You may recognize Charm City Cakes’ unique designs from 10 seasons of “Ace of Cakes”, the reality television show from the Food Network! that followed the daily operations of Chef Duff Goldman’s custom cake making. Shot on location at the original bakery in Baltimore, Maryland, the show featured the outlandish designs created by Chef Goldman and his team, most of which were always over the top in height, embellishments and wow-ness!
In 2011, the shop opened its west coast store on Melrose Blvd. in Los Angeles. Under the name “Charm City Cakes West”, the shop follows the same “looks great-tastes great” philosophy of the original store and continues its tradition of baking cakes that are, well, a work of art.
Its sculpted cakes range from Chinese dragons, bouquets of flowers, and a character from the classic tale “Where the Wild Things Are”. A vintage Chevrolet, a cheeseburger with a side of fries and a fountain drink, as well as a child’s toy steam train with cotton candy as the smoke coming out from the chimney are also part of the shop’s library of sculpted cakes.
It’s tiered designs, although known to be a more traditional style for formal receptions, undergo a complete transformation at the hands of Chef Goldman’s team. A few of its most recent creations are a 3-tiered cake draped completely with a blanket of white sugar flowers, hand and gold painted cakes, as well as designs that require elaborate piping.
The Chef’s intricate way of leading his design team is to be expected, considering that prior to him working his way around fondant, he was sculpting metal for a living. He’s also a former graffiti/street artist, which explains his love for hand painted cakes and designs that are visually appealing.
But that’s not to say that the inside of his cakes receive any less attention. The former culinary school student and apprentice to acclaimed chef’s puts just as much devotion into the flavor of his art pieces as he does into their aesthetic. The shop boasts with a grand selection of flavors, including the usual suspects: marble, lemon, and carrot, as well as more intricate batches such as blackberry sour cream, curry caramel, and ginger and green tea.
Each of Charm City Cakes West’s cakes are individually priced based on the complexity of their design, and the shop does not have a standardized pricing list. But, if you’re tempted to resort to the shop for your Quince cake, know that tiered cakes typically start at $7 a serving, and have a 50-serving minimum. 3-D cake sculptures start at $1,000. Unlike most bakeshops that welcome the random customer visit, Charm City Cakes West’s takes orders online and replies to them with an estimate quote. The bakery is open by appointment only and does not offer any pre-made cakes for sale. The luxury of making high in demand cakes keeps the shop from operating like a traditional cake business. Then again, Charm City Cakes West is anything but traditional.
Charm City Cakes West
8304 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
This post is also available in: Spanish