Friday, April 12, 2013

Cake Boss cakes: a review

A few months ago we discovered TLC's Cake Boss on Netflix.  It quickly became a family favorite, especially for Little Miss Sunshine.  She celebrated her birthday this week and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try a Cake Boss Cake.

I should mention that I am not a big cake purchaser.  I'm usually a "throw a box mix together and make some homemade buttercream to cover it" kind of mom.  Sometimes I've splurged on Costco cakes for birthdays, but we typically go the homemade route. 

We have several stores where they are supposed to be available, so the morning of her birthday I walked into the bakery section and asked where they had their Cake Boss cakes.  I was told that they didn't sell well at that location so they quit carrying them (although this location still pulls up on the Cake Boss Cake site).   A phone call to a different location and I was set to go buy a cake.

I opted for the Bada Bloom version:
This is a 7-inch two-layer cake comprised of yellow and chocolate cake layers with chocolate fudge filling.  I'll be honest, I almost didn't walk out of the store with cake in hand once I saw the size and the price - $24.99.  I chalked it up as part of the cost of the birthday and gritted my teeth at the checkout.  This had better be some good cake for that kind of money. 

Let's keep score here: 1 strike for small size, 1 strike for outrageous price = 2 strikes.

Upon examining the box at home, this cake didn't come from Hoboken, NJ (shh, don't tell Little Miss Sunshine!), but is manufactured at Dawn Food Products in Jackson, MI.

Another strike = 3 strikes.

When we cut into the cake I was surprised to see a chocolate layer with the yellow.  Apparently I missed that in the description and was expecting two yellow layers.  With chocolate fudge filling, how can you go wrong?

1 plus for chocolate cake and 1 plus for chocolate fudge = 2 plusses and 3 strikes.

The cake itself was firm and stayed sturdy through cutting and serving.

Another plus = 3 plusses and 3 strikes, we're tied back at square one more or less.

It came down to taste:  the frosting wasn't that sickly sweet buttercream, and although sweet (it is frosting, afterall) it wasn't overly sweet.  Plus 1 there.  The cake was disappointingly bland and a touch on the dry side (from being frozen?). 

Score: 1 plus and 1 strike for flavor, 1 strike for dry cake = 4 plusses and 5 strikes.

So, what's the final verdict?  Will I be buying any more Cake Boss cakes? 
I would have to say no. 
I can't justify the price for the size of the cake.  While I liked the frosting over many store-bought buttercreams, the bland, dry cake just doesn't work.  I can make my own dry cake from scratch for less.  Better yet, I'll stick to a mix.  If you want to buy a cake, your money would be better spent on something fresh from the store's bakery.  If you happen to have a good (non-dry) cake recipe, please send it my way. 

On a side note, do you know what happens when you leave the used birthday candles in reach of a three-year-old?  Peanut butter sandwich "birthday cake".

** Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way, shape or form.  I purchased a Cake Boss Cake from a local grocery store at my own expense and have received no reimbursement or compensation.  All opinions are entirely my own. **


Rachel said...

Looks like fun Amy! I love the kids' nicknames.

Holly Lefevre (504 Main) said...

I had no idea you could buy a Cake Boss cake!? Looks cute...but I agree you can probably make a cake for less and have it taste batter!