Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ and better known as the “The Cake Boss,” made an appearance last week at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes Barre. Valastro delivered a highly spirited interactive presentation to an audience full of googly-eyed Cake Boss lovers.  He conducted live cupcake decorating contests with young and old energetic audience members, some skilled in the specialized craft, others not so much.  But Valastro gave everyone a tshirt, and even gave one smitten Cake Boss fan the opportunity to propose to his fiance right on stage, complete with a rose and cupcake in hand. (She said yes!) Maybe he will make them a wedding cake?

Valastro engaged in a lengthy question and answer session with the audience, spilling secrets about his favorite cakes and not-so-favorite customers, all while carefully decorating a wedding cake by hand. He admitted that the most difficult cake he ever had to create was the life size version of his wife and that his favorite cake was the Disney Princess cake for his daughter Sophia because she is his “special princess.”

Valastro’s interactive show had an underlying message for Cake Boss lovers and aspring bakers of all ages that applied to life inside and outside of the bakery. “The American dream still exists today,” said Valastro, who lost his beloved father at the young age of 17 and suddenly found himself responsble for not only the bakery, but his large Italian family. Valastro perserved and succeeded, brining the bakery to even newer prosperity by integrating modern baking and decorating techniques with his father’s time tested and approved recipes. Valastro’s brought fame to the Carlo’s Bakery when his cakes began to appear in bridal magazines. He was then a guest on the Food Network Challenge. But his road to success wasn’t always easy. Valastro struggled when his idea for a reality show about the bakery was rejected multiple times by the Food Network before being picked up by TLC.  He stressed the importance of family support, a strong work ethic, the ability to laugh, and the importance of never giving up on your dreams. “If you want it, you can get it,” Valastro said. “You just have to work for it!”


The Cake Boss is now one of the most popular shows TLC and Valastro is flooded with requests to compete, teach his craft, and perform demonstrations around the country. To unwind, Valastro still enjoys baking and decorating cakes at Carlo’s Bakery and most of all, he treasures spending time with his family.

Cake Boss lovers, if you can’t make it to Hoboken to try one of Valastro’s favorite infamous lobster tail pastries, don’t despair. Valastro announced that the Carlo’s Bakery was currently building a 40,000 square feet facility in Jersey City, NJ that will have shipping capabilities nationwide so you will be able to have your Cake Boss and eat it too, all within the comfort of your own home.


Growing up in Irish/Italian Catholic family, Easter Sunday has always been a pretty big deal and it was always one of my favorite holidays. I remember as a little girl, when my parents yelled for me to get up on Easter Sunday Morning because “the bunny came” there was only one bunny I was concerned about and he came in the form of a cake. Creamy frosting, tangy coconut flakes, moist white cake and semisweet chocolate chips all in one forkful was reason enough for me to wake up and rejoice.

 Even though I am now in my late 20s, I have refused to let the Bunny Cake tradition die. Every Easter Sunday, my mom and I still make the Bunny Cake.  I force my cousins into helping me decorate it (we’re all in our 20s, but I think they secretly enjoy it too).  We have so many desserts that I usually end up eating a big chunk of this cake (ears and bowtie included) myself.  Luckily, there are some ways to tweak this recipe to make it helpful and save on calories. (I have included these below).

Now, I am certainly NOT a baker. Whenever I have baked something from scratch, I’ve ended up with vanilla cupcakes with black, charred bottoms, cookies that were harder than rocks, and cakes that tasted like cement and weighed more than a ton of bricks.  Oh, and I can’t forget the chocolate peanut butter fudge that could ignite the gag reflex of the strongest stomach.  I’m working on the baking from scratch, but until then, I will rely on help from two amazing and reliable friends, Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker. They play a big part in the tastiness of the Bunny Cake.

This recipe is simple, fun at any age, and a great project for kids. Most importantly, it tastes great! This Bunny Cake makes me want to skip along a sidewalk lined with tulips, singing, “Hippity, hoppity, Easter is on its’ way!” I hope you’ll feel that way too!


1 box of white cake mix (Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker)
3 eggs
1/4 cup of oil
1 container of cool whip
1 package of coconut
1 bag of jelly beans
1/2 bag of Nestle Semi Sweet chocolate chips
Small bottles of food coloring (red, green, blue)
Optional: Twizzlers

2 10 -inch cake pans
1 large pan or tray to display cake
3 small bowls (to die coconut in)

1) Prepare cake mix according to directions. Pour into two 10 inch round baking pans. Bake. Let cool.
2) When completely cool, take 1 10 inch round cake and cut out bowtie shape from one of cake. (in the shape of two half moons).
3) Assemble the cake to look like the bunny in the picture in a large pan or on a large tray.
4) Ice the bunny with cool whip icing.
5) Outline the ears and the bow tie with the chocolate chips.
6) Die the coconut in small bowls. I usually use green coconut for the grass around the bunny, pink to outline the ears, and blue, yellow, or purple for the tie.
7) Use jellybeans for the eyes and nose.
8) Use twizzlers for the whiskers. I use chocolate chips – the more chocolate, the better.
9) Garnish the grass with the jellybeans.

Healthy tip: To save calories, use the 1/2 sugar boxed cake mix and fat free cool whip.

Happy Easter or Buon Pasquale to you and yours! Enjoy 🙂