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Like Mother, Like Daughter

Two mother-daughter duos take the Bake-Off Contest by storm.

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This year’s Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest has experienced some notable firsts. One that I love: This is the first year that the contest has ever had two sets of mother and daughter finalists. Since my blog, Grandbaby Cakes, is centered around family and keeping loving kitchen traditions going, I was naturally drawn to sharing their beautiful stories with you. 

For both duos, it’s the daughter’s first year and the mother’s second time around as finalists. I enjoyed speaking with daughter JoAnne Tucker about her experience at the contest. She’s always been creative, and that creativity is definitely working now for her and her mother.

“Being here with my mother is a dream come true,” JoAnne told me as she created her Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Bars, one of 11 inventive recipes she submitted. 

Her mother, Anna Zovko, who will be 81 years young on her birthday next month, was equally smitten and excited about sharing this moment with her daughter. “I always enjoyed cooking with JoAnne and my other two daughters,” she says. Today, as she prepares her Chicken Alfredo Brunch Pizza for the judges, she wonders if all those magical times in the kitchen will pay off for both of them.

Christine Wilson (recipe: Lime in the Coconut Cookie Fudge) and Donna Fogel (recipe: Creamy Coconut Mocha Hazelnut Pastries), another mother and daughter duo excited to participate this year, are wondering the same thing.

Christine was such a proud mother who kept expressing her happiness for her daughter. “Donna amazes me,” she gleamed. I couldn’t help but feel the love and joy in her heart. Her daughter felt similarly. 

While Donna started to feel a little nervous when the competition began, she was so glad to have this experience with her mother that she wanted it to be very clear that she was not competing against her. She said, “Instead of a 1 in 100 chance, we now have a 1 in 50 shot.” 

Those are great odds for winning the $1 million grand prize, but the odds of having an unforgettable moment these families will cherish forever are even higher.