Buddy Vs Duff: Making Cakes with the Cake Boss

Get a look at all the over-the-top cake creations from Buddy Calastro's cake studio.

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Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Michael Moriatis

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Matt Harbicht/The Verbatim Agency

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Photo By: Anders Krusberg

Week 1: Car Cakes

Client: Richard Rawlings, Host of Fast N' Loud

Event: Richard's 50th Birthday Party

Location: Peterson Automotive Museum

Happy Hot Rod

Buddy and his sous, Ralph, decided to go for an exaggerated hot rod cake. "Our plan is to make a cake to show who Richard is and what he's all about," Buddy said. "We want to make a nice, big hot rod with a cool sculpture of him driving it."

Sculpting Richard

The real show stopping aspect of Buddy's cake was the bust of Richard driving the hot rod. While Buddy began forming the shape of the hot rod with layers and layers of cake, Ralph got started molding the bust of Richard out of rice cereal treat and modeling chocolate.

Bigger is Better(?)

"Thinking about what Duff is going to bring to the table, I know that he is not going to be as ambitious in the cake decorating as me and Ralph are," Buddy said. "Our cakes are gonna be five times the size. I don't think he's going for the gusto."

Head for Detail

One thing Buddy really wanted to accomplish with his hot rod cake was for Richard to know they knew where he came from and where he is now. "He likes skulls, he's got those skull rings," Ralph said of Richard which inspired the front skull detail on the cake.

Tire Trouble

After finishing up the body of the hot rod, Buddy and Ralph noticed an issue with the back tires. "They don't fit as snugly against the sides of the car as we'd like," Ralph said. "So, Buddy is cutting into the cake."

Working on the Wire

"So, I cut through the wires of the cake which actually activates the lights," Buddy said. "We don't have time for this. I don't even know if I wire them back together that it's gonna work."

Cold Rod

Although Buddy's cake won on wow factor, Sherry and Richard wished there had been more detail in his hot rod cake and less of a cartoon aspect to the overall design.

Week 2: Bollywood Party

Client: Aarti Sequeria, Judge on Guy's Grocery Games

Event: Bollywood party

Location: Aarti's house

Depth of Flavor & Technique

After being accused of having "cartoonish" cakes, Buddy wanted to show he could do all the techniques Duff could, and then some. "I want to show them that we can use molds, we can use cake lays or we can pipe it," Buddy said. "We can bring it any way they want it."

In the Detail

While Ralph was working on some animal sculptured for the base of the cake, Buddy got started icing and designing the main cake layers. Then it was time to start the details. "We're going to do some stenciling, we're going to do some gold cake lace, and we're going to do some pressed molds," Buddy said. We're pulling out all the bells and whistles here, because I want the world to know we have range."

No Time for Bubbles

"The most challenging part of this cake is to get all this work done in a short amount of time," Buddy said. And just as the last tier was being covered with fondant, Buddy noticed a big problem. "There's a bubble in the fondant," he said to Ralph. After peeling the fondant off, the bubble wasn't even in the fondant, it was in the buttercream. In a competition like this, Buddy's only option was to ice the entire tier all over again.

Buddy Won Bollywood

Buddy's variety of techniques snagged him the win in the second Cake-Off.

Week 3: It's a Dog's Life

Client: Christina Anstead, Host of Flip or Flop & Christina on the Coast on HGTV

Event: Party for Christina's dog, Cash

Location: Paradise Dog Ranch

Balancing Act

The cake Buddy and Ralph planned out has two large dogs at the base with a third smaller dog balancing on their noses. “These are not small dogs," said Ralph. "This is a lot of sculpting and carving, so timewise this is going to be a little close.” But, Buddy isn't worried, "When you make thousands of cakes a year, you learn to work fast."

Rookie Mistakes

But that doesn't mean he doesn't make mistakes. "I can't believe I didn't pre-fondant the board! Now I am going to have to play cover-up work to match up the seams," said Buddy. "This is not good."

Taking Shape

As the cake starts to take shape, the two bakers are feeling more optimistic. “I think Christina is going to love this!” said Ralph. “I think we did a really good job of capturing the spirit and playfulness of dogs,” said Buddy.

Top Dog

“This is cake is pretty phenomenal. I think I won this one,” said Buddy as they arrived at the dog resort. ‘My favorite part is the Frenchie,” said Christina. “How did you get the bone to balance?” Judges Sherry and Keegan awarded the win to Buddy. His dog cake got high marks for playfulness, depth of texture and movement. “Buddy surprised me with attention to detail today,” said Keegan.

Week 4: Matrimony Madness

Client: Slomique Hawrylo, Celebrity Wedding Planner

Event: Bridal fitting

Location: Bridal studios

Classic with a Twist

This week it was Buddy's turn to pick the Cake-Off, and he chose something he knew he'd excel at. "The brides that I know was grandiose, so I'm going to throw Duff down in a wedding cake challenge," Buddy said. "Wedding cakes is what I was born and bred on. I'm not worried about it."

Pretty Petals

One of the show stopping elements of Buddy's cake was the incredible amount of sugar flowers. "It will take hours," Buddy said. "Each petal is molded and crafted out of sugar. By the time this cake is done, it's going to have more than a hundred flowers on it."

Piped by Picasso

"You name it, it's on there," Buddy said of the detail on his ultimate wedding cake. "Wedding cake is my canvas and I'm Picasso. Whether I want to paint on it, I want to pipe on it, I want to put sugar flowers. It's my way of letting my imagination run wild."

Too Much Detail?

Buddy is an expert at tiered wedding cakes, but the judges felt Duff's hanging wedding cake was more visually stunning and technically difficult. Plus, Keegan thought there were too many elements on the cake. "For me, when I think about a design, I think not about what can I add, but what can I take away?"

Week 5: Magical Cakes

Client: Penn & Teller, Legendary Magicians

Event: Magic Show

Location: The Magic Castle

Trick Layer

Buddy wanted to bring some actual magic to his magician-inspired cake. "I'd like there to be some sort of trick in the cake," Buddy said. "By creating a mirrored illusion where it spins, you're gonna see a cake. Then there's not a cake. It's a cake. It's not a cake. It's magic."

Week 6: Finale

Event: Grand Finale

Location: The Franklin Institute

Hoboken Style, Baby

For the final Cake-Off, Buddy chose a challenge that was out of this world. Buddy and Duff had three days to make a cake inspired by science and space to be presented at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. "It's gonna take eveything we got to pull this off," Buddy said "but when we bring out cake out, it's gonna be ground breaking."

Final Journey

"We started with under the sea," Buddy said. "We have out two prehistoric fish monsters and we built this beautiful coral reef. We come to our innovation electric tier and then over to our space tier. And one of my favorite parts is Ben Franklin."