Many people will say you can’t beat the original–and in the case of cake decorating shows–I am going to have to be one of those people! Ace of Cakes BEATS Cake Boss hands down!
It is obvious that TLC has been copying some of the Food Network’s most popular shows including Food Network Cake Challenges and of course, Ace of Cakes. TLC’s answer to Food Network Cake Challenges is “Ultimate Cake-off” which even features some of the same cake artists that have already dominated the Food Network Challenges. And then there is TLC’s Cake Boss, which is a blatant attempt to compete with Ace of Cakes. And in my opinion…it doesn’t come close.
Let’s talk about Cake Boss…
It’s campy. It’s all about Buddy Valastro, his family-owned Carlo’s Bakery and his totally “New Jersey”, Italian family. He has even uttered a “fugetaboutit” or two in some of the episodes. Talk about serving up a stereotype. Ugh. Annoying. And the “pranks” they play on each other seem so unnatural and totally scripted. Speaking of SCRIPTED, who let’s a bride in the backroom of a bakery (hello health code and safety violations) so she can “decorate/ruin” a cake with the icing bags while Buddy wanders out of the room for a few moments. It is so fake! And in the tiny chance there is any realness to it, its obviously scripted drama. All of the yelling at each other–it’s just irritating!
Their work is pretty good, sometimes even great–but they have yet to top Ace of Cake’s best work. I also HATE how they only feature the male decorators/family members. While Buddy makes short mention of the young ladies that make all the cool sculptural stuff, they never get camera time or their names on the opening sequence. The only women really featured on Cake Boss are Buddy’s loud and obnoxious sisters–who are always yelling at him, complaining and playing pranks on the guys. Oh, please!
I would say the good things about Carlo’s Bakery is it has been there for generations now so their baked goods must be awesome and its also open to the public (unlike Charm City Cakes). I have also seen Buddy on Food Network Challenges (pre-Cake Boss) and he did good work on there–but he didn’t seem as much as a “character” as he is now. I just wonder how much is for show and how much is legit. It all seems so fake and exaggerated…they really should work on that!
As for Ace of Cakes…
Ace of Cakes is all about ART and the people who create it. At first the show was more about Duff, but the last few seasons have allowed for the rest of the talented staff to shine (both on and off the camera). Duff Goldman is owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Maryland and he and his staff are totally talented artsy-types. As an artsy-fartsy type myself, I totally appreciate them. Their banter seems genuine. Their drama seems real and not exaggerated. They don’t yell, they laugh. They allow each decorator to shine and follow them as they work on their creations.
I hope Charm City Cakes continues to grow and flourish. I really enjoy watching Ace of Cakes and hope they keep the episodes coming! It is fun to see people create cool things. I also like that I see the other designers on Challenges now too. That is fun. And Mary Alice is awesome. (Hopefully she reads this and smiles).
So Why Do I Care About Cake Decorating?
Few people know this, but I actually used to do cake decorating as a youth (and had passed all of the Wilton Method classes by age 12). I actually showed cakes in the 4-H Fair and even got a reserve champion ribbon on the first tiered cake I attempted! I even used fondant on it!
Nowadays, I seldom decorate, let alone bake. The last things I made were for my husband’s 30th birthday last year. Here they are:
Now I focus more on making cute cupcake flags and signage for dessert and candy displays. Like these ones below that I sell on ETSY:
So, in closing, I hope you enjoyed the fun Rockem’ Sockem’ Robots fight I crafted between Buddy and Duff. As you can see, Duff won!
****UDPATE**** WE ARE NO LONGER TAKING COMMENTS ON THIS POST. Ace of Cakes had its final season and Duff moved on to some new endeavors like coming up with Blue Bunny Ice Cream Flavors, he has his own cake decorating product line available at Michael’s and other stores, he continues to be a personality for The Food Network and he opened Duff’s CakeMix in LA. When the Cake Boss has that many National endorsement deals and projects that are not just TLC shows we can talk more. Furthermore, Duff is self-made and hired a talented (non-relative staff)…Buddy walked into a successful local bakery dynasty that his family built. His growth, (somewhat like Duff’s) is based purely on the fact that he has a popular TV Show…only unlike Duff’s, Buddy’s is filled with useless, scripted family drama, New Jersey Italian stereotypes (and accents to boot) and trips to Disney World. TLC exploits this further by having Buddy’s wife appear on “Say Yes to the Dress” with his opinionated sisters…so please, comment elsewhere if you wish to support this show…this post is 2 years old and I am done talking about it.