Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

chart

Don’t Be a Cakeist: Learn How to Tell TV’s Many Cake Shows Apart

What's up with TV's cake-show obsession? Tonight kicks off the second season of TLC's Ultimate Cake-Off, which is yet another seven-layer look at bakers. How did cake shows join makeovers, families with 10 million kids, and ballroom dancing as a reality-TV staple subject? Is it that these shows act as prequels to the popular Biggest Loser? Whatever the reason, cake lovers have a plethora of options to choose from, so here's a handy, high-calorie guide to find the right show for you.

  Cake Boss TLC Amazing
Wedding Cakes WE TV
Ace of Cakes Food Network Ultimate Cake-Off TLC
Category Reality Reality Reality Reality competition
Log Line The shouty Valastro family yells about flour and edible roses at Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. Four different bakeries around the country create couples’ dream wedding cakes. A staff of hipster bakers turn out desserts at Baltimore's Charm City Cakes. Baker contestants have nine hours to create a cake for a specific event, and are judged by technical difficulty and aesthetic appeal.
Main Character Buddy Valastro, the mafioso-like cake boss, and the toughest guy ever to create Sesame Street characters out of butter cream. The four bakeries offer a mix of personalities, from edgy Lauri Ditunno of Cake Alchemy in New York, to the bubbly upstarts at Merci Beaucoup Cakes in L.A. Tattoo-laden Duff Goldman, whose rocker style translates to blow torches and power saws in his cake construction. Host and Food Network personality George Duran, a more bland Tom Colicchio.
Cake Tastes In Valastro's words, “over-the-top delicious.” In other words, edible bling. Ethereal and floral, with lots of hearts, ribbons, and edible brides and grooms. Weirder theme cakes, like edible Viking ships and telescopes. Something for everyone, assuming everyone likes cake.
Target Audience People who love The Sopranos, but also love frosting. People who love Valentine's Day, but also love frosting. People who love American Chopper, but also love frosting. People who love Survivor, but also love frosting.
Photo: TLC