With 70+ toppings available each day at Strawberry Fields Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt, the potential treat combinations seem almost endless. Items such as crumbled Heath bars, cookie dough, and strawberries make it hard to only choose a few, though limiting yourself is not required: the self-serve nature of Strawberry Fields makes it easy to customize each treat exactly how you like it. Beyond candy, popular toppings also include Ghirardelli sauces and healthier add-ins such as wheat germ and fresh fruit. Though the frozen yogurt flavors change daily, the menu often includes yogurt options such as cake batter or honey lavender tart. And though all these toppings were designed to crown the shop's frozen treats, they also serve another purpose: bakers here stuff them into custom frozen yogurt cakes. Strawberry Fields also offers their candies a la carte, along with smoothies, and other non-yogurt treats.
Realizing the neighborhood was already buzzing with great restaurants and a nearby community theater, owner Jun Yoon knew the only way to improve on it was to add a memorable dessert destination to the equation. With his desire to be part of an enlivened community, he opened his café’s doors to serve frozen yogurt, cakes, truffles, and organic, fair-trade Counter Culture coffee. Within the 26-seat sweets shop, Jun doles out dollops of the Italian ice-cream treat called tartufo, as well as belgian waffles, crepes, salads, and sandwiches. He specifically designed the menu to make it an ideal spot for stopping in before the theater, after dinner, during lunch, or on the way to a castle storming. Jun also welcomes the community to his friendly confines for parties and private events.
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."