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Charm City Cakes - how do they taste?

Fiona Jul 6, 2009 06:21 AM

I have watched the Charm City Bakery make great looking cakes on FoodTV but I hve always wondered if the cakes are actually any good as cakes. Is it all about the look or is it also about the eating? Has anyone out there had any experience with the eating? I am just curious but I am VERY curious.

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    Mer_Made RE: Fiona Jul 6, 2009 06:26 AM

    I had some of their sheet cake at a Yuri's Night Party this spring, and it was okay. I think they're cakes for smaller events are probably better.

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      FoiGras RE: Fiona Jul 6, 2009 07:56 AM

      Regrettably, I haven't tried any of their cakes. But, if you are interested, there is a book I just read by Leslie F. Miller entitled "Let Me Eat Cake." She is a teacher at Towson U and has written an entertaining book about CAKE(S). She goes into quite a bit of detail with regards to Charm City Bakery and other local baking establishments.

      It seems as though the fancy, high-end, extremely decorated cakes, use fondant frosting which doesn't have any significant flavor. The cake itself is based on your personal taste as to what flavor you decide to select. Apparently some flavors stand out better then others.

      Another note, which I garnered from reading Ms. Miller's book, the Charm City cakes are very expensive--$200 and up. You may want to also consider SugarBakers in Catonsville and Patisserie Poupon. FoiGras

      1. g
        Glorious Food RE: Fiona Jul 6, 2009 08:10 AM

        I tasted a CCC cake at a wedding last year. It was gorgeous - very large but very tasteful and elegant and the flavor was amazingly full, fresh and delicious. It was moist and there was plenty of buttercream under the fondant. In watching the show, they said they make all the decorations ahead of time and as much as possible, bake the actual cake at the last possible moment. Also they said the fondant functions as a freshness seal. I'd order from them if I lived close by.

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          jrl2929 RE: Fiona Jul 6, 2009 08:54 AM

          In a word, cardboard. CCC was part of the package at our hotel where we had our wedding and we knew the cakes didn't taste that good going in and to be honest , we didn't really care. The tasting was nice, but the cakes didn't have a lot of flavor. The look of the cake was more important to us than the taste and we did get a STUNNING cake for the wedding, it just didn't have much taste to it.

          If you are looking for a beautiful cake that tastes good as well, I would go with Patisserie Poupon or Sugarbakers.

          Funny that you asked this because my husband and I just had the top tier of our wedding cake last night to celebrate our one year anniversary.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jrl2929
            chowsearch RE: jrl2929 Jul 6, 2009 03:21 PM

            It reminds me of their show--pretty video with good production values to look at, but inane blather--no substance.

            1. re: jrl2929
              bagelfairy RE: jrl2929 Aug 19, 2009 11:28 AM

              Agreed, a dear friend of mine got married pre-show, and the cake looked quite pretty but it was so dry and flavourless. I couldn't even tell what flavour it was---supposedly lemon but definitely more Tofu than lemon. Also, she got married on January 1st, so we have a feeling that cake was a few days old---who would work on New Year's Eve?

            2. j
              JesD RE: Fiona Jul 6, 2009 09:41 PM

              I agree with the others -- we got a cake from them for our wedding two years ago. It tasted mediocre at best (although you know going in the fondant isn't going to add anything). They also totally botched our design, which is really the only reason to bother with them. That said, if they do it right (if!) it will look fantastic. But really, betting that much money on an "if" that doesn't taste great isn't for me. Definitely wouldn't bother with them again.

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                Fiona RE: Fiona Jul 7, 2009 04:04 AM

                Thanks for all your replies. It sounds like the taste is inconsistant at best - sometimes fine , other times beside the point. Everytime I have seen the show I have looked at all that fondant and wondered - how good can it be?
                Thanks for all your other suggestions.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Fiona
                  weaselcat RE: Fiona Jan 21, 2010 10:55 AM

                  I live near them, and have heard from various friends for various events that their cakes generally do not taste that great. >Shrug.<

                2. irishgem79 RE: Fiona Jan 21, 2010 01:05 PM

                  Indeed, if you are looking for a scrumptious, beautiful wedding cake, Patisserie Poupon is the only choice. The tasting set up is also pretty amazing.

                  1. c
                    carolinarose1023 RE: Fiona Jan 22, 2010 09:29 PM

                    Had CCC do the cake for our 25th wedding anniversary this past summer. The taste of the cakes (we chose 3 different flavors as it was a 3 tier cake) was very good IMHO. Fondant frosting ANYWHERE is all but inedible, but the buttercream underneath was quite tasty. However, that being said, the overall experience was not worth the money. our cake cost more than 15 dollars a serving and the quality of the work was not what I expected from watching the show. It was a nice looking cake, but not worth $1600. Twinkling lights in the cake didn't twinkle, other important elements were left off the cake, decorating mistakes were clumsily covered, the delivery guy was unsure how to put the lights in the cake and basically left that for us to do as he had other deliveries to finish...etc. I could go on, but basically on TV it appears they really care about every cake, and I didn't feel like our cake mattered much. It also appears they work closely with the clients, but after the initial consultation, I had trouble getting anyone on the phone and emails took forever to get answered. However, I will say that after I complained, Duff wrote a personal letter of apology and gave a full refund without asking.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: carolinarose1023
                      mrsdebdav RE: carolinarose1023 Jan 22, 2010 09:46 PM

                      Interesting post, carolinarose. It sounds like CCC is too stretched to properly execute all their orders. They are a victim of their own success. It's a testament to Duff that the refund came unprompted and with an apology, but that's probably little comfort for you.
                      If I were Duff, I'd hire a strong back of the house manager or curtail the number of orders the shop accepts. It's either mass or class - can't be both.

                      1. re: carolinarose1023
                        charmedgirl RE: carolinarose1023 Jan 24, 2010 03:39 PM

                        Wow. Letter apology and full refund without asking? Good for Duff. I really respect him for that. (Just wish I liked his cakes more.) Thanks for sharing carolina.

                        1. re: charmedgirl
                          carolinarose1023 RE: charmedgirl Jan 26, 2010 05:10 PM

                          I Like I said, our cake WAS tasty, but the experience as a whole was not worth the money. For that amount of money, I expected a spectactular cake. I really hope that our experience was an isolated event and we were just unlucky.

                          1. re: carolinarose1023
                            2000man RE: carolinarose1023 Feb 25, 2010 12:59 PM

                            I had one for my daughter's first b-day about 3 yrs ago. It was fantastic. Duff helped me put it in the car. They made a "smasher cake" for my daughter and a monkey themed cake for show. Both were sooo good. I haven't have one recently, but my experience was great. It was the best cake I've ever had.

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