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'Cake Boss' gives up his secret

"Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro says he's long wanted to give fans of his popular TLC reality cable TV show an opportunity to taste the cakes viewers watch him bake and decorate.

So Valastro gave his cake recipes to the family-run company that supplies his Hoboken, New Jersey, bakery with goods like sugar and flour to help create a cake line that could be mass produced.

That line, based on recipes and designs of cakes he's made before, rolls out this summer, starting with the "Badda Bloom," a two-layer cake, one chocolate and one vanilla, with a layer of fudge and covered in bright green, butter cream frosting with pink and purple flowers.

The same two-layer cake will also be available in a more gender-neutral "My Party Cake" design of blue, purple and green balloons and confetti over a layer of bright yellow frosting.

"What makes me unique is my designs," Valastro told The Associated Press. "We came up with the designs, using my exact ingredients and baking instructions, down to how many revolutions for mixing the batter. ... I'm proud of this."

Valastro was to unveil the new cakes at the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association show, which runs Sunday through Tuesday at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The cakes are headed for bakeries and grocery stores across the country this summer.

"I just love what I do," said Valastro, a fourth-generation baker. "I love making cakes, and I'm good at it."

Valastro's reality TV show follows him and his Carlo's Bakery staff as they turn out custom wedding cakes, specialty cakes and pastries. The show, in its fifth season, is often peppered with drama from Valastro's big Italian family and customers who come to him with sometimes outrageous requests. In one episode, he was asked to design a cake in the shape of a toilet bowl.

"Cakes are special," he said. "Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It's all about the memories."

Valastro said he was a little apprehensive about mass producing his cakes, which he describes as "delicious, old-fashioned, old-world cakes" using high-quality ingredients.

"I was a little like, 'This is my baby. This is my name,'" he said.

But after months of planning, going over designs and taste-testing, "when they brought the last final prototypes, you couldn't tell the difference between their cakes and mine. For me, that's the biggest thing."

For the venture, Valastro partnered with TLC and Dawn Foods, a family-owned supplier of baking goods that Valastro says he has used for more than 20 years. He said he plans to add cupcakes and fondant cakes to the line later this summer.

"We're about quality," he said. "I don't want people to get a bad cake. It will reflect badly on me."

The cakes will retail for $27.99. Designs and pricing for the fondant cakes are still being discussed. A list of bakeries and grocery stores where the cakes will be available will be released later this month.

"Cake Boss" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT on TLC.

The Canadian Press
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