Cake Boss

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Cake Boss
Genre Reality
Starring Buddy Valastro
Opening theme "Sugar, Sugar", sung by:
The Nerds (2009–11)
Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights (2011–2015)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 11
No. of episodes 230 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Art Edwards
  • Jim Berger
  • Matt Walker
  • Pamela Healey
  • Scott Feeley
Producer(s) Laney McVicker
Casey Bauer
  • David T McCurley
  • Patrick Bryant
  • Christopher Schultz
  • David Miers
  • Stacey Martins
Running time 22 minutes, special 42 minutes
Production company(s) High Noon Entertainment, Cakehouse Media
Original network TLC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release April 19, 2009 (2009-04-19) – present (present)
Related shows Next Great Baker
Kitchen Boss
External links

Cake Boss is an American reality television series, airing on the cable television network TLC. The show follows the operations of Carlo's Bake Shop, an Italian-American family-owned business in Hoboken, New Jersey owned and operated by siblings Buddy Valastro (to whom the series' title refers), Lisa Valastro, Maddalena Castano, Grace Faugno and Mary Sciarrone.[1] The show focuses on how they make their edible art cakes, and the interpersonal relationships among the various family members and other employees who work at the shop.

The show premiered on April 19, 2009, and four additional seasons followed, premiering October 26, 2009, May 31, 2010 (returning in October), January 31, 2011 (returning in September), and May 28, 2012, respectively.[2][3][4][5] The show's sixth season debuted on Monday May 27, 2013 at 9PM ET;[6] the second part of the sixth season began airing on December 30, 2013. The seventh season premiered live on September 8, 2015.

On January 26, 2015 Cake Boss was renewed for two additional seasons.[7] TLC has announced new episodes will begin airing September 8, 2015.[8]



  • Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, Jr. (born March 3, 1977)[9][10] – The star of the show, who has worked at the bakery since age 17 in 1994.[11] He is the only son and the youngest child of Bartolo "Buddy" Sr. and Mary Valastro. He grew up in Little Ferry, New Jersey.[12] He is married to Elisabetta "Lisa" Valastro (née Belgiovine) with whom he has four children: Sofia, Bartolo "Buddy" III, Marco, and Carlo. In 2012, as a result of the attention that the series brought to Hoboken, New Jersey, the Hudson Reporter named him as an honorable mention in its list of Hudson County's 50 most influential people.[13]
  • Mauro Castano (born August 18, 1963)[14] – pastry chef and Buddy's right-hand man. He is married to Buddy's second-oldest sister, Maddalena. He was born in Milan, and left Italy when he was 12. He arrived in the USA on 15 February 1976. His father is from Bernalda, Basilicata and his mother from near Reggio Emilia, Emilia Romagna.[15] On 16 September 1989 he had his first date with Maddalena (her father orchestrated all), and in October 1991 they married.
  • Joseph "Joey" Faugno (born October 10, 1967)[16] – The shop's head baker. He is married to Buddy's oldest sister, Grace. They have two children: Robert and Bartolina.[17]
  • Frank "Frankie" Amato, Jr. (born August 29, 1978)[18] – cake decorator. He is Buddy's second cousin, the godfather to his son Marco, and has two children of his own.[19]
  • Danny Dragone – multipurpose employee, worked at the bakery since before Buddy was born. He is a close family friend, and his daughter, Tatiana, works at the bakery. He is nicknamed "the mule" for his versatility.[20]
  • Grace Faugno (née Valastro) – (born June 30, 1966)[21] Buddy's oldest sister. She works front counter. She is married to Joey Faugno, the shop's head baker. They have two children: Robert and Bartolina.
  • Maddalena Castano (née Valastro) (born August 15, 1967)[21] – manages the front counter.[22] She is married to Mauro. They have three children: Dominique, Bartolo "Buddy", and Mary.[23]
  • Mary Sciarrone (née Valastro)[24] (born September 30, 1969)[21] – Cake Consultant and Buddy's third-oldest sister. She is married with two children: Joseph and Lucia.[25] In the fifth season episode "Stained Glass & A Surprised Danny", she was fired because of multiple incidents involving her making inappropriate statements.[26] Mary was rehired as a cake consultant a few weeks after being fired. She returned to full-time work at the bakery in the episode "Silly Seuss & Surprise!".[27]
  • Lisa Valastro (born December 31, 1974) - Buddy's youngest sister. Manages the store front and handles billing some times.
  • Elisabetta "Lisa" Valastro (née Belgiovine) (born March 9, 1979) [21] – Buddy's wife. They have four kids, Sofia Valastro, Carlo Valastro, Marco Valastro, Buddy Valastro, Jr.[28] Her parents, Gloria Tomacco and Mauro Belgiovine, who seen in the show, are from Molfetta, Puglia.
  • Maurizio Belgiovine – delivery boy and structure builder. He is Buddy's brother-in-law.[24]
  • Ralph "Ralphie Boy" Attanasia III (born September 6, 1984)[29] – bakery sculptor.[30]
  • Marissa Lopez – Buddy's intern (winner of Season 2 of Next Great Baker), later becoming manager of Carlo's Bakery's new location in Ridgewood, New Jersey.[31]


Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, where the series is filmed.
  • Mary Valastro Pinto – Buddy's mother. A show regular until her 2010 retirement; still appears on the show on occasion. Announced in 2012 that she has been diagnosed with ALS. The family's struggle and reaction was documented in the Season 5 episode, "A Bittersweet Homecoming", on July 23, 2012.[32]
  • Remigio "Remy" Gonzalez – Buddy's former left-hand man and the ex-husband of Buddy's sister, Lisa. Remy's first and only child, daughter Isabella, was born on the Cake Boss episode "Mother's Day, Mama and Mom-to-be". He left the show after being arrested for alleged sexual assault.[33]
  • Salvatore "Sal" Picinich (1947[34] – January 30, 2011[35][36][37]) worked at the bakery from 1964 and was one of Buddy's most trusted employees. Picinich stopped appearing on the show at the end of 2009, when he began battling cancer, but returned in the summer of 2010 to accept the Employee of the Century Award on the occasion of the bakery's 100th anniversary. He died January 30, 2011.[36]
  • Kevin "Stretch" Krand – a delivery boy who left the shop to continue his education.[38]
  • Tony "Tone-Tone" Albanese – Buddy's second intern.[39]
  • Daniella Storzillo – a sculptor and decorator at Carlo's. She left to work as a real estate sales associate.[40]
  • Stephanie "Sunshine" Fernandez – top decorator at Carlo's. She was the first female employee who did not work with sales, as stated by Buddy Valastro. She left for an opportunity to finish nursing school nine months earlier.[41] Before leaving to become a nurse, she appeared on the show's spinoff, Next Great Baker, where she was chosen by the season 2 winner, Marissa Lopez, to help her build her American Dream cake.[42]
  • Dana Herbert – winner of Season 1 of Next Great Baker
  • Ashley Holt – winner of Season 3 of Next Great Baker
  • Paul Conti – bakery employee (former contestant of Season 3 of Next Great Baker); was only in a couple of episodes because he lost his house and his job due to Hurricane Sandy. He eventually got a job working for a baking supply company.
  • Anthony "Cousin Anthony" Bellifemine – baker and former delivery boy,[43] Bellifemine left unexpectedly at the end of season 6.[44]


The interior of Carlo's Bake Shop on a busy holiday.

The popularity of the show has resulted in increased business for Carlo's Bake Shop, and increased tourism to the Hoboken area.[45] Due to the series's popularity, Carlo's Bake Shop has become a tourist attraction, with lines to enter the bakery often extending down the block and around the corner.[46] In 2010, Hoboken renamed the corner of Washington Street and Newark Street to "Carlo's Bakery Way" in honor of the bakery's centennial.[47]

Season one averaged 2.3 million viewers[48] while season two averaged 1.8 million viewers.[49] In 2016, a New York Times study of the 50 TV shows with the most Facebook Likes found that Cake Boss's "audience is generally not urban; in fact, one hot spot is Appalachia".[50]

Tie-ins and spinoffs[edit]

On November 2, 2010, Buddy Valastro's book, Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia, which is based on the series, was released. Published by Atria Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Carlo's Bake Shop, the book features the history and stories of Valastro's family and the bake shop, along with recipes.[24]

Valastro's second book, Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets, is a cookbook, also published by Atria Books, released November 1, 2011 and featuring Valastro's cake, pastry and decorating recipes.[51]

The success of Cake Boss has led to a spin-off competition series hosted by Valastro, Next Great Baker, in which people compete to win a top cash prize, other valuable prizes, and an apprenticeship at Carlo's Bakery. The program's first season was seen on TLC December 6, 2010[52] through January 24, 2011,[5] with a second season televised November 28, 2011 to January 30, 2012. The competition's third season premiered on Monday, November 26, 2012.[53]

Another spinoff series, Kitchen Boss, debuted January 25, 2011. This series, which is seen weekdays, features Valastro presenting his family's recipes, as well as special guests, including members of his own family.[5]

A backdoor pilot special, Bakery Boss, debuted on May 27, 2013.[54] The special features Valastro traveling to a struggling bakery, Friendly's Bake Shop in Frankfort, New York, and helping them reverse their fortunes, using a format similar to Kitchen Nightmares.[6] The program returned to TLC as a series on December 2, 2013,[55] and was later renamed Buddy's Bakery Rescue. Buddy's intern, Ashley Holt, served as Culinary Producer for the series.

Cake Boss also has a product line that features baking pans and decorating accessories (etc).

Episodes and DVD releases[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 April 19, 2009 (2009-04-19) August 17, 2009 (2009-08-17)
2 18 October 26, 2009 (2009-10-26) February 22, 2010 (2010-02-22)
3 24 May 31, 2010 (2010-05-31) November 29, 2010 (2010-11-29)
4 38 January 31, 2011 (2011-01-31) January 30, 2012 (2012-01-30)
5 30 May 28, 2012 (2012-05-28) February 18, 2013 (2013-02-18)
6 28 May 27, 2013 (2013-05-27) February 24, 2014 (2014-02-24)
7 19 September 8, 2015 (2015-09-08) November 17, 2015 (2015-11-17)
8 16 August 23, 2016 (2016-08-23) TBA

As of September 8, 2015, a total of 152 episodes with seven seasons and 5 stand-alone specials have been broadcast. The first five seasons have been released on DVD in Region 1. Up until halfway into the fifth season, each episode title employed alliteration.

As of April 3, 2015, seasons 5 and 6 are available for streaming on Hulu Plus, using a re-edited intro sequence from the early seasons (with a few episodes showing the updated family pic from the dancing intro of seasons 5 and 6).

As of 2015, Cake Boss has been renewed for an eighth season which expected to be released sometime in 2016.


In July 2010, Masters Software, Inc., of Cedar Park, Texas, obtained a preliminary injunction forbidding TLC from calling its show "Cake Boss".[56] Since 2006, the company has operated the domain name, and since 2007, it has sold a bakery management program called CakeBoss. The suit claims that Discovery Communications infringes on its trademark by causing confusion among customers and vendors.[57] In October 2010, Masters Software and Discovery Communications reached a settlement, the details of which are not public.[58][59]

On June 11, 2012, transgender celebrity Carmen Carrera appeared in a Cake Boss episode, "Bar Mitzvah, Beads & Oh Baby!", in which she unknowingly participated in a prank involving Cousin Anthony, who was set up with a date with Carrera. The punchline of the prank had Buddy tell Anthony that Carrera is transgender. Carrera agreed to participate in the prank on the program in part to promote equality for the transgender community saying, "I'm totally cool with a prank like this, I, you know as long as it's in good fun." Following the airing of the program, Carrera was upset by an interview portion of the program where Buddy said, "And I tell him...that's a man, baby!" Carrera made a statement saying, "I made it VERY clear to the producers on how to use the correct wording before agreeing to filming this but instead they chose to poke fun and be disrespectful. That's not what I'm about! ... I may not have been born a woman, but I'm NOT a man... After taking this journey it's not fair at all to be lied to by the producers." Buddy Valastro apologized for the incident, saying, "I owe an apology to the entire LGBT community. It was absolutely not my intention to upset or offend her, or anyone within the community, and I was wrong to use the words I did. I am a supporter of gay rights and equality, and while I regret this situation and my choice of words, I am thankful to have received this feedback and the opportunity to learn from this mistake. I hope that Carmen accepts my sincere regrets."[60] The following day, on June 12, 2012, TLC announced that "Bar Mitzvah, Beads & Oh Baby!" had been pulled from rotation indefinitely, with plans to re-edit the episode.[61] The episode has since re-aired on July 23, 2012, but with the offending scene re-edited.

In popular culture[edit]

Comedian Paul F. Tompkins plays a parody of Cake Boss (Cake Boss) host Buddy Valastro on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast and IFC TV show.[62]

See also[edit]


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  4. ^ "'Cake Boss' Returns With New Episodes". (press release). Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Ross, Robyn. "TLC Orders New Buddy Valastro Series Kitchen Boss". Retrieved 16 September 2015.  Note: This article mentioned that the show would be previewed following Next Great Baker; however, 19 Kids and Counting was seen instead.
  6. ^ a b "'Cake Boss' Returns, 'Bakery Boss' Premieres Memorial Day". TLC (TV channel). Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (January 26, 2015). "'Cake Boss' Renewed For 2 Seasons Under TLC/Discovery Networks Intl Pact". Deadline. Retrieved February 14, 2015. 
  8. ^ Strohm, Emily. "Cake Boss Is Back! Watch Buddy Valastro Remodel His Bakery". People (magazine). Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Life Of Bartolo (Buddy) Valastro Jr.". Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ Pascrell, Bill, Jr. "Tribute to Mary Tubito Valastro Pinto l'Italico's Italian Community 1997 Woman of the Year". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Buddy Valastro". TLC. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ "The Cake Boss returns to Little Ferry". Little Ferry Local. 7 May 2010. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2012. Cake Boss Buddy Valastro returned to Little Ferry on April 27 to accept the "keys to the city" during ceremonies at Borough Hall. Valastro, who grew up in town, is best known for his starring role on the TLC television program The Cake Boss. 
  13. ^ Fernández, Adriana Rambay; LaMarca, Stephen; Pope, Gennarose; Smith, Ray; Sullivan, Al; and Wright, E. Assata. "They've Got the Power". The Union City Reporter. 8 January 2012. Pages 1, 4–7 and 10–11.
  14. ^ Jensen, Tim (4 August 2011). "A Few Minutes With Mauro Castano From "Cake Boss"". Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ "Twitter / CakeBossGrace". Twitter. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
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  18. ^ "Frankie Amato Jr.". IMDb. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Frank Amato, Jr.". TLC. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "Danny Dragone". TLC. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Congressional Record, Volume 143 Issue 53 (Tuesday, April 29, 1997)". Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
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  23. ^ "Mauro Castano". TLC. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
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  25. ^ "Mary Sciarrone". TLC. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  26. ^ "Stained Glass & A Surprised Danny". Cake Boss. Season 5. Episode 3. 4 June 2012. TLC. 
  27. ^ "Silly Seuss & Surprise!". Cake Boss. Season 5. Episode 10. 2 July 2012. TLC. 
  28. ^ "Former 'Cake Boss' assistant Remy Gonzalez to be arraigned on sex charges June 24". 15 June 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  29. ^ "Ralph A Attanasia III — Profile". Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  30. ^ "A Golden Opportunity". Cake Boss. Season 5. Episode 17. 26 November 2012. 09:52 minutes in. TLC. 
  31. ^ "Seeing Double". Cake Boss. Season 6. Episode 6. 10 June 2013. TLC. 
  32. ^ "A Bittersweet Homecoming". Cake Boss. Season 5. Episode 16. 23 July 2012. TLC. 
  33. ^ Musat, Stephanie (24 June 2011). "Former "Cake Boss" assistant Remy Gonzalez pleads guilty to aggravated sexual assault". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  34. ^ "'Cake Boss' and family mourn loss of 'Employee-of-the-Century' Salvatore Picinich". The Jersey Journal. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  35. ^ Buddy Valastro on Facebook, 31 January 2011. Archived December 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
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  37. ^ "Salvatore Picinich". The Bergen Record. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  38. ^ "Strawberries, Sinatra and Sick Ovens". Cake Boss. Season 3. Episode 15. 23 August 2010. 18:47 minutes in. TLC. Ever since Stretch left for school, we've been a little light on the delivery staff. 
  39. ^ "Tony Albanese is The Pastryarch". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  40. ^ "Daniella Storzillo". Hudson Place Realty. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  41. ^ "Space Shuttle, Stepping Up & Surprise!". Cake Boss. Season 4. Episode 14. 30 May 2011. 21:14 minutes in. TLC. I got an opportunity to be in a program at school that's going to allow [me] to finish nine months earlier... But the thing is that I have to stop working here this May. 
  42. ^ "...And the Winner Is?". Next Great Baker. Season 2. Episode 10. 30 January 2012. 36:05 minutes in. TLC. 
  43. ^ "'Cousin Anthony' of 'Cake Boss' fame balances careers as DJ, Carlo's Bakery baker". 30 December 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  44. ^ "CAKE BOSS Finale Shocker: Family Member Quits on Buddy". 25 February 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2015. This is not kidding around. Anthony decided to leave. Ok? It's official. It's 100%. He decided to move to Florida with his family. On a personal level I'll admit, that hurts a little bit. I treated him like a son and he just basically says, 'I'm leaving'. No explanation, we didn’t talk about it. He's just up and left. 
  45. ^ Staab, Amanda (11 July 2010). "The 'Cake Boss' effect — Has popular Hoboken reality show boosted business, tourism?". The Union City Reporter. pp. 6, 8. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
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  49. ^ Levine, Stuart (31 January 2010). "'Cake Boss' earns third season". Variety. Retrieved 31 May 2010. 
  50. ^ Katz, Josh (2016-12-27). "'Duck Dynasty' vs. 'Modern Family': 50 Maps of the U.S. Cultural Divide". The New York Times. 
  51. ^ Valastro, Buddy (2011). Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-8352-6. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  52. ^ Stanhope, Kate (24 June 2010). "Cake Boss Gets Competitive with New Spinoff Series". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  53. ^ "Season Three of TLC's 'Next Great Baker' to Premiere Monday, November 26". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  54. ^ "TLC Serves Up a Double Dose of Buddy Valastro". 13 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  55. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (21 November 2013). "TLC's New Series 'Bakery Boss' Premieres December 2". (Press release). 
  56. ^ "TLC's 'Cake Boss' Could Crumble Under Litigation". NBC Universal. 27 July 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  57. ^ Jones, Richard A. (16 July 2010). "Masters Software, Inc. v. Discovery Communications, Inc., et al." (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  58. ^ Colaneri, Katie (22 October 2010). "'Cake Boss' will keep his name, settles 'amicably' with software company". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  59. ^ Mitchell, Tierryicah (23 January 2011). "Who's the Boss?: Settlement Allows Buddy Valastro To Continue To Use 'Cake Boss'". Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  60. ^ Burra, Kevin (12 June 2012). "'Cake Boss' Features Carmen Carrera, Transgender Star Claims She Was Butt Of Transphobic Joke". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  61. ^ Kane, Matt (13 June 2012). "TLC Pulls Cake Boss Episode After Carmen Carrera and Her Supporters Speak Out". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  62. ^

External links[edit]