The Sweetest First-Round Treats from Sugar Showdown Season 1

The competition is sweet on Sugar Showdown. Check out some of the unique desserts from the first round of competition.

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©Jeremy Kohm

Secret Ingredient: Cheese Curds

Contestant Farzam Fallah used cheese curds for a savory spin on the French Saint-Honoré. Instead of topping his cake with cream puffs, he used crispy bacon.

Secret Ingredient: Cheese Curds

When you think of fudgy cake, you probably don't think of corn and cheese, but Elizabeth Halen's creation could change your mind.

Secret Ingredient: Cheese Curds

AJ Thalakkat brought some salt and spice to his cheesy cake with pistachios and saffron.

Challenge: Tropical Pineapple

Shona House's doughnut doubles down on pineapple with spiced pineapple dough and pineapple-infused ice cream. A raspberry glaze gives it a vibrant color, and then toasted coconut lends some tropical crunch.

Challenge: Tropical Pineapple

Contestant Joshua Griffin crafted a fritter filled with orange-honey cream cheese and topped with a pineapple glaze. It's almost as if a Creamsicle and a pina colada crossed paths.

Challenge: Tropical Pineapple

Joe Ross' pineapple pirate doughnut will make you say "arrrrgh." Those who can't get enough of pineapple will love the cake and glaze flavored with the fruit and topped with grilled pieces of it. Crushed walnuts and a rum molasses drizzle complete the towering dessert.

Secret Ingredient: Thyme

Derek Kaplan's peach and guava pie is sticky-sweet and covered with streusel and whipped cream.

Secret Ingredient: Thyme

Lisa Clark took tangy lemon pie to a savory new level with thyme and nutmeg.

Secret Ingredient: Thyme

Contestant Jenny Brien's pie starts with vanilla butter pastry and gets another dose of buttery goodness from brown butter-apricot compote.

Challenge: Breakfast Theme

Competitor Wendy Egloff made a gorgeous chocolate bacon cupcake with maple buttercream. The secret (and required) ingredient? Mayonnaise. You could never tell from the outside.

Challenge: Breakfast Theme

Jeremy Wong made his cupcake look like a full breakfast with candied bacon, mango mousse (not a real runny egg yolk) and pistachio buttercream.

Challenge: Breakfast Theme

Contestant Chelsea Stoddard made a lemon cake with fruit slaw and candied walnut, and it looks a lot like a bowl of granola.

Secret Ingredient: Lavender

Why choose between two pies when you can have lemon meringue and blueberry at the same time? Pete Stark made his even more unusual with a macadamia nut crust.

Secret Ingredient: Lavender

Stephanie Duong's lemon lavender pie is as beautiful as it is delicious, with peach and lavender compote, honey meringue and pistachios.

Secret Ingredient: Lavender

Paula Haney's hearty and decadent pie has a butter crust, lavender pastry cream, blueberry compote and oat crumble.

Challenge: Cherry Bomb

Contestant Marilyn DeVault put a new spin on Black Forest cake with sour cherries and espresso.

Challenge: Cherry Bomb

Lindsey Greflund's cake is on a roll — literally. Fluffy cream and cherries are tucked inside chocolate cake like a dessert pinwheel.

Challenge: Cherry Bomb

Kristina Norman's cake is full of layers of pink cherry frosting and almond cake. 

Secret Ingredient: Mint

Competitor Jeanne Kaminski piped her vanilla cake doughnuts into fun shapes before topping them with mint glaze and sauteed figs.

Secret Ingredient: Mint

Drink up Scott Levine's mint julep doughnut, spiked perfectly with brandy.

Secret Ingredient: Mint

Tara Bresnick kicked up an old-fashioned buttermilk cake doughnut with a Greek-inspired mint-and-honey glaze and fig compote.

Secret Ingredient: Balsamic Vinegar

Fruit and vinegar become best friends in Kendall Harris' balsamic chocolate cupcake with raspberry reduction and mascarpone whip.

Secret Ingredient: Balsamic Vinegar

Faith Magallanes mixed sweet and savory with rosemary buttermilk cupcakes topped with blueberry compote, lemon mascarpone whip and a crunchy cookie crumble.

Secret Ingredient: Balsamic Vinegar

You could eat Mani Niall's cupcakes for dinner. The cornmeal and olive oil cake with balsamic-seared figs and vinegar-spiked whip would pair well with a cheese plate.

Secret Ingredient: Nutmeg

This ain't your grandma's pumpkin pie. Jen Bundock's version has a bruleed top, coconut and pumpkin filling, and nutmeg-spiced whipped cream.

Secret Ingredient: Nutmeg

Don't worry, be happy with Sandra Holl's Painkiller Pie. What is that, exactly? A orange-pineapple-coconut-rum-nutmeg custard garnished with lime whipped cream and fun tiki elements like a banana dolphin.

Secret Ingredient: Nutmeg

Meredith Layton created a fruity and custardy pie with a buttermilk-nutmeg custard and grapefruit. The pecan crust and maple-nutmeg brittle take things to the next level.

More Sugar Showdown

See which of these creations impressed the judges the most on Sugar Showdown.


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