953 "My Inspiration" Cake Lois Kanago
1954 Open Sesame Pie Dorothy Koteen
1955 Ring-A-Lings Bertha Jorgensen
1956 California Casserole Hildreth H. Hatheway
1957 Accordion Treats Gerda Roderer
1958 Spicy Apple Twists Dorothy DeVault
1959 Mardi Gras Party Cake Eunice G. Surles
1960 Dilly Casserole Bread Leona Schnuelle
1961 Candy Bar Cookies Alice Reese
1962 Apple Pie '63 Julia Smogor
1963 Hungry Boys' Casserole Mira Walilko
1964 Peacheesy Pie Janis Risley (Janis Boykin, 17 years old, won the contest, per Pillsbury 1965 cook booklet.)
1966 Golden Gate Snack Bread Mari Petrelli
1967 Muffin Mix Buffet Bread Maxine Bullock
1968 Buttercream Pound Cake Phyllis Lidert
1969 Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs Edna M. Walker
1970 Onion Lover's Twist Nan Robb
1971 Pecan Pie Surprise Bars Pearl Hall
1972 Streusel Spice Cake
Quick 'n Chewy Crescent Bars
Rose DeDominicis
Isabelle Collins
1973 Quick Crescent Pecan Pie Bars
Banana Crunch Cake
Albina Flieller
Bonnie Brooks
1974 Chocolate Cherry Bars
Savory Crescent Chicken Sandwiches
Francis I. Jerzak
Doris Castle
1975 Easy Crescent Danish Rolls
Sour Cream Apple Squares
Barbara S. Gibson
Luella Maki
1976 Crescent Caramel Swirl
Whole Wheat Raisin Loaf
Lois Ann Groves
Lenora H. Smith
1978 Nutty Graham Picnic Cake
Chick-N-Broccoli Pot Pies
Esther Tomich
Linda Mowery
1980 Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie Millicent (Caplan) Nathan
1982 Almond-Filled Cookie Cake Elizabeth Meijer
1984 Country Apple Coffee Cake Susan F. Porubcan
1986 Apple Nut Lattice Tart Mary Lou Warren
1988 Chocolate Praline Layer Cake Julie Bengtson
1990 Blueberry-Poppy Seed Brunch Cake Linda Rahman
1992 Pennsylvania Dutch Cake and Custard Pie Gladys Fulton
1994 Fudgy Bonbons Mary Anne Tyndall
1996 Macadamia Fudge Torte Kurt Wait
1998 Salsa Couscous Chicken Ellie Mathews
2000 Cream Cheese Brownie Pie Roberta Sonefeld
2002 Chicken Florentine Panini Denise JoAnne Yennie
2004 Oats 'n Honey Granola Pie Suzanne Conrad
2006 Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing Anna Ginsberg
2008 Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies Carolyn Gurtz
2010 Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups Sue Compton
2012 Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream Christina Verrelli
2013 Loaded Potato Pinwheels Glori Spriggs
2014 Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters Beth Royals


External links[edit]