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It’s CAKE WEEK! (not to be confused with Shark Week…)

Lifting the Giant Owl Cake!

What would be a better way than to kick of Cake Week than with the 5th Annual Upper Mid-West Bakery Association’s Ultimate Cake Competition at the Mall of America? Confectionery Cake Shop’s owner, Laura O’Connor (yes, I’m writing this in the 3rd person for kicks) competed in a birthday cake competition with 11 other awesome decorators from all over the mid-west (and South Carolina). All of the contestants had 90 minutes to build, sculpt and decorate a birthday cake out of a sheet cake, using buttercream and fondant that was provided by sponsors. It was a mad rush of controlled creativity and skills on the floor that day in order to get your cake and 24 matching cupcakes finished as well as carried over to the judging table about 75′ away! I only had to stop one time to set mine down because it was so heavy! The winners took home cash prizes and trophies. While Confectionery Cake Shop did not place this time, watch out because there are lots of other opportunities to compete coming up! The next one is in February at the National Convention! Stay tuned.

There was also a Wedding Cake Competition that day where contestants had to build a 5 tier wedding cake in 3 hours (which was a serious challenge.. perfection takes time, people!) and carry it over to the judging table. Tension ran high as teams of 3 or 4 carried over their 50-60lb cakes to the tables!

But the real icing on the cake (yes, I, too, hate bad puns, but I’ll let it go this time)  is that Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss is going to be in Minneapolis tonight! He’s also going to be at the Mall of America for his book signing today at around 11:30am near Barnes & Nobel (or so I heard). I have tickets to the show and can’t wait to see him tonight! Weee!! It’s a cake shop owner’s dream to be as awesome as Buddy and his team. I can’t wait to hear more about how he does it!


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Bringing Reality TV to Reality!

Ace of Cakes

Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes

Reality TV has been around for decades, but really started gaining momentum with shows like Cops back in 1989 and Big Brother a short ten years later. Shows like Fox’s American Idol and MTV’s Jersey Shores just go to show that reality TV is a staple in many American homes.

Currently, there are a few shows that highlight the professional art of cake making and decorating that have opened up the general public to an art that they may not have known existed (or at least to that level!). Everywhere I go lately, people ask me if I’ve seen Food Network’s Ace of Cakes or Cupcake Wars, or TLC’s Cake Boss where they focus on the art, competition, creation and drama of working in a cake shop while creating masterpieces using their craft and knowledge of baked goods. What has this done for the cake industry in general? Well, it has set a very high expectation that these kinds of cakes can be made in any cake shop across the nation (not to mention, there isn’t usually a price tag shown on the cost of those elaborate 7 tiered cutout cakes, covered in fondant).

I live in a city outside of the Twin Cities and I plan to make a name for Minnesota, just like Buddy Valastro has done for the Hoboken area of New Jersey or what Duff Goldman has done for Baltimore, Maryland. If people are seeing this level of work on tv, then they should be able to find that kind of product at a local cake boutique that at least can come close. It will take some time, practice, trial and errors, but I hope to achieve that high standard that these shows have created. As artists, we all have our own styles and ways of viewing the world, which I plan to keep to, and I also want to provide a high level of creativity to an area that really needs it! So why not bring a little Reality TV to, well… Reality?!

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