Ace of Cakes: Pandamonium

Charm City Cakes is hired to make a cake for the opening of the movie Kung Fu Panda. (I never saw the movie and don’t know if it’s good.)

Mary is frustrated because she keeps getting hung up on.

The Panda team is Jeff, Duff, Sophia, Eleyna, and Katie. The cake will be all the characters doing kung fu poses on top of mountains with two dragons flanking it. It will be done part in the bakery and part in LA. The edible part will mostly be assembled on location. Duff’s mom visits and makes rocks for the show.

A deep dish pizza with a crab holding two football helmets will be made for an engaged couple. This leads to making fun of France naturally. Chicago pizza is upside down (cheese on bottom, sauce on top).

While making the figurines the must be careful otherwise it may crack or explode while in the oven. They make small holes to help prevent this problem. Luckily they come out fine and can move on to the painting. Jeff is sore and bored of the fondant making. And then it turns out the luggage is complicated. Everyone is stressed. But it gets to LA just fine and they have two days to get everything together. (In order to transport the dragons they have to cut off the heads and reattach them later.)

Duff takes some time to talk and work with some chefs at a culinary school. He puts them to work on the cake a bit. They cover the cracks in the mountain with flocking (crushed up icing they use to look like moss). They add some bridges and have to make sure there’s enough fondant to cover the mountain, which is made bigger than expected (it’s the only edible part of the cake). He adds smoke to the cake to add atmosphere.

Jeff challenges Duff to chop cake with his arm (“ARE YOU ASKING ME TO A CHALLENGE!” …”yes.” He gets almost all the way through but misses the last layer.

Jeff and Duff deliver the cake.  They then attach the heads and add the smoke, etc.

The crew gets to walk the red carpet and Duff gets to fight the fake panda. The kids love the cake and they get thanks from Dreamworks.


Ace of Cakes: Squig

Charm City Cakes is hired to create a Squig for game day. What is a squig? A little thing from the game Warhammer, which you pull out of your pocket and creates a baby monster which you hit on the hate to make angry because as it gets angry it grows. Once it’s big enough it eats you. But it doesn’t swallow you, instead you grab it by the tonsils and steer it into battle. Yeah.

They also get an email from a boy who says he loves the show and what’s “exotic” is he’s only ten years old. It gets put up on the wall.

Mary is excited about their new phone system, which has caller id and allows you to choose where to direct your calls. So of course Duff prank calls her to ask for an erotic cake.

They also have to make a six layered white cake with white decoration and detail. While this seems easy it is difficult because any slightly off detail will be obvious. For this reason the cake is decorated, undone, and begun again. The cake will be used to project videos onto it for the Contemporary Museum’s 20th Anniversary.

Jeff has to make a red Pinto car. It’s not a glamorous car or anything. It’s not concerned with efficiency or speed, etc. It was just to fit in with the aesthetic of the time. This car is for a 50th birthday.

They’re concerned with the construction since the squig’s body must be supported in the air but so far so good. Most of it will be cake. It’s skin is flesh colored which makes it particularly gross. One of them says she thinks it will come to life and take over the bakery. Jeff says it’s gross enough that it might give him nightmares. They name their squig sweetcheeks. Possibly to make it less creepy. The final details include guts, blood, and snot.

They consider the squig cake the best thing they’ve ever done. It’s pretty ridiculous.

People are stoked about the cake and they animate Duff into the game so he can be a character that defeats a squig.

Ace of Cakes: Cupcakes

Joe the intern is running cross country so he’s not around to wash dishes.

The cakes this week: snowboard terrain cake for a rehearsal dinner, a not too gross Zombie hand coming out of a beautiful representation of their wedding invite…, beach themed cake (for the couple who is getting married that Duff did one of his first cakes for), cupcakes in addition to a cake friend of some of the employees (Duff doesn’t like cupcakes), etc.

Duff’s awesome snowboarding move was falling.

Ben makes a scallop shell for the beach themed cake. The top is a big piece of gum paste. Technically pearls come from oysters…artistic license whatever. They debate the pronunciation of the word scallops. (pronounced like gallop or whalloped?)

Duff is cupcake because he and Jeff made the guiness book of world records for the largest cupcake but then they rescinded it because Duff made it in two parts not one. They think it’s kind of funny. They guess they could go and try it again.

They go all out with their friend’s cake. It’s iced blue with red foxes on the top. They then have to make 70 cupcakes. They’re not great at it. Duff is unhappy about the cupcakes being made. They don’t seem to know what they’re doing.

Duff is excited about the snowboard cake and makes a mini replica of the groom’s board. It comes out “really gnarly.” He included lines from the skiis and stuff. The groom recognized how realistic the skate park was.

The zombie hand cake they make actually comes out pretty well despite each tier being so drastically different. The couple thinks it’s awesome when the come to pick it. (Ha the groom wear a “my crazy wife” shirt.)

The scallop cake’s figures are unusual: the bride was in red the groom was rocking on his guitar. They’re speechless when they see it. They feel great about it.

The cupcakes come out deformed and look like manatees. They ice the cupcakes anbd Duff eats one saying he doesn’t mind eating them, just making them. We get to say a bit of the ceremony which is cute and the bride thinks the cake is too pretty to eat.

Ace of Cakes: Italian themed

At the March for the Animals. They sit down with the pet communicator. Who says Cotton doesn’t want another dog in the house and doesn’t want his home. Dexter is going crazy and barking because he’s overstimulated.

They have to make a Venetian pizza and a Scilian storm trooper, and a Gondola cake.

The Gondola cake is because the guy who wanted to propose but the guy rowing made the soon to be groom uncomfortable so he proposed after wards.

The Sicilian cake is meant to be a pizza with all these different landmarks popping up, the pizza floating in the water. It’s a surprise for a 30th birthday. While they try to plan the cake they’re interrupted by someone using the fondant flattening machine which has a loud motor. They hate the machine and want to banish it to the basement but it’s more effective that doing it buy hand. They debate which pizza has the best pizza. New York or Chicago? Can’t serve a New Yorker deep dish!

Storm trooper helmet cake which Sophia is asked to make. Ben will help with construction. Sophia knows the most about star wars because she watches it all the time but she can’t retain information. We get some Storm trooper break dancing. They are then informed that the storm trooper cake is meant to be a clone helmet which looks differently. It’s a tough sculpture. A year ago a similar cake to the same client but it melted while it was being delivered. They show Duff chopping the ruined cake in half with a Samurai sword. They should be okay now, they have much more experience. The carving made all the difference.

Duff makes a football helmet meanwhile, which he says is awesome.

The Gondola cake requires the bottom layer to be redone because the first attempt was done without checking directions. The cake makes Erica want to go on vacation. Erica made it more impressive than it was intended to be.

Duff is wearing a shirt that says Brooklyn in hebrew.

The pasta machine has mysteriously disappeared. Whodunnit? Ben says he’s worked up on the inside. Ben goes in search of the pasta machine and finds it hidden in a grill in the basement in a plastic bag. Everyone hates it but it’s used. They intend to buy a new, quieter version. (The pasta machine is oddly located no where near the people who use it.) The new pasta machine has arrived but it is no quieter than the old one. It’s SO annoying and the people refuse to move it, saying it’s not that bad.

It’s Ben’s birthday. Is he excited? He guesses.

The family comes to pick up the pizza cake and they’re happy. The Gondola cake has been finished and is now Erica’s favorite cake she’s ever designed and the couple loves it.

Ace of Cakes Food, Fashion, and Galactic Bounty Hunters

Mary fights to stay at the top of her game. She sits for longer than the average human being and this takes training. 

They’re hired to make Boba Fett’s ship for a groom. As Star Wars fans this is huge. Elayna gets the Star wars cakes which is funny because she doesn’t know that much about it while the people who see it will know and make a big deal if it’s bad or wrong in any way. They go detailed, including storm troopers pushing the frozen Han Solo into the hold with Boba Fett watching. 

Meanwhile they look at other cakes-

The New York City Food and Wine Festival asks them to make a cake for charity, along with other top notch chefs. They suggest he makes his tattoo, which is a whisk. He is apparently hosting “the Sweet Event.” He wants to cake to look awesome and taste good. They use the most popular flavor among the cake designers. He’s aiming for a six foot whisk. He uses his arm as a reference to how it looks. He plans to cover the handle of the whisk with chocolate so he had everyone come and help him

Steps to the Cure is a breast cancer foundation so the designers are given the task of making shoe cakes to auction off. Duff gives no direction because he wants to see what they do. They each do something different. Jeff wants to do something fabulous and fierce. There will be a total of 12 shoes. There’s a bowling show, a disco boot, high heels, sequins that look like Dorothy’s magic shoes, the little old lady who lived in a shoe. Apparently a delivery boy gave Anna, a designer, one shoe from a store so she’s making the mate to it. They are all competing to see whose shoe sells for the most. One of the designers says “I’m not here to make friends so if I have to throw somebody under the bus, I will.” Joke. Each one is unique and pretty amazing looking in their own way. The shoes made like >$8,000 dollars. Duff’s went for the highest. 

Now how to transport the whisk cake? It moves around so Duff uses cards to stick it in place but the cards fall. He makes it in pretty good shape. He has to walk a good amount carrying the 400, no 500, no 700, no 1,000, 1,500 lb cake. Once there he sets out to quickly repair it and put it together. The different appetizers are crazy. As a host, Duff just has to hang out and take pictures. 

The figures for the Star Wars cake are ridiculously good. Jeff delivers it and the groom loves it. He’s floored.

Ace of Cakes Yankee Stadium

Charm City Cakes is hired to do the inaugural cake for yankee stadium.

We begin with the pondering emails (people work so fast they don’t think about it. Mary has a “fail folder” and a WTF? stamp).

This week is really hard. a lot of people are leaving, 5 decorators in total, with 18 cakes to make. Duff’s eating cake…

Yankee Stadium cake- One of the cake decorators is obsessed with the Yankees (she bleeds pinstripe blue) and will help though she thinks she’s not getting to go so she’s sad. Jeff and Duff go to scope out the stadium. It’s funny to listen to him point out what things will be recreated in cake form. 

Other cakes include: bass cake with a sparkly purple coloring for a surprise birthday (the first guitar for the cake designer). There’s a Jesus cake, a car, houses, 

They just got a brand new coffee machine so the designers are overdosing on cake. It’s coffee “working.” 5-10 cups a day…

Stadium cakes are very difficult so Jeff gets nothing else to do at that time. He’s done a number of them now so he has a standard system. Duff makes a flag for Boston. (Uh oh, there are Red Sox fans in the bakery too…)

Duff has a guitar that looks like a blue daisy, which he brings in and begins playing. (Because they have so much free time.)

Duff is getting nervous and worries that the cake design quality will suffer. Making the stadium is not so much difficlt as repetitive with a lot to do. 

The guitar is progressing so far. She’s working on getting the color just right. The company, Daisy Rock, sends in a model guitar for them to use to figure out how do it. But when they get it they see the color of the cake isn’t quite right. 

Duff, Jeff, and Mary have to drive down to deliver the cake. They leave early so they can work on it a bit there. 

With the sample she had, she gets more accuracy but then she scratches the cake and makes a pick to cover it up. The family comes to pick it up and they are thrilled with the cake. The birthday girl sees the cake and all she can say is “Shut up!” It was just full of surprises, the family, the cake, the guitar itself. 

At Yankee Stadium they’re exploring. Due to the weather they have to keep the cake indoor. Yogi Berra stopped by to see the cake. He says it’s beautiful. Johnny Damon, current right fielder comes in too. Derek Jeter shows up next. Mary is star struck and got his autograph. The cake gets shown up on the stadium scoreboard. Mary says she can die a happy girl now.

Ace of Cakes: The Avenue Q Cake

Avenue Q is a Broadway musical with puppets.

Duff works on the oven. They’re nervous that he’s going to blow up. But sure enough he gets the oven working.

Cake meeting- cake for Ave Q the tour for opening week. They decide to make the set in 3D. Duff wants to do the backstage part. Second cake is a cake model of a trucking terminal to celebrate opening the 100th trucking terminal for a company. Third is a full scale replica of a Les Paul guitar for a kid’s bar mitzvah. (Jeff is assigned to it because he owns guitars.)

Anna paints the characters and details. They get to see the show on opening night to get a feel of she show. The next day the actors come in with the puppets.

Duff goes backstage so he can get the detail for the cake.

During the guitar cake, silver paint is spilled on the cake. Jeff attempts to fix it. but instead he added a strap to cover the spill.

Duff had a close call in a car accident but he’s ok.

The clients see their trucking terminal and love it.

They go to deliver the guitar cake and the bar mitzvah boy is amazed.

The Avenue Q cake is finished so they come to surprise they with it. The cast comes out and loves it. They loved the details.