NEW YORK, NY — Livingston seventh grader Soleil Thomas, the 12-year-old baker being featured on Season 4 of Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship,” will advance to the Top 11 after making it through her first challenge on Monday’s season premiere.

Twelve of America’s best young bakers are proving that “age is just a number” by competing to see “who will go from bake sales to baking champion” on the popular Food Network series. The winner will take home $25,000, be featured in “Food Network Magazine” and earn the title of Kids Baking Champion.

As their first challenge, the competitors were tasked with baking and decorating a layered cookie cake in two hours. Each baker was given one of six types of cookie to bake—sugar, peanut butter, chocolate, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, or snickerdoodle.

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Thomas received oatmeal raisin and decided to bake an oatmeal raisin cookie cake with cinnamon frosting.

“I’m a competitive dancer and I also do pageants,” Thomas said in her introduction. “I love baking so much and I can’t wait to add Kids Baking Championship to my wall of trophies.”

Thomas overcame adversity for the first time in the competition when she realized she did not have enough batter and was short on time to complete a second batch. Luckily. she made it with enough time to not only complete the mid-challenge twist to add her name to the cake in an edible way, but also to help a fellow baker finish his decorations.

Mentors and hosts Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli enjoyed Thomas’ presentation, noting that her cookie cake looked a bit like a sand castle to match her name, which means “sun” in French. Despite having a little too much cinnamon in her cake, Thomas received mostly positive comments from the judges and landed in the middle of the pack for the week.  

“Kids Baking Championship” said goodbye to 11-year-old Michael Platt from Bowie, MD. The competition continues on Monday at 9 p.m. on Food Network.