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Frequently Asked Questions About the Bake-Off® Contest

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Entering My Recipe


Can I enter more than one recipe into the contest?

The official rules state that each entry should be submitted only once, but there are no restrictions on the total number of recipe entries you can submit for this contest.


How do I know that my online entry was accepted?

If your online entry is successfully submitted, you will see the following on the web site Thank You page: Thank you. Your recipe has been entered in the 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest. If you do not see this message, your entry was not submitted.


After I submitted my recipe entry, I realized that I made a mistake in the recipe. What should I do?

Once your recipe is submitted, that entry can no longer be changed. Submit a new entry with the correct version of your recipe, including the words “corrected version” in the title of your recipe.


Can I save an entry that I’m working on and then finish it at a later date?

Yes. You may have up to five recipes per category in your “saved recipe” box at any time. If you try to enter a sixth, you will not be able to do so until one of your saved recipes is submitted or deleted.


Can I send a picture and/or diagram of what the recipe should look like?

No. Photos or diagrams are not accepted.


Can I enter my recipe in Spanish?

Yes. Recipe entries can be submitted in Spanish. Spanish speaking food professionals will review all recipes submitted in Spanish and will translate recipes, if needed, for kitchen testing and other steps of the Bake-Off® Contest judging process.


How do I print a copy of my recipe submission?

If you would like to print a copy of the recipe you submitted, follow the instructions for printing at the end of the online entry form.


When I click on 'Submit My Recipe,' I return to the name/address page and do not receive a confirmation message.

This likely means that you have exceeded the maximum connection time allowed and have been disconnected from the web site. Unfortunately, your entry has not been received. Please resubmit your recipe. Be sure to complete your entry within two hours so that your connection is not broken. (Note that some Internet providers may disconnect you if your computer is idle for a shorter period of time.)


After I enter my name and address information, I continue to return to the same page.

In this situation, there may be technical difficulties between your system capabilities and this web site. Please restart your computer and try again.


How can I find out how my recipe was rated among the entries?

The volume of entries we receive does not allow us to provide feedback on the evaluation of individual recipes.


Can I use a mobile device to submit my recipe?

Your Bake-Off® Contest profile, My Recipes page and the entry form work best on a desktop, laptop or tablet device. Although you can access these pages from your mobile device, we do not recommend it.


My recipe could be entered in two different Categories. How do I know which one to choose?

Enter your recipe in the Category you think it fits best. The Bake-Off® Kitchens will re-assign recipes if they fit the requirements of a different Category.



Recipe Questions


I like to offer toppings for my recipe, like sour cream or Parmesan cheese. Do I have to indicate how much of those toppings to use, since each person will add toppings as they like?

You should indicate suggested amounts in your recipe. This will allow the test kitchen staff to evaluate the recipe as you intended. Toppings must be included as one of your 7 ingredients.


Does a garnish in my recipe count as one of my 7 ingredients?

Yes, any recipe garnish must be listed as one of your 7 ingredients.


Does Crisco® No-Stick Cooking Spray count as an ingredient in my recipe?

If you use the cooking spray for pan preparation, it does not count as an ingredient and should be mentioned in the method of your recipe. If cooking spray is used on food during recipe preparation, it does count as one of your 7 ingredients and should be included in the ingredient list.


Does Reynolds® Parchment Paper count as an ingredient in my recipe?

Parchment paper does not count as one of your 7 ingredients. It should be mentioned in the method of your recipe.


If I suggest an accompaniment like rice in my recipe, will the kitchen testers determine that amount?

If an ingredient or accompaniment other than table, kosher or sea salt, black pepper, flour for dusting or water is essential for the finished dish, the recipe entry should provide the amount of the ingredient needed and it must be listed as one of your 7 ingredients.


Can you explain what is included in preparation time?

Any time spent actively preparing your recipe is part of the 30 minute preparation time. This includes chopping, mixing, stirring (frequently or occasionally), or any time that you are actively working on your recipe. This does not include baking, cooling or chilling time.


What if I have a cooking and baking step in my recipe and have multiple pans/times. How should I list this in my recipe?

If your recipe states to use a pan/skillet on the stove top to prepare part of your recipe and then finishes baking in the oven, choose the baking pan, oven temp and bake time from the drop down lists. All other information can be listed in your preparation steps.


I want to use flavored salts and lemon pepper in my recipe. Can they be used as salt and pepper in my recipe and not count as one of my 7 ingredients?

No, table, kosher or sea salt and black pepper are the only salt and pepper ingredients that do not count as one of your 7 ingredients.


Can I enter a recipe that uses a preparation method like marinating overnight or cooking for 8 to 10 hours in a slow cooker?

No. All recipes must be able to be prepared within the 3 ½ hours of the Contest Finals. Contest officials recommend that you submit your recipes using a method that can be prepared at least twice during the contest finals.


Can I enter a recipe that uses outdoor grilling as a preparation method?

No. All recipe preparation and cooking must be done with the appliances provided on the contest floor.


Many recipes online and in cookbooks use raw ingredients like eggs and flour without cooking or baking them. Can I submit a recipe using raw ingredients without a baking or cooking step?

Recipes that contain eggs, baking mixes, flour, cookie dough or other fresh dough products require a baking or cooking step.




Eligible Product Questions


An ingredient I like to cook with was an eligible product for the last contest, but it is not listed this contest. Is that an error?

Eligible products are selected for each Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest based on consumer trends and marketing plans. Some products that were eligible in the last contest are not included in this contest and some new ones have been added. Eligible ingredients may vary from category to category. They are not listed in the rules but can be found online at www.bakeoff.com. We hope you'll be able to find two eligible products on the list to use in creating a recipe to enter.


I can't find an eligible product in my local grocery store? Can you help me locate the product in my area?

If you’re looking for a Pillsbury refrigerated dough product or Green Giant vegetables, please use the General Mills product locator here. Otherwise, we suggest that you ask your grocery store manager if the store can order the product, or select another eligible product available in your area.


How do I know what different varieties or flavors are available of an eligible product?

Most eligible products are readily available in grocery stores, and many will have an assortment of varieties or flavors. We suggest that you check your favorite grocery stores and select from the choices you find available in your area. On the online entry form, a drop-down list of sizes and flavors of eligible products is available.


If an eligible product includes two or more parts, such as refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing, do I need to use all of the components of the product in my recipe?

Yes, your recipe must include all the parts of an eligible product. Refer to the eligible product list for amounts.


My recipe cuts circles out of the pie crust or the crescent dough. Is it okay to have scraps of dough leftover?

Yes, it is okay to have small amounts of unused dough left over and not used.



Eligibility Questions


Can I have further clarification on eligibility for food professionals?

Our interpretation of the food professional rule means generally that if someone is paid for work related to their original recipes, then they are not eligible. This includes selling food made using your original recipes, no matter how much (or how little) money you make and whether it is your sole or primary source of income.

“Food professional” may also be defined by a career, for example: chefs, food writers, culinary specialists or food educators or someone who creates recipes for pay would not be eligible.

You are not eligible if you graduated from a culinary school/program or are enrolled in a culinary school/program at any time between February 13 and November 4, 2014.


I work in a restaurant; does that disqualify me?

Some people who work in a restaurant (or for a caterer) are food professionals and some are not. Contest officials will consider your job responsibilities and training when determining whether you are a food professional, but you are not automatically disqualified because you work in a restaurant.


I get paid to decorate cakes; does that disqualify me?

Contest officials will consider all relevant circumstances, but if you are not using your own recipes to make the cakes or the decorations, you are not automatically disqualified.


I write a food blog; does that disqualify me?

Some blog writers are food professionals and some are not. Contest officials will consider your blog when determining whether you are a food professional, but you are not automatically disqualified because you write a food blog.


I wrote a cookbook; does that disqualify me?

Contest officials consider selling a cookbook to be getting paid for your original recipes. However, some activities, such as contributing recipes to a family or charitable cookbook or self-publishing a cookbook that is given away for free, may not make you a food professional, depending on the situation.


I have taken some cooking classes; does that disqualify me?

Contest officials will consider the circumstances of your classes. Enrolling in a formal culinary degree or certificate program would disqualify you, while taking a community education class would not - but you are not automatically disqualified because you have taken some cooking classes.


I worked on a recipe with another person. Can we enter the contest as a team?

No. Because our contest rules are based on one individual person entering and participating, partners cannot enter recipes together.



Awards Questions


Jif® Award

All recipes made using at least ¼ cup of Jif® Peanut Butters or Peanut Butter Spreads are eligible for the Jif® Peanut Butter Award. This does not include any variety of Jif® Almond Butters, Jif® Cashew Butters or Jif® Hazelnut Spreads.


What is the Pillsbury® Gluten Free Award?

The Pillsbury® Gluten Free Award will recognize the finalist with the best recipe that includes a Pillsbury® Gluten Free dough product and does not include any wheat or any products that include wheat as an ingredient.


How do I know if a product contains wheat?

Product formulas and ingredients may change, therefore reviewing the ingredient declaration or allergen statement on the product’s package is the best way to determine if a product contains wheat.


How can I get more information about using Jif® Peanut Butter?

For more information, visit www.jif.com


How can I get more information about using Crisco® Cooking Oil?

For more information, visit www.crisco.com


How can I get more information about using Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk?

For more information, visit www.eaglebrand.com


How can I get more information about using Watkins Vanilla?

For more information, visit www.jrwatkins.com


How can I get more information about using Reynolds® Parchment Paper?

For more information, visit www.reynoldskitchens.com


How can I get more information about using Pillsbury® Refrigerated Gluten Free Dough?

For more information, visit www.pillsbury.com/products/gluten-free


Contest Judging and Contest Finals Questions

Are all recipes submitted to the contest read and judged, or do you select just some of the recipes to review? Do you test all the entries in your kitchens?

All entries in the contest that meet the entry requirements, such as using two different eligible products, are read and judged by food professionals from the official judging agency. From the many entries, the best are selected for kitchen testing and evaluation by taste panels. See description of the judging process here.


Can a finalist win more than one prize or award at the Contest Finals?

No. The contest rules state that each finalist is eligible to win one prize in addition to the finalist package.


My recipe meets the requirements for one of the special awards, but I want to be sure it's considered for the Grand Prize, too. How will the judges decide which recipe to consider for each prize?

The judges at the Contest Finals will give consideration to all 100 recipes for the category prizes before deciding on the special awards.


How will my votes contribute to the contest?

At the contest event in Nashville, TN, the judging panel will select the best finalist recipe in each of the four recipe categories. The four Category Finalists will be placed online for public voting following the Contest Finals. You may vote for your favorite category-winning recipe during the voting period. The Grand Prize will be awarded based on a combination of points awarded by the Judging Panel and points awarded through a public vote.


How do the points work?

The Judging Panel will select the best finalist recipe in each of the four recipe categories from the 100 finalist recipes, and will rank the four Category Finalists. The Category Finalist ranked first by the Judging Panel will receive 44 points, second place will receive 33 points, third place will receive 22 points, and fourth place will receive 11 points.

The four Category Finalists will be placed online for public voting following the Contest Finals. The Category Finalist with the highest number of eligible public votes will receive 36 points, second place will receive 27 points, third place will receive 18 points, and fourth place will receive 9 points.

Points awarded by the Judging Panel count for 55% of the total possible points, versus 45% for the public vote.


How is the Grand Prize Winner determined?

To determine the Grand Prize winning recipe, the points awarded by the Judging Panel will be added to the points awarded by the public voting. Points awarded by the Judging Panel count for 55% of the total possible points, versus 45% for the public vote. The Category Finalist recipe receiving the highest score will be deemed the Grand Prize winning recipe.


If I am a Category Finalist, can I promote my recipe to encourage others to vote for me?

Contest Rules prohibit obtaining votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, such as offering payment or other incentives for votes or agreeing to exchange votes with another person. Contest Rules do not prohibit encouraging others to vote, and Category Finalists are encouraged to do so in ways that do not violate the Contest Rules.


Can you tell me more about voting?

Voting information and rules will be published at www.bakeoff.com closer to the contest event.


Are you ensuring fraud is prevented?

Voting will be thoroughly monitored for fraudulent practices. Any votes or entries submitted by users found to be fraudulent will be disqualified.


How will the Grand Prize winner be announced? Will it be a live televised announcement?

Plans for the Grand Prize winner announcement have not been finalized. Please visit www.bakeoff.com for more information as the contest approaches.



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If you have questions about the Contest please check out our Official 47th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest Rules and FAQs. Don't see the answer? Click here to contact Customer Service for help.