Food Network star Duff Goldman’s new culinary concept really takes the cake.
By Sara Smola
For 10 seasons, Du Goldman’s Food Network reality show, “Ace of Cakes,” offered a fast-paced behind-the-scenes peek of Goldman’s custom cake shop, Charm City Cakes. Piggybacking on his Baltimore bakery’s success, Goldman moved to Los Angeles in 2011, where he opened another Charm City Cakes location.
This year, Goldman set up shop in Pasadena, bringing his one-of-a kind culinary concept to life on De Lacey Avenue: Duff ’s Cakemix, a do-it-yourself cake- and cupcake-decorating studio. “We had been looking for locations for a while, but we really fell in love with the Pasadena community because it has such a vibrant downtown area with a lot of families around,” says Duff ’s Cakemix CEO Scott Dilloff .
The quest for the right location paid o . In just a few months, the studio has already become a go-to spot for everything from family outings and birthday parties to team-building activities and corporate events.
If you’re helpless in the kitchen, fear not. You don’t need to be Martha Stewart (or the “Ace of Cakes” himself) to unveil a masterpiece cake. One of the goals of the business, Dilloff says, is making sure everyone, regardless of age or skill level, has a fun (not frustrating) experience. Helpers provide guidance with decorating tips and tricks to help bring your creative vision to life—whether it’s a rainbow unicorn, narwhale or panda themed treat of your dreams.
“For kids, being creative comes very naturally. They don’t have any reservations about expressing themselves and just playing and being creative, whereas for adults, sometimes there’s that fear of … being judged,” Dilloff says. “One of the things we really pride ourselves on is helping people get over that hump and helping them engage in the creative process and reconnect with that sense of self. It always surprises people what they’re capable of doing and also just makes people feel really good to create something.”
The best part? In addition to bringing home a decadent dessert to share, there’s no heaving lifting required, no materials to source or any risk of a baking fiasco. “We have inspiration cakes all around the studio, we have step-by-step how-to guides, we have all the tools, all the decorations and we clean up the mess,” Dilloff says.
All cakes are prebaked to perfection in both chocolate and confetti flavors. Simply select your choice of a cupcake kit (includes six prebaked unfrosted cupcakes) or go all in with a full cake kit. Each kit includes brightly colorful frosting, fondant and candies—all you need to bring is your imagination.