Carlo’s Bake Shop

TV Chef and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro owns Carlo’s Bake Shop, a successful chain of over 20 national bakeries, plus a location in São Paulo, Brazil.

TLC’s “Cake Boss” is shot in Valastro’s Hoboken location, one of seven in New Jersey, but I visited the location in Marlton this week. It’s on Route 73 in the same strip as Trader Joe’s, right next to Starbucks, so you can grab a slice of cake and head over to Starbucks for a latte to sit on the patio outside if the weather’s nice enough.

Inside, the first two display cases are dedicated to whole cakes and cakes by the slice. The other cases have doughnuts, cookies and other pastries. There’s some seating inside, and a case of drinks in the cafe area.

I knew before I went that I would have to get at least one slice of cake if I was going to be visiting the Cake Boss’s bakery. I identified a seven-layer rainbow cake from the website, but decided on a slice of the confetti vanilla cake in the store instead. The strawberry éclair looked too good to pass up, so I got one of those, too.

Sometimes, a slice of cake is best enjoyed after dinner, but today I tried it as a mid-afternoon treat with some  macadamia nut milk, which I like because it’s sweeter than dairy milk and not quite as heavy.

Dessert from Carlo's Bake Shop
If you’re determined enough, you can eat a slice of cake and an éclair in one sitting, like I did today.

The slice of vanilla cake was firm and decorated with a sweet frosting (that ended up being just a little too sweet for my tastes) and topped with rainbow sprinkles. The frosting wasn’t applied too heavily,  It was I’m glad I got to try a slice of cake made from one of the Cake Boss’s recipes, but I ended up liking the strawberry éclair a lot more.

Strawberry éclair
Notice how the whipped cream is piped onto the pastry- so good!

The pastry part itself was light and fluffy, but firm, so it doesn’t fall apart with each bite. The whipped cream also helps to hold it together: there’s a layer piped on each inside piece of puff pastry to help hold a layer of fresh strawberries in place. The whipped cream and the pastry are light enough not to overpower the taste of the strawberries.

There’s no wrong move at Carlo’s Bake Shop, but I would definitely recommend the strawberry éclair. Next time I go, I’ll be bringing some friends with me to try the unicorn decorated cake.

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