I really enjoyed this finale except for the obviously forced backstory segments. Does anyone really want Bobby going around to each of them and explicitly asking them why they want to win? It's bad enough when they do it during judging like on Chopped, now they're distracting them while the clock is ticking down. But other than that everything was fairly enjoyable. The contestants appeared to not be horrible jerks to each other which is always a plus. The sugar cookies were way better than anything I've ever pulled out of my oven.
As for the cakes, I would've given it to Adalberto if going on a purely decorative criteria. The other two were generic shapes with a holiday skin on top. But there's certainly nothing wrong with doing that as long as the shape and skin does come together to make a showstopper. In that regard, Maeve's definitely had more of a showstopper feel than Steve's. Otherwise, going from what we saw on screen, I wouldn't pick Adalberto over the other two. Truth be told his cake didn't really look all that much like a tree to me. Also I think having too many elements was a detriment in the end. Having ice cream and macarons probably pulled away focus from the cake which was the point of the challenge. Duff also dinged him for using too much butter. Maeve had the most holiday themed offering in the end, and importantly had holiday flavors in her cake. She also took some risks along the way with her flavors like using cheese with white chocolate. I'll make sure to try her stuff if I ever find myself near her shop. Next year I think more contestants will be prepared to hammer home the theme in their pieces, but hopefully not mannerisms like last year's winner.