The hosts of Baking It: Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler’s Celebrity Holiday Special may take a hands-off approach — “They don’t allow us near the oven,” Amy Poehler tells TV Insider. “In fact, a couple times we’ve come close and they’ve just pushed us away” — but their hearts are in the right place.
The tight-knit Saturday Night Live vets invite famous pals Kristen Bell, J.B. Smoove, Fred Armisen, and Nicole Richie to get cooking for a good cause in this not-at-all-cutthroat competition, premiering Monday, December 12 at 10/9c on NBC. (A new season of the Baking It series drops on Peacock the same day, with Poehler again filling in for Andy Samberg, who was off making a movie.) In one challenge, the stars prepare recipes that reflect their own holiday traditions.
“It was really moving to see our friends making things that meant something to them,” notes Maya Rudolph. Adds Poehler: “We got to know everybody’s family.”
And speaking of family, yes, the judging panel of picky grandmothers is “back and better than ever,” promises Poehler. Good thing too. According to Rudolph, she and Amy couldn’t stand the heat of picking a winner: “Yeah, we leave the hard work to the grannies.”
This holiday special is all about giving back. The funny duo’s famous friends are all taking part to raise some dough for their favorite charities, and the hosts will keep everyone on their toes with thrilling twists throughout the episode. The celebrities draw inspiration for their baking from beloved holiday traditions and family recipes.
Their tasty treats include Austrian schaumrollen and pickle soup made by Bell, whose competitive nature led her to make two delectable dishes; sticky apple cake made by holiday lover Richie, who starts her festive season as early as September; vegan banana pudding cake made by self-proclaimed “Cake Architect” Smoove, who made up his recipe on the spot, and Venezuelan hallacas made by Armisen, a recipe he got from his mother, although he has never baked before.
Baking It: Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler’s Celebrity Holiday Special is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Paper Kite Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment. Poehler, Rudolph, Nicolle Yaron, Pip Wells, Kate Arend, and Dave Becky serve as executive producers.
Baking It: Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler’s Celebrity Holiday Special, Monday, December 12, 10/9c, NBC