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Team Buddy featuring Buddy Valastro, as seen on Buddy vs Christmas, Season 1.

Cakes, Cookies or Pies? Buddy Valastro Reveals His Ultimate Holiday Treat

Christmas is kind of a big deal at the Valastro residence. Sure, this holiday season may look a little bit different than Christmases past as a result of the pandemic, but in a typical year Buddy and his wife Lisa go all-out when it comes to their holiday dinners. Would you expect anything less from the Buddy vs. Christmas personality?

In previous years the couple has hosted all of their extended family, which adds up to more than 100 festive people. Typically Lisa cooks (prime rib, eggplant parm, lasagna, shrimp, lobster and more), while of course, Buddy does the desserts. But don’t let him fool you — he doesn’t necessarily whip up 100 mini pastries or elaborate cakes at home for the occasion.

Related: Buddy vs. Duff: See Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman’s Most Epic Cakes

“Well, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t want to take credit,” he tells us. “I just bring like a slew of stuff from the bakery. We bring cakes and pies and cookies and lobster tails and pastries. And you know, we still love cake. After all these years and all these holidays and all these desserts, we still love cake.”

 

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While cake may be a year-round hit, Buddy adds that Christmas feels like an especially great time to indulge in pasties. He and his family specifically dive into Italian classics like cannoli and lobster tails (AKA sfogliatelle) because, let’s face it: when else do you have as much room for dessert as you do come the holidays?

“As big as the meal is that my wife makes, I swear it is just as important when we eat dessert,” he laughs. “No matter how stuffed everyone is — ‘oh, I can’t get up, I’m so full’ — they wind up all eating dessert. Every single one of them.”

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Desserts for the Holidays

For those fellow dessert-lovers out there, the host adds that around the holidays Carlo’s Bakery typically offers a red-and-white sponge cake that’s festive and crowd-pleasing — and they have a few other goodies in store for December too. This year that’s extra exciting for Canadians since the shop has expanded into Canada. In fact, Buddy says his Oh Canada Baby! cake would be the perfect thing for Christmas dessert this year.

“That would be a great Christmas cake on anyone’s table because it’s pretty and it’s delicious,” he says. “It’s also made with love. I want the Canadian people to know this is only the beginning of the plans for Canada because every time I come there fans are just so receptive and great. I’ve always felt so loved there and now it’s time for me to do some more in Canada.”

Related: Buddy Valastro’s Coolest Celebrity Cake Creations

For now Canadians can catch Buddy in his latest holiday-themed series, Buddy vs. Christmas. In each of the four episodes the baker and his team come together to face off against highly specialized artists (Broadway set designers, expert glassblowers and more) to see who can create the best life-sized Christmas displays to be presented at high-profile events.

 

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“These four creations are some of the best work — I was so blown away by what we did,” Buddy reveals. “When you see what we made, it’s just to another level. This was less about a competition because we’re all artists. Whether you’re a glassblower or whether you’re a brick artist and you make Legos or you’re a Broadway set designer or you’re someone who does animatronics in the windows, we’re all using different art forms to express our medium,” he continues.

“I love Christmas. My house is like the Griswolds at home with the decorations and stuff. And I gotta tell you, we just turned it on for this. It’s really cool.”

Watch Buddy vs. Christmas Mondays at 10EP and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Buddy Valastro on the set of Big Time Bake

Buddy Valastro Gives Us the Scoop on Big Time Bake

We’re used to seeing cake master Buddy Valastro create masterful concoctions and larger-than-life gateaux, but in his latest series he’s trading in his apron for a scoreboard. In each episode of Big Time Bake Buddy hosts and judges as four bakers create cookies, cupcakes and a showpiece cake in just six hours.

So what’s the twist? Unlike other competition series the clock never stops on this showdown. So bakers not only have to plan out their time wisely, but they have to prove they’re as good at multitasking as they are at creating. We sat down with Buddy to get his hot take on what impresses him in the kitchen, what he misses about competing, and how, despite his impressive resume, he’s really “not a cake snob” at all.

See More: 10 Moments From Buddy vs. Duff That Had Us On the Edge of Our Seats

After doing Buddy vs. Duff, is it nice to be on the other end of the judging table with Big Time Bake?

I love to compete. For years, I really didn’t compete. I just kind of did my own show. I did Cake Boss. And I wasn’t competing with anyone, but it was a way to push myself to the limits, right? And then when you go into a competition, I think that even upped the ante even more. It pushes you even further. So when I’m judging, I’m also rooting. I’m the kind of guy that’s like, ‘Oh, man, I wish I could help’ or, ‘I wish I could give them a piece of advice.’ Just like a lot of people at home. I’m sure a lot of people watch at home and are kind of like ‘Oh, why did you do that,’ or, ‘Why did you use that colour?’ So it’s nice to judge but if you said to me, like gun to the head, ‘What do you want, to compete or judge?’ I would compete.

What is it that you love about competing?

I love to make, to create and it’s just kind of what I like to do. And it’s less about winning or losing. It’s more about challenging myself. Kind of like breaking a new record or making a another favourite cake or, just sparking the ideas. I have the mind of an eight-year-old-boy when I cake design, because I think the ending is possible. Why can’t this cake move, or why can’t it spin, or why can’t it be, you know, five thousand pounds or whatever. Whatever the obstacles are. And when you’re able to look at things that way, and you become successful at it, you look at life that way. So I look at life, I look at business and I go, ‘Why can’t I open a bakery in Canada?’ Or, ‘Why can’t I have vending machines?’ or whatever it is. You’re not afraid to dream big and make things happen. And I feel like a lot of my successes is because of that. I attribute a lot of that to my whimsical daydreaming and cake design to success in business.

Does watching these competitors spark your creativity at all?

Oh, absolutely. You pick things up from the competitors, too. I’m a student and I’m always learning. I see a good idea or a good technique or a good thing and I’m always putting that in my back pocket and trying to do different things with it. And I don’t want you to take what I said before wrong in the sense where, I do love to judge. I still love to encourage people and I still love to give my critique.

Related: The Evolution of Buddy Valastro

How would you describe your judging style?

I’m a pretty open book, I call it the way I see it. If I love something I’m going to tell you I love it. If I don’t like something I’m going to tell you I don’t like it. I gotta tell you, watching this show, you’re rooting and trying to coach and it’s amazing. What I love about this show in particular that’s different than a lot of the older formats that we did, was this show is kind of like non-stop action the whole time. Meaning the clock never stops.

Is that an advantage or a disadvantage?

It might seem like a disadvantage to the competitors for the audience at home, but it’s quite the contrary, it’s the opposite actually. Because when you work in your bakery or you’re doing your thing, you’re making cookies and cakes and pies and everything is happening at the same time. I actually feel like this is more of a baker’s natural habitat. And because we combine the six hours into one, versus having the two-hour cookie round, the two-hour cupcake round, and the two-hour cake round, we’ve been so successful with the level of difficulty in the beauty of the final products throughout. It’s been amazing. I mean, some of these cakes are the best cakes I’ve seen on these types of competition shows. I was totally blown away.

See More: Buddy Valastro’s Coolest Celebrity Cake Creations

What does it take to impress you in that kitchen?

The thing is, I am so impressed. Like, I’m not a cake snob by any means, because I’m the Cake Boss or because I can do some crazy things. I never belittle anybody’s work. Everybody works to their own level, or their own creativity. Everybody marches to the beat of their own drum, right? And I see the beauty in everything. It’s why I’m creative when I dream of cakes. Like if I’m driving to work and it’s fall and I start to see the foliage? Cakes and colours and schemes pop into my mind. Or, if I’m in the Middle East and I’m looking at architecture, I’m inspired. Or if I’m in an old Victorian house and I’m looking at moldings and trims, I can apply that to what I do. To me the world is my inspiration. And by seeing other people’s work and other people’s talents, I learn a lot. I’ve seen a couple of things from watching the show and from seeing competitors compete using different techniques. It was really good.

Watch Big Time Bake Mondays at 10ep and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

 

9 Memorable Moments From Buddy vs. Duff — Plus, the Season Two Winner Revealed

The batter has been poured, the cakes have been sculpted, and the second season of Buddy vs. Duff is in the (flour) bag. Over eight episodes the Carlo’s Bakery and Charm City Cakes owners have gone head-to-head in a flurry of challenges, proving they really are the crème de la butter-crème when it comes to larger-than-life cakes. Here are all of our favourite season two moments leading up to and including the Buddy vs Duff finale, when the judges named this year’s ultimate winner.

Duff Decorates the Inside of a Cake

Riding high on his first season win, Duff was ready to pull out all the stops in the first episode when the guys were asked to create a New York City cake that showed off their best interpretation skills. And while Buddy went big and recreated the Statue of Liberty, Duff dug into the details of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Most of those details just happened to be inside of the cake itself, and the judges could only see those beautiful arches and stained glass through a camera. In the end, those details earned the baker the extra half-a-point he needed to take the first challenge win, but one thing was clear: this was going to be a close season full of next-level cakes.

Buddy vs Duff season 2 episode 1 winner

Forklifts Are the New Stand Mixer

Proving that bigger is actually sometimes better, Buddy set the tone in the dinosaur sleepover challenge when the guys were asked to tackle realism and dinos. Not only did Buddy recreate a life-size creature with amazing eyeballs and textured skin (thanks to the help of some gumballs), but the crew needed a forklift just to lift the thing. It wasn’t the last time Buddy used the machine to help crate his creations around throughout the season, proving that next-level bakers need next-level tools.

Buddy vs. Duff season 2 episode 2 winner

Related: The Evolution of Buddy Valastro 

Duff Pulls Off a Horse, Because of Course

When Buddy had the lead heading into episode three, Duff realized he needed to up his own game for the medieval feast challenge. So when the judges told them to hone in on special effects, he and his team built a gigantic horse that transformed into a unicorn and farted glitter. Not only are horses one of the hardest bakes to pull off to begin with, but this creation was so big that Duff and Co. couldn’t even get it out the door without disassembling it first.

Buddy vs Duff season 2 episode 3 winner

Everyone Recreates Jordin Sparks

It has to be super trippy to see yourself in cake form, but Jordin Sparks was seeing double in the Waitress musical challenge when the guys were tasked with creating a tableau that best described the play. Buddy’s team opted for a cute caricature while Duff’s team did a life-size recreation, and while both offerings had Sparks tearing up it was Duff’s cake that pulled out the big W.

Buddy vs. Duff season 2 episode 4 winner

Duff Loses to the Clock

When the teams headed to the aquarium to pull off some swimming aquatic cakes, Duff got up in his head when he realized he may have overshot his cake—especially when he saw Buddy’s impressive three-tonne whale bake. So with dozens of details still not complete at the 48-hour mark, Duff kept working and wound up taking a two-point time penalty. As a result, Buddy earned five total extra points that week, propelling him to an easy win.

Buddy vs Duff season 2 episode 5 winner

Related: The Evolution of Duff Goldman

The Air Conditioner Goes Bust

Duff was feeling the pressure heading into the mini golf challenge and admitted he was pretty thirsty for some redemption after the aquatic kerfuffle. So he went with an oceanside theme for his hole, which quickly went awry when the air conditioner at his shop went bust and his cakes started melting. Buddy, meanwhile, created a Carlo’s Bakery theme with dozens of cakes and an impressive storefront sign, easily beating Duff once again.

Buddy vs. Duff season 2 episode 6 winner

Team Duff Takes a Camera Detox

With two tough losses under his iced belt, Duff was in his feelings by the time the guys got around to the amusement park challenge and they were asked to incorporate movement into their cakes. Both teams went for carousels, but in a surprise move, Team Duff went dark. Turns out the baker just really needed to be able to focus on the fun of creating with his team, and so he turned the cameras around. As a result, for the first time all season, neither Buddy nor the judges could see what he was up to.

Buddy Makes the Most Interactive Cake Yet

Meanwhile over on Team Buddy, the baker decided to go all-in and make a carousel cake that the judges could also ride. Enter that famous forklift and a whole lot of stress, because if that thing wasn’t properly designed it could actually end up seriously hurting someone. They pulled it off in the end, but it wasn’t enough to top Duff’s top-secret cake, which shot out popcorn and won by a whopping three points.

Buddy vs. Duff season 2 episode 7 winner

Related: 10 Moments From Buddy vs. Duff Season One That Had Us on the Edge of Our Seast

Buddy Takes the Cake

Heading into the finale Buddy had an impressive six-point lead, but with two Star Wars-themed cakes on the line that had to incorporate all of the previous skills, the pressure was on. Buddy impressed with a recreation of the Millennium Falcon and a laser show that the audience was certainly there for, but in the end, Buddy’s X-wing tableau with an amazingly sculpted Yoda was the cake of the night. However, Duff’s win wasn’t enough to overcome a tough season full of surprise mishaps, and in the end, Buddy got the ultimate redemption when he was named season two winner.

So that’s one season win for Duff, and one season win for Buddy. It seems like a third-season tie-breaker is inevitable, no? Well there’s no news just quite yet, but one thing is clear: people definitely need more jaw-dropping cakes from this duo.

Buddy vs Duff season 2 episode 8 winner

Watch Buddy vs. Duff Sunday and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

 

Buddy Valastro Celebrity Cakes

Buddy Valastro’s Coolest Celebrity Cake Creations

In Bake You Rich, professional bakers vie for the opportunity to have one of their creations produced and sold online by none other than Buddy Valastro. Because who better to know a good concoction than the Cake Boss himself? Buddy has made his fair share of cakes over the years out of the family-run Carlo’s Bake Shop and whether they get customers walking in and grabbing a cake off the shelves, or accommodating custom orders for fans and celebrities, people are never disappointed.

Take these stars, for example. They asked for epic creations from Buddy, and they received. Boy, did they ever.

Beyoncé

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This cake may look simple, but its purpose was significant. In honour of Beyoncé’s eponymous fifth album, it was meant to look both like actual vinyl as well as the understated album cover. Super sexy, just like the singer.

Willie Nelson

For Willie Nelson’s 80th birthday in 2013, Buddy constructed a guitar-shaped cake with fudge filling, inspired by the country music legend’s beloved guitar, Trigger. Buddy and his team added a little whimsy in the form of munchies, including chips, popcorn and pretzels. Now that’s the high life.

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter played for the New York Yankees his entire career so it made perfect, delicious sense that his farewell cake featured the team’s iconic pinstripes and logo, and Jeter’s No. 2. Both sweet and bittersweet.

Melissa and Joe Gorga

Considering Buddy’s Hoboken roots, it’s no wonder he and wife Lisa are pals with Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Melissa and Joe Gorga. For Joe’s new book, Melissa enlisted Buddy to create a cake in the likeness of The Gorga Guide to Success. And it was pretty magnificent.

Common and John Legend

For a reception that celebrated Common and John Legend’s Academy Award-winning song, “Glory,” from the Selma soundtrack, an epic cake was required. So who better than Buddy and his team to create an edible work of art like this replica of Selma, Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge?

Britney Spears

Britney celebrated her birthday and the release of her sixth album, Circus, with a concoction that basically looked like one giant firecracker. What a beaut!

Melissa Gorga

The RHONJ star had pal Buddy to thank in 2017 when she celebrated her birthday with a three-tier, black-and-white Chanel-themed cake. Because, of course.

Flo Rida

For Flo Rida’s visit to the Today show, Buddy created an extra-cool cake that was perfect for the rapper and his performance of “Cake” with 99 Percent. How fitting.

Big Bird

The details of the feathers, the nest, and the slice of cake Big Bird is holding all looks absolutely scrumptious, so much so that we almost couldn’t eat it. Almost.

Tune in to Bake You Rich on Sundays at 10 PM E/P.

Buddy vs. Duff

Buddy vs. Duff: See Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman’s Most Epic Cakes

In Buddy vs. Duff, legendary bakers Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman will bring their culinary A-game as they face off in a series of dessert-themed challenges. The battling bakers will compete in a final space-themed task, where the judges will crown the winner and settle this epic feud once and for all. For a (visual) taste of what you cake expect to see from the series, we’ve kicked off the competition early, showcasing some of the most epic baked creations from Buddy and Duff. May the best baker win!

Buddy’s a pro at bringing animals to life

This sea-creature-inspired cake has our eyes go from the Hammerhead shark breaking through the top-most tier to the eel weaving it’s way through the middle section, all the way to the colorful collection of underwater life and seashells scattered all around the base of this cake. From shading to texture, we just can’t get over how detailed every creature on this cake is up-close!

Duff is all about the details when it comes to scene-style cakes

This elaborate city-scape cake created by Duff and his team called for 150 pounds of cake and 50 pounds of fondant. There is so much going on here, from a “just married” car and mini wedding cake to the hot air balloon — can you spot the sailboat?

Buddy is a master chef when it comes to barbeque baking

This cake, dubbed “House of Que”, looks so good; you would think it was the real deal. We’ll take a side of ribs, please!

Duff is always looking to up the ante

Never to be outdone, Duff takes the barbeque-baking concept to the next level, with his massive and ultra-realistic steak-cake, created with the Baltimore Ravens logo seemingly seared into the fondant. We love how detailed this cake is, from the meat-like texture created with shading and colouring, to the T-bone design that really completes the illusion of a real steak.

Buddy has a musical side – or at least his cakes do

Buddy created this amazing guitar-themed cake as a birthday tribute to musical icon Willie Nelson. The hand-painted details make this creation a true work of art — just look at the (intentional) signs of “wear and tear” and signature designs added to mimic Willie’s real guitar.

No one does a large-scale cake quite like Duff

This behemoth of a stadium-themed cake, designed to mimic the real deal and created for the US Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament in 2010, has onlookers in awe as Duff adds the final touches. We love how Duff was able to mimic crowds in the stands, and have you seen the extra design elements outside of the stadium piece?

Buddy’s a builder – with fondant, at least

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Having so fun @marylandlive how do you like my cake?

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Channeling his inner urban planner, Buddy crafted this true-to-life urban landscape for Maryland Live, and judging by the look on his face — he seems pretty happy with the results. We don’t blame him — the buildings, roadways and even greenery that sit atop the base of this giant cake all look like the real-deal.

Duff creates the stuff of (Marvel) legends

Would you believe this giant Hulk recreation is in fact, a fully-edible cake? Believe it! The mean green machine himself was built up as a cake and presented by Duff to the Stan Lee in 2014 at Comikaze Expo. Duff recently reposed this epic throwback creation as a tribute to the late Marvel Comics legend.

Buddy serves up the best of both worlds

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If you struggle with satisfying your sweet tooth while also getting your daily fruit-fix, Buddy’s got the solution with this delicious watermelon cake. All cake and icing on the outside, with juicy, ripened watermelon on the inside. Now this is a summertime treat to get excited about!

Duff makes the donut cake of all donut cakes

Helping Krispy Kreme celebrate their 81st birthday – and the launch of a new donut flavor – is no easy task, but judging by this cake, Duff is up to the challenge. This donut-covered cake looks too good to be true… mind if we have a piece, Duff?

Tune in to Buddy vs. Duff Sundays at 10:00 PM E/P.