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Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  402 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes, Duff Goldman, Food Network’s indomitable “Ace of Cakes,” reveals the inspiration behind some of the most outrageous and extraordinary, gravity and reality-defying confectionary creations in the world. An eye-popping collection of photos, illustrations, stories, reflections, collages, and memorabilia celebrating the ecc ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by William Morrow Cookbooks
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Page 154! My picture of my parents' 50th anniversary cake! It's teeny tiny, but it's there!

Ok now that that's out of the way. The book is not what you might expect. It is not a big beautiful glossy stroke book of the exciting and unusual cakes that Duff and his posse have created. Quite honestly, I think this is because they didn't always take great pictures of the cakes. But it is awfully entertaining nonetheless, with sections such as "The Bands of Charm City Cakes" and profiles of the nonconf
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What better way to celebrate achieving my Reading challenge than with a! Ace of Cakes is a fantastic read, offering a genuine insight into the staff of Charm City Cakes and the crew who make the magic work behind the camera.

Everything you see on the show is everything you get - from reading the stories of the staff and crew, you fully understand what makes them tick and why they truly love their work. It's fascinating to read about the friendships that were born outside of Char
Nov 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
I love this show and looked forward to reading this book, but I was disappointed with how I didn't really take away much that was new. Most of the book is just different staffers telling their version of the same stories over and over (how the bakery started, how various staffers were hired on, how the pilot was filmed). The last 1/3 of the book especially where every sound editor, producer, camera man, etc. of the show told how the show started became very repetitive. It is probably interesting ...more
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
“Before we get started,” say the Goldman brothers in their introduction, “we’d like to define what this book is not: it’s not a cookbook or a how-to manual.” Thank goodness. When I first heard about the Ace of Cakes book, I was dubious to say the least. It didn’t seem in keeping with the character of the show or its madcap leader to monetize success by schlepping recipes. Instead, they gave this book a very clear purpose as a “fun, visual, colorful scrapbook,” which was absolutely the right path ...more
Dec 25, 2009 rated it liked it
We bought this for the girls, since Ace of Cakes is their favorite show Of All Time, but I'm the one who spent most of Christmas afternoon reading it! I appreciate Duff's "well, we've never done that before, but what the hell, let's figure out how" attitude towards trying new things. The biggest compliment I can give to this title, which isn't a how-to and it isn't even a cookbook, is that it made me want to go buy some fondant, bake a couple of little cakes, and play.
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book, but more of a coffee table one, not something to read straight through.
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Never saw the show. Not sure why I picked this up. Glad they are in baltimore a city I love!
Renee Wallace
Oct 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I knew when I ordered this book that it is NOT a cookbook, or how-to book, though there are plenty of fun tips included!

This review could get bogged down in details, because there was not a page of this book on which I did not find something I absolutely loved--the tips, the photos, the fun facts. The best word for this one is "lush"--the incredible photos of cakes which are eye-candy masterpieces; the photos of people to whom viewers feel a connection; the details of what it is "really like" t
Sep 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: television

And now I have this book... now I must read this book.
Well... I wasn't as happy with this book as I'd hoped/expected to be. It was good, but...I don't know. It just felt too light. There was some good behind-the-scenes stuff--like what the designers do when they're not designing cakes, what the bakery's like when it's not being filmed, and duties/responsibilities of the production team--but not as much as I was hoping for.
You've heard of Duff Goldman. You may not know his name, but you know his work. As the owner of Charm City Cakes, he makes his way into your living room every week with Ace of Cakes, the reality show that documents the cakes made for various events and the stories behind them.

This is not a cookbook, but rather a documentation of how Charm City Cakes came to be and how it came to be on TV. There are also bios of all the cast and crew of the show, plus details on how the show is produced. I, for o
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a fan of the show, and the work the team creates, I was delighted to pick this book up. The interviews were quirky and fun to read, and it was cool to learn about the Charm City Cakes story. I think it awesome that Duff et al. have come up with a business model that is both innovative and successfully spirited. It's so great to come across a team as talented as this one who not only believes in the aesthetic beauty of cakes, but focuses a lot on the functionality and their ability to execute ...more
Joanna Wilson
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tv-film-books
I love watching 'Ace of Cakes' on the Food Network and so I picked this book from its shelf at the library. I've written about the third season Christmas episode in my encyclopedia 'Tis the Season TV.' And, I was actually at the Lebowski-Fest in Louisville, Kentucky when they shot the episode 'The Big Cakeowski' for the fifth season. Yes, I got a piece of the White Russian-flavored cake that they prepared in honor of the movie 'The Big Lebowski' and it was DELICIOUS! However, this book is alread ...more
It was really interesting to find out the back story on Duff, Charm City Cakes, and how Ace of Cakes was started. Pretty inspiring actually. And lots of eye-candy cakes! I really enjoyed the "in his/her own words" sections with the different decorators / icers / bakers, and learning about how they came to be part of CCC.

On the negative side... there were a lot of typos in this book. I also found the last chapter, which included perspectives from the various producers / creators/ onsite crew rea
Dec 14, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm a casual viewer of the show Ace of Cakes, but definitely not a die-hard superfan, which is what you need to be to really enjoy this book. I thought that it would be more of a glossy coffee-table book of their amazing cakes but most of the pictures are actually really small and grainy and there's a lot of text. It's more of a behind-the-scenes documentary of a book, complete with bios of each of the decorators and TV production staff and a summary of how Charm City Cakes came to be. I didn't ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
i am a fan of this show and have watched it since it started .. the book is amazing .. i really like the way they set it up .. the pieces on each of charm ciity cakes employees, lay out of bakery, pictures are fantastic, quotes throughout book are a great touch .. i am a HuGe MaRy aLiCe and GeoF fan :) .. if you like the show - you'll definately enjoy the book .. as DuFF says "it's not the wand, it's the wizard"
Robyn S.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of the show Ace of Cakes
Shelves: nonfiction
I love the TV show Ace of Cakes, and when I saw there was a book from it I didn't really care what the subject was, I just knew I had to read it. And I totally loved this book. Not only was it way beyond what I originally thought it was going to be about, but it was fun and interesting and had lots of fun pictures. This book is definitely in a class all its own. It's unique, well written and frankly, just plain fun to read.
Oct 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am a HUGE fan of the show and I loved this book. My mom used to decorate cakes when I was a kid, and I know how much work goes into making and decorating them. I guess that's why I love this show. The book gives you autobiographical information about Duff and the entire crew, how he came to be where he is and how he ended up being a chef in the first place. Lots of pictures and behind the scenes info make this a must read for all Ace of Cakes fans and fans of cake.
Mar 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
this book is a fan other words can explain it. if you love charm city cakes and ace of cakes then you will love this book. it follows the bakery through their lives and what it takes to get their beautiful cakes. it contains interviews and points-of-view from the different decorators and bakers and people it takes to make the show. it is a great book and really makes you see what it takes to do what they do.
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Here'e the deal: if you aren't a fan of the TV show "Ace of Cakes", then you won't like this book. However, if you *are* a fan, then this is a fun look at Duff and his crew at the bakery. Duff talks about his childhood and how ended up being a baker, as well as how each member of the crew came to work at the bakery. There's some amazing photos of different cakes they've done over the years.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Definitely a read if you're a fan of the show. The book can get quite repetitive, and I would have liked more history on some of the decorators (some decorators spent more time describing the cake they made for the book versus their background and how they got involved with the bakery), but still an entertaining read.
Katie Palazzolo
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not a cookbook.
But I re-got into the show and remembered I had this book from years ago and took another read through. Still good, I love all the workers and staff and cakes. You don't learn much that's new because it's basically the same story from each person's perspective, but still entertaining, informational and fun
Michelle Mach
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look of Ace of Cakes, both the TV show and the shop, Charm City Cakes. There were some unexpected lessons for small business owners tucked in the book. An interesting read for anyone wanting to run a business where people enjoy working.

More thoughts on this title
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes the show...or just anyone!
Recommended to Eileen by: Lauren Forrest
I adore Ace of Cakes and this book made me like it even more! It was so great, almost as entertaining as the show. I think they should've put an audio in the book of Duff's laugh whenever you open the book. So great!!
Jan 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, memoirs, food
I think someone may have forgotten to proof this book, as I found tons of errors, but being a HUGE fan of the show, I loved learning how the bakery started, how the team came together, their triumphs and disasters, and, of course, staring at all the pictures.
Apr 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
It started off with decent interviews and background information, but it deteriorated into input from people who didn't have much to say and who all said about the same thing (Ace of Cakes is great). A good first half with an uneven second half.
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
It was a good book. It gave you the history of Charm City Cakes. I just wish that it would have more photos of the cakes. They have a few pages that show there first 700 cakes, butt the photos are so small it's hard the see the detail in the cakes.

Duff just cracks me up.
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
If yoi're a fan of the show, this book is definitely worth checking out. Great profiles on all the bakers and everyone else involved with Charm City Cakes as well as the show. It also has a lot of other fun information about Duff and how he got started. I thought it was a great read.
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Having watched the show it was great to read about Duff and all the people at the bakery. I also was inspired to bake my next cake and just have fun with it. Nice to see that there are places to work where people REALLY like their job!
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I loved the show and reading this book to learn the history of the crew, the creation of the show, and the sheer talent of everyone involved was great fun. The photos are amazing too! Certainly made my mouth water. It was quite entertaining!
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved the photos of the cakes and a chance to look behind the scenes. Liked that everyone got their own sections to write what they wanted. Only downside was there were some stories repeated multiple times and even some sentances from Duff that were repeated a few times throughout the book.
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Duff Goldman is a baker and food artist who has been described as both audacious and creative. He founded and owns Baltimore's Charm City Cakes bakery, and stars in the hit Food Network show Ace of Cakes. He is the author of Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes . Duff has recently added product designer and marketer to his accomplishments, with the introduction of Duff Goldman by Ga ...more
More about Duff Goldman

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