Wisconsin Baker Wins Food Network Baking Championship

Baker Says She Wanted To Highlight Wisconsin Through Her Desserts

Wisconsin baker Jen Barney
Wisconsin baker Jen Barney is a contestant on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship. photo courtesy of Food Network.

A bakery-owner from the La Crosse area said she drew inspiration from Wisconsin to win a holiday show on the Food Network.

In the final episode of the “Holiday Baking Championship” this week, Jennifer Barney from Stoddard took home the title and $50,000 with a three-tier gingerbread eggnog cake.

During the show, Barney said she tried to represent Wisconsin in her work, from depicting red barns on her cakes to highlighting the state’s agricultural products.

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“I’m really proud of where I come from. I’m from a farming community, a farming family and throughout the competition I was thrown some fun ingredients like cranberries,” Barney said.

But she said the strategy was not just about nostalgia for her home state.

“If I had a chance, I was going to plug (Wisconsin) because we need to be plugged. People always overlook Wisconsin but we have a great state and we’re really good people,” Barney said.

Jennifer Barney at her Meringue Bakery in Stoddard. Hope Kirwan/WPR

Barney runs Meringue Bakery out of her home in Stoddard. She said she hopes to use the prize money to move her business to downtown La Crosse.

“Doing this and taking that leap of faith, it’s worked out for me very well. And even if I wouldn’t have won, I would have been so proud of myself,” Barney said.