Spring Baking Championship Season 8: Release Date, Contestants, And More - What We Know So Far

By this time last year, the seventh season of Food Network's "Spring Baking Championship" had already been announced by Discovery+. This was sweet news for fans of the franchise, which is part of Food Network's larger "Baking Championship" collection of programming (via Casting Crane) and began with "Holiday Baking Championship" in 2014. As fans well know, the series quickly spawned a Halloween version, a kids' version and ultimately, the spring-centric version of which many are now anxiously awaiting news of an eighth season. 

But fans may wish to consider that Food Network's announcement of the release date of the seventh season actually arrived on the early side, on January 13, 2021 (via Discovery Press Web). By contrast, the release date announcements for Seasons 5 and 6 did not arrive until February. Since both Seasons 5 and Season 6 premiered in March, whereas Season 7 premiered on February 22, it seems reasonable to surmise that the fact that there has not yet been a release date announcement with regard to Season 8 may reflect nothing more than a release date for Season 8 that is currently penciled in for sometime after February.

Although nothing can be "official" until there has been an official announcement by the network and its streaming platform partner, here is what we know so far about Season 8 of "Spring Baking Championship," including its release date, its contestants, its host, its judges, and more (including what might be the grand prize this go-round).

What will be the release date for Spring Baking Championship Season 8

Since 2015, "Spring Baking Championship" has been pitting professional bakers against worthy home-spun talent to determine who shall earn "Baking Champion" bragging rights, not to mention a substantial cash prize (more on that later!). Each season since the second has incorporated tweaks on the show's concept, including the amount of said cash prize, the number of contestants, the number of episodes, who plays host, who does the judging, and, last but definitely not least, the release date for the first episode of the season. Let's tackle that one first, shall we?

The first episode of "Spring Baking Championship" debuted on April 26, 2015 (per IMDb). This was already well into the spring season (which begins officially at the end of the third week of March each year and can vary by a day or so, via The Old Farmer's Almanac). The second season had a release date of April 10, 2016. Each season of "Spring Baking Championship" thereafter — right up until Season 7 — premiered in March. Season 7, of course, changed this up with a winter release date of February 22, 2021. Since "Spring Baking Championship" is, at its essence, a show highlighting spring-themed baking, it's hard to imagine a release date for Season 8 of "Spring Baking Championship" that would be any earlier than February. Of course, until Food Network makes an official announcement about Season 8, no one can know for sure. 

Who will host Season 8 of Spring Baking Championship?

One of the biggest mysteries that fans of "Spring Baking Championship" may be working through in their minds right about now concerns the matter of who might host an eighth season of this popular cooking competition. The reason is that the first seven seasons of the show have experienced quite a bit of turnover in the hosting duties department, with one host actually returning despite having skipped a season. 

When Food Network's "Spring Baking Championship" premiered in 2015, its host was Bobby Deen, son of celebrity chef, Paula Deen (via IMDB). The younger Deen stayed with the "Spring Baking Championship" franchise during all of Seasons 1 and 2 before hosting duties were handed off to former "Bachelor" host, Jesse Palmer for Seasons 3 and 4. Palmer is the current host of "Holiday Baking Championship," the latest season of which began airing in November 2021. 

Palmer was replaced as host of Season 4 by Ali Khan of "Cheap Eats" fame, but Khan did not return for Seasons 5 or 6. Instead, Clinton Kelly of "The Chew" took over as host for both of these seasons. Then, as alluded to earlier, Khan returned as host of "Spring Baking Championship" for Season 7. It is not yet known whether Khan has plans to return for another season of "Spring Baking Championship," nor is it known who will be on-hand as a judge, since there have been changes in judges over the years as well. 

Who will be judging Season 8 of Spring Baking Championship?

According to the Food Network website, the judges for "Spring Baking Championship" are baking wunderkind Duff Goldman, chef and entrepreneur Nancy Fuller, and celebrity chef and Kardea Brown. However, it is possible this configuration may reflect only the status quo as of the end of Season 7, which is to say, it may not hold true for Season 8. The reason is that the judges have not always been those three in particular. Rather, in the first season, the three judges consisted of Goldman, Fuller, and Lorraine Pascale, a British chef and former model (per ScreenRant). All three judges then returned for the third through sixth seasons. 

However, Pascale bowed out for the seventh season because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. This made a spot available for Brown, per ScreenRant. It is not yet known whether an eighth season of "Spring Baking Championship" would go with the same judges line-up as Season 7.  Brown could be back for Season 8, but, by the same token, since it is not unheard of for a "Baking Competition" host to return after an absence, it remains possible that Pascale could return as a judge for Season 8.

Who will be the contestants on Spring Baking Championship Season 8?

From its very first season, one thing that has never changed in the "Spring Baking Championship" format is that it pits pro chefs against informally developed talent to determine who shall win the big cash prize (via Food Network Gossip). 

For example, Season 1's contestants included chef and cookbook author, Damiano Carrara; Carrara came in second and has gone on to appear as a judge on several other cooking competitions, including "Halloween Baking Championship" and came in as a finalist on Season 12 of "Food Network Star," per Food Network. The winner of Season 1 was also a professional: Pastry chef Andy Chlebana (via Food Network). Season 1's contestants included two non-professional bakers, a stay-at-home mom, and an epidemiologist. They both finished in the bottom three, along with a bakery owner (via IMDb). 

Nevertheless, it is absolutely possible that if "Spring Baking Championship" continues this "pros" versus "you never knows" casting format for its contestants, a dark horse could emerge. In fact, that's what happened in Season 2, when Dan Langan came in second place. Langan has gone on to  become a Food Network judge and host (via Food Network). Until the network and streaming platform make their joint announcement regarding Season 8, we'll just have to stay curious.

Will Season 8 of Spring Baking Championship bring a new format or new cash prize?

Over the course of seven seasons, "Spring Baking Championship" has had several format changes (via IMDb). The most prominent involve the number of contestants, number of episodes, and the prizes awarded (via Food Network). Season 1 involved eight bakers competing to win a cash prize of $50,000 over a six episode elimination-style contest. Season 2 followed right along with this formula. Things began to change in Season 3, with the addition of a ninth baker and a seventh episode (the cash prize remained $50,000), and Season 4 added a 10th baker and an eighth episode.

For Season 5, the cash prize was halved to $25,000, although the number of contestants remained at 10, and the number of episodes remained at 8. For Season 6, the cash prize remained at $25,000, but now the number of contestants was increased to 11, and the number of episodes increased to nine. The opportunity to appear in an issue of Food Network Magazine also sweetened the deal for the ultimate winner (via Food Network Gossip). For Season 7, the number of contestants, the number of episodes, and the cash prize remained the same as for Season 6. So, could it be that "Spring Baking Championship" has settled on a format they're going to stick with? Only time will tell, so do stay tuned as we plan to cover both the official announcement and the season itself.