Nov 04, 2014 • By

Help choose the $1 million winner of the Bake-Off Contest

For the first time in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest’s 65-year history, the judges have not yet named a winner.

Instead, they need your input.

Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s “The Chew,” announced the four category-winning recipes at the 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest’s Award Show last night in Nashville:

*Courtney Sawyer of Bellingham, Washington, for Cuban-Style Sandwich Pockets, in the Amazing Doable Dinners category.


Cuban-Style Sandwich Pockets

*Jody Walker of Madison, Mississippi, for Creamy Corn-Filled Sweet Peppers, in the Savory Snacks & Sides category.


Creamy Corn-Filled Sweet Peppers

*Beth Royals of Richmond, Virginia, for Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters, in the Simply Sweet Treats category.


Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters

*Megan Beimer of Alexandria, Virginia, for Chocolate Doughnut Poppers, in the Weekend Breakfast Wows category.


Chocolate Doughnut Poppers

One of these four category-winning recipes will win the Bake-Off Contest’s $1 million grand prize, based on the judging panel’s votes, and yours at, through December 2.

The winner will be revealed on ABC’s “The Chew” on December 3 (1 p.m. Eastern/Noon Central and Pacific).

I was able to interview each of the category winners after the Award Show.

They’re thrilled to have a chance to earn your votes.

Sawyer told me she should have listened to her 15-year-old son, who told her ‘“You’re gonna do it.’ It was her first time being a finalist, after submitting recipes in two previous Pillsbury Bake-Off Contests.

“I’m absolutely shocked. You submit your recipe on the Internet … and now it’s real!” said Sawyer. “My family loves Cuban sandwiches and most delis don’t sell sliced pork, so I was trying to think of how to put pork into the recipe. And I thought, ‘You could put ground pork, as long as it cooked.’ So I made really thin patties and it does cook, it cooks real well.”

Walker said her sister talked her into entering a recipe again. The last time was 16 years ago.

“I saw my name and I didn’t believe that was my name. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel very blessed,” said Walker. “My recipe is something that you can use in a lot of different situations. It’s very versatile, innovative and I thought it was pretty creative.”

For Royals, the contest in Nashville was her third try at the grand prize. She was a finalist in the 41st and 42nd Bake-Off Contests.

“There were so many excellent desserts in my category, I was excited just to come and enjoy the experience,” said Royals. “I was just trying to think of a way that pie crust had never been used before … I just thought ‘What if I cut it up into little pieces and do something with it?’”

Finally, Beimer made the contest finals in her first time entering the Bake-Off Contest. Her recipe was inspired by a designer doughnut shop that she and her husband went to often when they lived in San Diego.

“I’m shocked. I still can’t really believe it. It’s very surreal,” Beimer said. “It’s a really simple recipe. It doesn’t use a lot of ingredients but the flavor combinations are classic favorite flavors – the chocolate hazelnut – and it’s a crowd pleaser for all ages.”

Congratulations to the four category winners vying for the grand prize, and to all 100 of the 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest Finalists who made it to Nashville!

To vote, visit

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