This post was sponsored by Carlo’s Bakery who provided us with complimentary cake decorating class for two. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun that allows us to share with families information about New Jersey Attractions we think your family may enjoy.
We want to be Cake Bosses!
Last summer, when we were tired from the beach, the pool, the heat … my kids and I binge watched Cake Boss on TLC. This entertaining show, based in New Jersey, featuring a family based business appealed to me as a mom, and my daughter who has an artistic mind. Throughout the year we caught up on the show, visited our local Carlo’s quite a few times, and eagerly awaited my daughter’s tenth birthday so she could attend a Carlo’s Bakery class.
The birthday came and it didn’t take long for us to sign up for a Carlo’s Bakery class! Classes are held in four of the New Jersey Carlo’s locations – Ridgewood, Red Bank, Morristown and Jersey City (Carlo’s has 6 New Jersey bakery locations). We chose Jersey City, as it’s closest to us but also is where all the bakery operations take place, so we’d get the benefit of seeing where the action is! Pre-registration is required, and there were at least 4 options for beginner classes at the time we registered. Our choice was the beach themed cake as a way to end out our fun Summer 2015. Classes are for ages 10 and up with a guardian only.
Early on a Sunday morning we arrived at an unassuming, large factory location blocks from the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City. Starting right at our 9 AM start time, we were greeted and led on a quick tour of the facility where we saw the huge ovens, the consultation room and the refrigeration room. The ovens crank out all the pastries for all the nearby Carlo’s locations so you can imagine how large they are! The finished cakes in the refrigeration room are just as impressive as they are on the show – no pictures allowed but take my word for it that the large cruise boat cake was simply amazing.
Our group of at least 20 cake decorators entered the decorating room, where there were two long wooden tables waiting for us, with an apron for each participant. Each station had a turntable, “pizza” cutter to cut the fondant, three colors of fondant and other decorations and tools. We took a seat by the instructor, Sarah, because we didn’t want to miss anything she went over! She showed us step by step instruction on kneading the fondant and laying it on the cake, and how to use fondant to make decorations. The whole cake is open to your creativity and ability. Using fondant is like using Play-Doh, so there’s no previous experience needed. Sarah made it look super easy so our confidence was high as we began our decorating!
Our Carlo’s Bakery Class Teacher demonstrating technique
Cakes are prebaked and prepped with buttercream, so once we had our cakes we were ready to work. Full disclosure, I am not a creative person. My head actually hurts when it’s time to paint or sculpt or build. My daughter is the complete opposite and is creative and talented. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her think of a plan, make her creations out of fondant and see her vision through. She kept up with the adults in kneading the fondant and using the sheeter, and needed no help from me (in fact she paid closer attention and used the sheeter for my trim). My fondant laid sloppily on my cake, while as you can see, hers went down easily.
Our Carlo’s Bakery Class student demonstrating her cake boss skills
After tucking the fondant in and cutting the excess, (I managed to hide my mistakes) it’s time to make decorations out of fondant and then stretch out the white fondant trim to go on the bottom edge. Sarah showed us shells and other things found on the beach, but I saw decorators making shark fins, inner tubes and more. My only thought was a beach towel, so I made a JFF (Jersey Family Fun, of course), towel, and JFF letters for my trim. The piping gel and the sand finish out the decorating and before you know it, two hours have passed and your cake is boxed and ready to go home. And to be EATEN! Our cakes were a vanilla layer, a chocolate layer and fudge in between. It was truly delicious and one cake served 12 people!
Classes are $125/person – pricey for sure but consider the class a birthday or graduation present, one that comes home with a Carlo’s Bakery cake (and you keep your apron too!). We didn’t see any stars of the show during our visit, but filming is happening now, and it’s not uncommon to see familiar faces walking around. It was an experience like no other, and one we won’t forget!
Visit the Carlo’s Bakery website for more information about class location, times, and availability.
For more photos of our visit to Carlo’s Bakery Classes, check out our Facebook album.