Draped in fondant flowers and bright swirls of buttercream, Buddy Valastro's cakes would catch anyone's eye—but that's especially true for fans of reality TV. The master baker and his visually stunning creations both star on TLC's Cake Boss, which has filmed at the Valastro family's Hoboken confectionery, Carlo's Bakery, since 2009.
Buddy's cakes have also won national notice beyond the show, including features in publications such as The Knot and Brides. And beyond designing delectable cakes for special occasions, Buddy shares his secrets through hands-on cake decorating classes, which are taught by his dedicated team of bakers at locations throughout New Jersey.
A cake decorating specialist for Carlo's Bakery, Gabby Parisi, talked to us about what it's like to attend the bakery's fondant cake decorating classes (buttercream cake decorating classes are also available).
Are the fondant classes beginner-friendly?
“People find fondant intimidating because the tools and know-how aren’t readily available, but when you come to the class, you realize it’s even easier than working with buttercream."
What types of decorations can students put on their cakes?
"We use water and a paintbrush to apply flowers, fall leaves, bows, and other shapes. It’s super easy once you know all the tricks—you can do almost anything [with fondant], it's really kind of magical. Buddy likes to describe it as the Houdini of cake decorating.”
Are classes available at all Carlo’s Bakery locations?
"Classes are available at our Morristown, Red Bank, and Ridgewood New Jersey bakeries as well as at our Jersey City/Lackawanna Cake Factory. There are no classrooms at our Hoboken, Westfield, or Las Vegas bakeries."
What’s the craziest cake ever made in Carlo's Bakery?
"I’m sure a lot of people will be familiar with the cakes from the TV show, Cake Boss. Buddy always says the craziest cake we’ve ever made was the Transformer, or the life-size Nascar cake."