Frankie’s First Cake

“For a certain breed of cake,” says Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, “you gotta come to me.” That sentiment was illustrated perfectly in one of last night’s episodes (originally aired several months ago). Buddy was hired to make a graphically gruesome cake for a Zombie Walk (?!) in Asbury Park and an erotic, stripper-themed cake for a bachelorette party. Was he up to the tasks? Hey, he’s not called Cake Boss for nothing.

The young couple ordering the zombie cake want it as bloody and gory as possible. Buddy jumps right on board, envisioning a ghoulish creature clawing his way out of the dirt in front of a tombstone

Finished Zombie Head

finished zombie head

with “a buffet of flesh and rotting things for the zombie to eat!” Though the bakery crew is initially grossed out, they are soon happily fashioning brains and bloody body parts from modeling chocolate. The result — composed mainly of red velvet cake, grey fondant and lots of red food coloring — delights the undead gathered at Zombie Fest, who immediately fall upon the cake and stuff their faces like something out of a George Romero movie. Buddy, a bit freaked out by their enthusiasm (and perhaps their scary makeup), is nonetheless proud of his work.

stripper cake is assembled

stripper cake is assembled (photo: TLC)

Since the stripper cake was ordered by the sister of Buddy’s assistant Tone Tone, the Cake Boss feels obligated to indulge her request for something erotic (plus you know he loves a good challenge). But, “No sexy cakes!,” yells Mama when she gets wind of the idea. “Exotic, erotic, no way, no how!” Buddy won’t be deterred and orders several of the girls to each sculpt an anatomically correct stripper out of modeling chocolate, then asks Tone Tone, since he’s gay, to make one too. Naturally Mama finds out and freaks out: “Not acceptable!” Buddy may be the cake boss, says Mama, but, “Who writes the checks at the end of the week?” “You,” mutter the shop guys, looking sheepish. The artists modify the strippers by clothing them in tiny edible shorts, except for Tone Tone’s outrageously well-endowed figure, who gets an apron, to be whipped off by Buddy upon delivery at the bachelorette party.

Mama approves (she apparently doesn’t realize what’s under the apron) and everyone’s happy, especially the girls at the party who scream as if they’re at a real strip club. You can understand the appeal of Buddy’s job. When was the last time people screamed with delight at your work?

The second episode featured a cake ordered by the Museum of Natural History for its indricotherium (huge, prehistoric animal) exhibit; Buddy makes the museum folks very happy with his immense, nearly 400-pound, mammal cake, though I’m not entirely sure if including  a little caveman (for size perspective) was paleontologically correct.

There was also an elaborate Sweet 16 cake, which included the birthday girl’s favorite things: city life and the beach (represented by shopping bags, a Starbucks cup, flip flops and seashells, among other edible decorations). Unfortunately, the cake is dropped down a flight of stairs on delivery day by Danny and cousin Anthony, who look appropriately horrified at the mess. Buddy loses it for a minute, then rallies his troops to drop everything and recreate the cake, which they do in and hour and a half flat. It arrives at the party on time and is a big success.

Also in this episode, Lil’ Frankie’s in a rut and we learn that he used to work on Wall Street, before Buddy gave him a job at Carlo’s. The big guy wants a chance to decorate his own cake and Buddy obliges by giving him the cake for Mary’s daughter’s dance recital after-party.  Of course the testy Mary is dubious and, unless I was hallucinating, I thought I heard her say something like, “No offense, but I consider him your bitch,” about poor Frankie. “She was being Mary,” explains Buddy. So, there’s a lot of pressure on Frankie and we see him staying late at the bakery fretting and decorating. But in the end he delivers a lovely ballet-themed cake to the party and Mary’s daughter Lucia looks delighted. Whew.


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