Baking It is back with a second season hosted by Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler, who takes over for Andy Samberg after season 1. Ahead of the reality series’ return with all-new episodes on Peacock and a celebrity holiday special on NBC, the two Saturday Night Live alum spoke to ET’s Will Marfuggi about the “coziest cooking competition” on TV, which is packed full of culinary explosions, singing and dancing as well as a panel of opinionated grandmas.
“There’s a lot of explosions this season,” Poehler says, while Rudolph teases, “It’s just, like, hardcore baking.”
“Yeah, we’re baking bad!” Poehler exclaims. “Really, really bad,” Rudolph adds.
This year, the five-part series sees 16 bakers competing in teams of two as they take on challenges designed by their hosts, who will test their skills across a variety of bakes in order to determine who will earn a cash prize. And since this is a spinoff of Poehler’s other crafty competition, Making It, winning isn’t everything — but having a good time is.
That’s why each episode, the hosts bring their charm as well as performing skills and comedic timing to the kitchen. “We sang a lot,” Rudolph reveals. “And it wasn’t as premeditated as I thought. But it was in the goof strain, kind of natural to that. So yeah, it is very much our personalities in a baking show, if that makes any sense.”
“100 percent,” Poehler confirms.
But if there’s any drama — or added comedy — it all comes from the panel of judges consisting of Grandma Anne, Gigi Sherri, Nana Harriet and Bubbe Norma.
“These grannies have excellent taste and combined, probably, 100 years of experience,” Poehler says of their unmatched skills in the kitchen. “As bakers and as teachers, we love the way they interact with each other and they way they interact with the contestants.”
“They tell it straight,” she continues. “If they don’t like your sweet potato pie, you’re going to know about it. They’re not going to sugarcoat it.”
That said, they’re also good at letting the contestants down. “It’s a gentle letdown,” Rudolph says, explaining that it’s better to get bad news from “your grandma or somebody else’s granny.”
But, as Poehler points out, they also come armed with “purses on set a lot,” she says. “And it takes a long time for them to find the stuff they’re looking for. And that’s our kind of comedy.”
And when it comes to the celebrity contestants competing on the holiday special, they have no idea who anyone is. As ET’s exclusive sneak peek of the episode showed, they struggled with identifying the four stars, Fred Armisen, Kristen Bell, Nicole Richie and JB Smoove.
“I know that they didn’t know one person,” Poehler confirms. “And I mean, they’re polite with us. But they don’t know who we are either. But my favorite thing was that they didn’t fake it. And they kept asking what channel everyone was from, which is a great question.”
“I didn’t have the heart to break [it to them] that there are no channels,” Rudolph adds.
Baking It season 2 debuts Dec. 12 on Peacock while the holiday special premieres the same day at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.