Photos Modified: Courtesy of General Mills
Most home cooks recognize the Pillsbury Bake-Off as an American tradition — but did you know about its massive impact in the way we bake at home? Common kitchen staples like the Bundt pan and the sesame seed only became widely used and accepted in American homes because of winning Bake-Off dishes! Without the Bake-Off, those delicious sesame seed buns may be a niche product instead of a staple of our most favorite burger recipes.
The Pillsbury Bake-Off’s impact is widespread, with winners and finalists hailing from every state. So get excited for the 2018 competition and learn more about this iconic contest with these 10 things you didn’t know about the Pillsbury Bake-Off.
Only 24 states have won the grand prize at the Pillsbury Bake-Off, but each and every state has had at least one finalist or grand prize winner. Which state has the most Bake-Off grand prize winners? California, with eight first place finishers.
Bacon may be one of the most popular foods out there, but it’s not a big winner at the Pillsbury Bake-Off. No grand prize-winning recipes have used this salted meat.
Sesame seeds may be a staple in today’s savory baked breads and dishes, but that wasn’t always the case. In 1954, Dorothy Koteen won the Pillsbury Bake-Off with her Open Sesame Pie. Her winning submission caused these seeds to spread across American kitchens and fly off the store shelves.
Courtesy of General Mills
Ever wonder why The Great British Bake Off is called The Great British Baking Show in the United States? It’s because Pillsbury owns the registered trademark for the phrase “bake-off” in America.
Before the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off, the Bundt was a little-known cake pan. But that all changed with that year’s winning dish: the Tunnel of Fudge Cake from Ella Rita Helfrich. The recipe became so popular that the Bundt pan’s sales soared, and it became the common kitchen item that it is today.
Women are dominant in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. In its 68 year history, only one man has won the grand prize contest. Who was he? Kurt Wait of Redwood City, California. He won the contest in 1996 with a Macadamia Fudge Torte.
The peanut blossom, a crunchy yet fluffy cookie that’s a staple of every Christmas cookie platter, originated at the Pillsbury Bake-Off. But despite being the most popular Bake-Off dish, the peanut blossom did not win. It came in ninth place in the 1957 contest.
Savory submissions are more than welcome at the Bake-Off, but they don’t win nearly as often as sweet treats do. Only one in four grand prize-winning dishes have been savory. And now that you know facts about the Pillsbury Bake-Off, get some cooking inspiration with these 24 things to make with a tube of biscuit dough.
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