Every day, we’re getting a little closer to our favorite thing about fall. It’s not the crunch of brightly colored leaves underfoot or the arrival of pumpkin spice everything: it’s the realization that new episodes of The Great British Baking Show are just a few days away.
Season 12 will premiere on Netflix on Friday, September 24 and a new episode will be added to the streaming service each week. (U.S. viewers get each episode three days after they air on Channel 4 in the U.K., so if you have a VPN and a desperate need to know what’s happening under the tent…) Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are returning for another year of biting and smiling through the contestants’ cakes and biscuits, and hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas are back as well.
The 12 contestants who are taking part in this eternally charming competition include Chigs, a 40-year-old from Leicestershire who says that he hadn’t been much of a baker before he started “on a whim” during last year’s lockdown; Rochica, a 27-year-old from Birmingham who turned to baking after an injury brought an unexpected end to her dancing career; and Amanda, a 56-year-old Metropolitan Police detective from London.
This season will also feature the first-ever fully vegan contestant. Freya Cox, a 19-year-old psychology student, is also the youngest baker to pull on an apron for the show. According to Channel 4, she believes she’s a “massive perfectionist” who loves adding “intricate details” to her plant-based creations.
Due to COVID-related protocols, the judges, hosts, and contestants (along with cleaners, paramedics, and the show’s entire crew) were kept in a secure bubble at a luxury hotel in Essex. For six straight weeks, they all had to remain on-site at the Down Hall estate — which honestly doesn’t sound so bad.
Last year’s Great British Bake Off… er, Baking Show was won by Peter Sawkins, a 20-year-old who became both the youngest winner and the first Scottish winner in the show’s history. Can Freya beat that? We’ll know by the end of November!
This story originally appeared on FoodandWine.com.