Holiday Baking Championship Season 9: Episodes, Release Date And More – What We Know So Far

Temperatures are dropping, snow is thinking about falling, and gingerbread kits are appearing on store shelves. Sure, some of us will be stuck inside for the next few months, but there are plenty of things to do while getting cozy by the fire. Yes, we're talking about watching Season 9 of "Holiday Baking Championship" while wrapped in a giant blanket.

If you're unfamiliar with this particular Food Network offering, you've come to the right place. Each winter, 12 amateur bakers are tasked with various holiday-themed challenges, from updating classic recipes to decorating homemade gingerbread men. One by one, bakers are eliminated from the kitchen, until only one remains. This lucky person wins prize money, "a spot in Food Network Magazine," and, of course, ultimate bragging rights. Or something like that.

Anyway, now that we've got the basics down, let's get into the nitty-gritty details of Season 9 –- when the episodes will air, who will be competing, and what this holiday's baking challenges will include.

When does 'Holiday Baking Championship' air?

As it does every year, "Holiday Baking Championship" likes to usher in the holiday season by premiering in early November. This gives the show plenty of time to narrow down competitors, as well as space out episodes, while still wrapping up before holiday break truly begins.

Season 8 of "Holiday Baking Championship" premiered on the first Monday of the month — November 1 — which is pretty on par with previous seasons of the show. If we look at Food Network's episode lineup for Season 9, we see there are eight episodes. The first one already aired on November 7, and the remaining episodes will air each Monday at 8/7c p.m. until December 19. Episodes 5 and 6 double up on December 5 to keep the show from airing its finale the day after Christmas.

Okay, so now we know what the show is all about and when the episodes will air. You know what that means –- it's time to take a closer look at this season's host, judges, and, most importantly, bakers.

Who will appear on season 9 of 'Holiday Baking Championship'?

Season 9 of "Holiday Baking Championship" is hosted by Jesse Palmer, and per FoodSided, this year's judges are Duff Goldman, Nancy Fuller, and Carla Hall. All familiar faces, all fan-favorites. But let's get into the really exciting stuff: the bakers competing in the show.

As usual, the season begins with 12 competitors. According to Food Network, Season 9's bakers include Aaron Davis, Christine Herelle-Lewis, Antoine Hopkins, RaChelle Hubsmith, Bill Makin, Aishia Martinez, Harshal Naik, Zakiya Newton, Sumera Syed, Dru Tevis, Jessica Wang, and Kristen Weidlein.

These bakers hail from all across the country, from the boroughs of New York all the way to the beaches of Los Angeles. Although a few of the competitors this season are trained pastry chefs and work in the culinary industry, others bake at home with their loved ones. Regardless of skill set, all of these bakers will undoubtedly be challenged by the tasks before them, and only one will make it to the end to claim that $25k in prize money.

What types of challenges will 'Holiday Baking Championship' feature?

If earlier seasons are anything to go on, each episode of "Holiday Baking Championship" is bound to include two challenges, one smaller and one larger. Sure enough, in the Season 9 premiere on Food Network, bakers first had to make pavlova wreaths, which are cakes made of meringue and traditionally topped with fruit. For their second challenge, the bakers were divided into two teams for a pie vs. cake bakeoff.

Upcoming episodes promise to offer similar challenges, including some related to Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Per Rotten Tomatoes, bakers will have to turn Thanksgiving ingredients into desserts, create sweet treats that feature corn, and design ugly sweater cakes, among a dozen other challenges. Each episode will eliminate another competitor, until only one remains.

Although the show follows a similar formula each year, obviously it works. We're still watching, still rooting for our favorite bakers, still yelling at the TV when the judges come back with an unexpected decision. Will you be watching with us this season?