The competition kicks off in the pre-heat, when the 10 bakers celebrate the bountiful fruits and bright colors of the season by making fruity, tie-dye mini cheesecakes. In the main heat, the theme -- and the competition -- intensifies when the bakers are asked to incorporate fresh herbs and produce color gradients in their naked ombre cakes.
Spring abounds with gardens and flowers, so for this pre-heat, the nine bakers must create cupcake flower arrangements and amp up the flower power with flower essences. In the main heat, the competitors are challenged to make and decorate mirror-glazed gazing balls and plate them in edible gardens.
In the pre-heat, the eight bakers work in teams to create springtime mini pies perfect for an outdoor gathering. In the main heat, the competitors make desserts using three items from a picnic basket -- but they can't make the same thing as their picnic partners.
Eggs represent spring and new beginnings better than anything else, and because eclairs use a lot of eggs, the seven bakers take on springtime eclairs in this pre-heat challenge. Then host Ali Khan asks the bakers to create edible spring goodie baskets filled with two types of baked treats -- one of which must use a hard-boiled egg.
Tiny desserts are a big trend, especially in the Spring Baking Championship's Berry Tiny Bake Shop. For this pre-heat, the six bakers have to create berry tiny desserts that pack a big punch. In the main heat, it's an explosion of color and design as the bakers take on spring-patterned roll cakes.
What makes desserts sweet? Usually it's sugar, but in the desert, it's agave. For this pre-heat, the five bakers must use only agave as the sweetener in an assigned dessert -- a tart, a flourless cake, an ice cream sandwich, a doughnut or a cupcake. For the main heat, the bakers make succulent cakes that rival the real thing.
Which fruit comes into season in the spring but is often overlooked in baking? The avocado! In the pre-heat, the four bakers must pair avocado with chocolate, lime, orange or ginger in a dessert. In the main heat, the bakers "springify" a winter dessert like pumpkin pie, pecan pie, bread pudding or peppermint bark.
There's hidden beauty inside many things, even ugly ingredients. In this pre-heat, the remaining three bakers have to use so-called ugly ingredients to make beautiful desserts. In the main heat, the focus is on geodes, which look like rocks on the outside but have beautiful mineral formations inside. The bakers are tasked with creating vibrant and colorful geode cakes using handmade rock candy to win the title of Spring Baking Champion and the $50,000 prize.