Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia

Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia

by Buddy Valastro


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439183519
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 422,692
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Buddy Valastro is the star of the hit TLC series Cake Boss and Next Great Baker and author of the New York Times bestsellers Cake Boss and Baking with the Cake Boss, as well as Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss. He is owner of Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken and the Cake Boss factory in Jersey City, which supplies stores around the country. Buddy lives with his wife and four children in New Jersey.

Read an Excerpt


THE DECORATING ROOM on the second floor of Carlo’s Bake Shop, my family’s business in Hoboken, New Jersey, is like heaven on Earth to me. It’s where my comrades in arms and I work our magic, turning out wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and theme cakes for every occasion imaginable.

Every day is a new adventure in that decorating room: On Monday, the big challenge might be a ten-tier wedding cake draped with rolled fondant and showered with delicate, lifelike sugar flowers; on Tuesday, it could be a birthday cake shaped like a soccer field, complete with figurines of the players; by Wednesday, we might be replicating a pop star’s new CD cover in icing and gum paste for a television show; and Thursday and Friday … well, we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them.

I used to spend all my time in the decorating room, but now I have other responsibilities as well, because I’m not just a decorator; I’m the Boss. A portion of each day is spent in my office, down the hall from that grownup playpen. When I’m in my office, the hallway outside its door is always crowded. It’s a narrow passageway on the second floor, and half of its width is taken up with steel utility shelving. On a normal day, there’s a line outside made up of family and other employees waiting to come in and see me. Some of them need me to sign off on something, like the design and baking of a cake for fifty people for a special event by tomorrow, even though our production schedule is maxed out. Others have a question that only I can answer, like what we should charge a local rock band for a sheet cake with modeling-chocolate figurines of themselves on top, accurate right down to their facial hair and earrings. Billing issues, vendor screwups, Web site glitches … it all comes to my door.

On a normal day, inside my office, there’s no telling what I might be up to. I might be having a consultation with a couple planning their wedding, describing the cake they dreamed up the night they got engaged, and wondering if I can bring it to life for them. The look in the eyes of a bride as she describes her dream cake is like nothing you’ve ever seen, a constant reminder that although I may be just a baker, my responsibility is awesome. Our customers entrust their dreams to us, and we have the power to make or break memories. That might not be the same as being a surgeon or a fireman, but you feel the weight of expectations every time somebody new walks through that door.

If I’m not immersed in a consultation, I might be meeting with my assistants, going over phone calls and meetings, or with one of my four sisters—Grace, Madeline, Mary, and Lisa—talking through a problem that’s cropped up with the pastry counter they manage downstairs.

My life isn’t just about baking, decorating, and consultations: We’re a family business, so, sometimes, there are family squabbles. It’s just as likely that a voice that comes crackling through the intercom will shout out, “Buddy, where do you want the new mixer installed?” as it is, “Buddy, Mary and Grace are fighting again.” I hear that, and it’s a code-blue situation because it means that two of my sisters are going at it. I drop whatever I’m doing and hustle downstairs, because breaking up those arguments is part of my job, too.

Just like the counter is run by my sisters, the top dogs in the back are my brothers-in-law. Upstairs in the decorating room is Mauro Castano, my right-hand man, husband to my sister Madeline, and one of my best decorators. There’s also Little Frankie Amato, the son of my Uncle Frankie and my father’s godson, who’s been around the bakery since he started hanging around there as a kid, and has been working with us since he left Wall Street in 2006. There’s Danny Dragone, a mustachioed Italian who we call “the Mule,” a jack of all trades who helps out wherever he’s needed—the baking equivalent of a utility player. And, of course, there are the designers, our own little team of magical elves, like Stephanie “Sunshine” Fernandez, who was the first woman to ever work in the back with the bakers, in 2004, which was no small thing, because in addition to the long, grueling days, it can get a little bit like a frat house back there. She and the other designers can make anything at all out of fondant, modeling chocolate, and gum paste: people, animals, palm trees, cars, boats, footballs … you name it, they can sculpt it.

Downstairs, in the bakery, there’s Joey Faugno, another brother-in-law, who’s married to my sister Grace, and is one of our top bakers and another utility player; in addition to being a champion mixer and oven guy, he’s a fine decorator. And there’s Sal Pininch, who’s been with the bakery since the 1960s, and is my most trusted baker because, beyond baking, he’s somebody who I can go to for fatherly advice.

Whether we’re related by blood or marriage or not at all, these people are my family, and most of them have been at Carlo’s for years. They are also my co-stars, because, starting in 2009, our family and our bakery became the subject of a television show, Cake Boss. The show depicts who we are and how we do what we do and how sometimes things get a little crazy at Carlo’s. The funny thing is that the show itself has made things crazier than ever: A team of producers and directors and camera people and sound technicians and production assistants have practically moved in with us. I spend the day doing everything I just described, but I do it wearing a microphone, like the informant in a crime movie. There’s a camera and light aimed down at my desk from the ceiling, and my every move and conversation in the bakery and decorating room is tracked. That hallway outside my office is twice as crowded as usual, with as many people wearing walkie talkies as wearing aprons.

Since the show hit TLC, whenever I visit the retail floor, the customers burst into applause, and I stop and pose for pictures with them. I’m flattered by the attention, but it’s also a little funny to me, because all I do on television is what I’ve been doing since I was a teenager.

That same attention has made the bakery busier than it’s ever been before. There’s a line out the door most days, filled with people who have come from all over the country just to pay us a visit and taste the pastries they’ve seen on television. It’s been quite a ride, and it just gets more exciting and more gratifying all the time. My only regret is that sometimes things move so quickly that we don’t have time to stop and take them in. But, at the end of the day, before I change into my street clothes and pull my black, varsity-style Carlo’s Bake Shop jacket on, I sometimes stop and savor the silence. I look out the window of my office onto Washington Street, one of Hoboken’s main thoroughfares, and I remember.

I remember all the things that brought my family and me to this moment.

© 2010 Discovery Communications, LLC. TLC

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Offers hard-won baking know-how … [and] conveys the dramatic sweep of Buddy's accomplishments as bolstered by his traditional values and family.” –Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Cake Boss 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 142 reviews.
RujutaKunjan Patel More than 1 year ago
omg! i luv cake boss and this book and i bet if u love anything to do with cakes, u will too. i definetley reccomend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book u will ever read i read it and got sad when it ended it maybe expensive but either way u hav to read it i recomend this book for anyone who likes the show or who likes to bake and if u like reading stories about the ups and downs of peoples lives which is pretty much everyone GET IT BEST BOOK EVER BY THE WAY I AM MORE THEN JUST A FAN I AM A CRAVED FAN
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg i love buddys cakes
Elizabeth Liguori More than 1 year ago
Omg this book is amazing i love buddy and watch cake boss every day
bakerinthemaking More than 1 year ago
Even though I am a hudge fan of Buddy Valastro himself and enjoyed reading his family's story. I was aftraid this book would not have many recipes. To my relief, it does! Buddy tells his entire story, starting from his grandfather. It was interesting to read how the Valastro baking began. The recipes in the back are numerous and have his more popular ones. There are recipes on cakes, pies, patries, fillings and frostings. I was very happy with the purchase of this book! If you can't get enough of the show, this book is a must have!!
ZENIA BANAJI More than 1 year ago
this book is sooooo interesting to read and they have the best recipes as well!!!!! it is a must buy!!!!!
annie_brook More than 1 year ago
I just got the book today and read some of the frist pages Buddy is a baking guru in my eyes,he runs a bakery and website/factory. He deals with so much can't wait to dig into more of the book.:D
Maddie Wagley More than 1 year ago
i love this book and buddy himself
Samantha Mahoney More than 1 year ago
I loooooovvve cake boss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stephanie Peyron More than 1 year ago
I just cant wait to read the whole entire book i love to watch the show so mutch and i love hearing about the show ILOVE CAKEBOSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cant wait to read it
RAM74 More than 1 year ago
What a great story about how the Cake Boss came to be. It was so interesting to read about the family history of the Valastro family, and to learn about the big shoes Buddy had to fill at such a young age. It is fantastic he was willing to include so many of the recipes we see on the show. Contrary to what the first review said, the recipes are very complete and Buddy made sure they would work in the scaled down quantities for at home use.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book I have ever read! I am a person who doesn't like to read books but I couldn't stop reading this one! I am the biggest fan of the show Cake Boss and when I found out Buddy wrote a book I had to get it! I am obbsessed with the TV show Cake Boss but I am also obbsessed with this book!!!!!!!!!
Cheri Borden More than 1 year ago
this book was great and so is Buddy! BUDDY ROCKS MY SOCK! BUDDY AND HIS WHOLE FAMILY DOES! I WENT TO Carlos AND IT WAS AWSOME! I WISH TO MEET BUDDY AND HIS WHHOLE FAMILY! P.S. I HAD A SMALL CAKE FROM THEIR FOR MY B-DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUDDY AND HIS FAMILY ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!+!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!=!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro is a companion volume for the popular TLC series about the antics of the Valastro family of Carlo's Bakery in New Jersey. The show is famous for his astounding theme cakes as well as the family tiffs and pranks, and that flavor carries over into this book. Buddy narrates the book in his trademark off the cuff voice and tells the story of his family history. His father, Buddy Sr, started working in the bakery business as a young boy to support his family after his father abandoned them. His fierce loyalty to family and love of baking is carried on by his youngest child and only son, Buddy, who nows runs the business. Fans of the show (like me) will enjoy reading about the romance between Buddy Sr and Mary, and how she, who is often seen berating her son for riding a motorbike or pulling pranks, was known as a firecracker as a young girl and has taken care of the books for the business since she was in her teens. Their four daughters now run the downstairs shop while most of their husbands now have a role within the family business as well. Buddy makes the point early on in the book, that this bakery is not just business for the family. It is their heritage, and so from Buddy's earliest memories, those who work at the bakery are family, and the family works at the bakery. There are lots of terrific vintage photos (including Buddy with his first lunchpail: The Dukes of Hazzard!). Buddy writes with absolute love for his family and complete confidence in his abilities, but he never comes across as arrogant. If you love watching the show with the building of beautiful cakes and the drama of the kitchen, you'll enjoy this book for its behind the scenes view of the show, as well as the opportunity to understand what motivates the Valastro family and just what the name "Buddy" means to them. Included at the end are several of the shop's most famous recipes. This is a must read for any fan of Cake Boss.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
Viewers of TLC's hit show, Cake Boss, will be delighted to discover that Buddy Valastro, the genial host, has written his memoir. Those not familiar with the show will also quickly become engaged in reading Buddy's life story. Scumptious recipes, gorgeous photographs of the finished products and a great memoir make this a book to enjoy and share. Buddy is the product of a traditional Italian family. His family have been bakers for many generations, and he knew from a child that becoming a pastry/cake baker was the life he wanted. The book traces the Valastro family history. We get to follow the immigration of the family on both sides from Italy to America and hear how they became successes at their Italian bakery. When Buddy took over, he made some changes that improved the family business while maintaining the traditional Italian fare his customers had grown up loving. He changed ingredients and expanded the cake decoration and custom cake part of the business. Part of the change was the expansion of the business as Buddy makes a splash in the national bridal magazines, and finally on the TV show that has made the bakery a recognized business nationwide. Regardless of the changes, the same core values continue the success of the business; love of family, hard work and the determination to send every customer home happy. In addition to the engaging memoir, the book includes the recipes that made Carlo's Bakery famous. There are recipes for traditional Italian pastries, cookies, cupcakes and cakes. Along with the recipes are tips on kitchen equipment, quality ingredients, and cooking techniques. This book is recommended for cooks everywhere and for readers interested in a feel-good, interesting story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the hit tlc show Cake Boss!!!!! I am growing very impatient, and want to read this...... you should also watch Cake Boss:the next great baker. It is once a year so watch for it on tv.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always watch tje shpw cake boss so i decided to tead the book. This book is really detailed and tells you about the familys history and what happens today. Buddy is an baker and has a huge family to support him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend has this book and we use it all the time. People who say that the recipies dont work its propably because you dont read them right buddyvwould never put something in here that doesnt work.... we have a special cake that me and my friend have that uses 4 of the recipies in here. Buddy is awsome and the cakes are amazing :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would love to read more. It was great to learn how the business eas built up. Love to see a close family
andee2 More than 1 year ago
I love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recomened this book to people who want to hear a fabulous "biography" on Buddy's "interesting" life. The book includes recipes from the hit tv show "Cake Boss". It also includes Buddy's secrets to baking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All the recipes i did from this book are delicious
Christine Puopolo-Pesiri More than 1 year ago
I really want this nook book! Feeling:impatient
Michelle Nelson More than 1 year ago
I only got the sample on my nook because it was too expensive ,but I found it at the library!:) I read it and it was great!I couldn't stop reading it!It did have some sad parts but overall it was great.I love the show and now I can't wait to make the red velvet cake or chocolate chip cookies!
Maria Johnson More than 1 year ago
I want the books soooooo bad my mom only let me get the sample cause it is too much money