charm city cakes: summer 2012

by Grace Bonney

It was a sad day when I heard that my beloved Charm City Cakes show on The Food Network wouldn’t be coming back. So to get my Duff and Co. fix, I started following their team on Twitter and keeping up with what, to me, feels like one of the most creative cake shops on the East Coast. I always feel a kinship with companies that seem like a loveable, ragtag gang of artists and makers. I instantly love and bond with whatever businesses like these do. So it was a happy day when I received an email from Mary Alice about their new Summer 2012 cake collection. I don’t do a lot of food coverage here, but I thought their new designs were such a sophisticated and elegant spin on the more out-there cakes they made on the show that I couldn’t resist sharing.

Charm City Cakes’ latest designs include some our niche’s favorite trends of the past few years (ombre, origami-inspired ruffles, chevron) and some really beautiful hand-painted work that I remember seeing bits and pieces of on the show. As fun as it was to see cakes with moving parts, I always preferred watching their incredibly talented team of artists painting by hand and drawing great floral and geometric patterns on fondant. These new cakes feel like a really grown-up spin on their work, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. I also hope I get to attend a wedding that features a CCC creation at some point; I kind of want to eat one of those crazy ruffled fans. Click here to check out more of their cakes (and here for their West Coast branch). Thanks to Mary Alice and everyone at CCC for sending these new cakes over. xo, grace

More cake styles after the jump . . .

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  • The purple painted flowers are adorable! Cutest thing I’ve seen on a cake in a long time. All very fresh and thoughtful. Kudos, CCC!

  • I’ll miss that show terribly. I think they paved the way for other shows like Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars, etc. Looking forward to their summer designs.

  • the first thing i said to myself when I saw these cakes was “OMG” (very softly under my breath since I’m viewing this at work) these are absolutely beautiful and are so different from what I remember seeing on the show. Thanks for sharing.

  • while their cakes are lovely (even if insanely expensive) I can sadly say they aren’t as friendly a ragtag group of individuals as you might think. I live in the neighborhood and unfortunately their blacked out windows and closed door policy extend beyond visiting the shop. Remington needs their help. I know many Baltimoreans feel they could use their celebrity to help this community in need.

    • McKenna

      I’ve met several of their team members before and have never had them be anything but friendly. I know the shop does a lot of charity work as well.


  • Duff went to the same university as me!!!!! Thank you so much for featuring him. There isn’t much to be proud of about B-more, but Duff and CCC was always something I bragged about to all my non-Baltimoron friends. I agree with everyone else too, these are just like a little more sophisticated version of what they made for the show, but of course, monsters and moving parts make for better ratings! I miss the show, and I think all the other cake/baking shows pale in comparison. Lastly, that asymmetric ruffle cake after the jump?!?! Are you serious???!!! I gasped, loudly, when I saw that. Gorgeous, looks like a big ole dollop of soft serve ice cream… And ombre to boot?!?! So so stunning, so happy to see all these lovelies. Thanks Grace!!

  • Oh, also Grace, since I’m from Baltimore, next time I throw a party for a big event, we’ll be getting a CCC cake, and I promise you’re invited!

  • There isn’t much to be proud of in Bmore? That’s way harsh. Heck, I live in Pigtown and am still quite proud of my city.

    Lovely lovely cakes.

  • Grace,

    I agree, I have met several of the team members and as individuals they are very nice people. I am speaking just as a nieghbor of the business. Amazing that I live a mere block from them and am very active in several local non-profit organizations yet am not aware of their outreach within the community.

    • McKenna

      I know they’ve done a lot within Baltimore and outside of the city. I’m sure they get asked to do a lot of things and they sadly won’t be able to help every group that could benefit from their fame.


  • These are stunning. I was a fan of the show too and I had NO idea they made cakes like this given what was showcased on television. These photos look like there were straight out of a very popular wedding magazine….

  • makes me even more proud to be born and bread in MD! awesome feature! love their work… so many awesome artists & creatives from baltimore… B-MORE (always striving) ;)

  • They made our wedding cake (yay Mary Smith!) and I want to add that they taste as amazing as they look! We had 4 layers – carrot cake, blueberry muffin, peanut butter cup and one layer that was a giant brownie!! And Mary made it look so beautiful. I still think of it often…almost 3 years later!

  • Thank you all for such kind comments. We are incredibly proud of this collection and are so pleased it’s getting such a positive reaction.

    As for McKenna’s claim that we do not help our local community, I can say that is patently untrue. Charities and local charity events we have given to just in the last year include: Stella Maris, Ray’s Summer Days, Maryland SPCA, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, BARCS, Brian’s Baseball Bash (Univ. MD Cancer Research), MD Hall for the Arts, MD Big Brothers Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Back on My Feet, the American Visionary Art Museum, MD Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Baltimore AMP, Art with a Heart, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, MD Ronald McDonald House, Young Audiences of Maryland, South Baltimore Learning Center, Cal Ripkin Senior Foundation, Kennedy Krieger, and Sinai Children’s Hospital, Hampdenfest, and Moveable Feast.

    I can keep going, but I hope this convinces McKenna that we’re working really hard to give back a lot to Baltimore and Maryland.

  • I work at McCormick and they have made an Old Bay Cake for us! Great stuff – and if you can’t be proud of living in Baltimore – maybe you should move to Pittsburgh……..

  • My husband and I were lucky enough to have CCC make our wedding cakes. Including a Mini Cooper grooms cake. Although I’m sad to say I didn’t actually have any cake at my wedding, only at the tasting! Oops! I’m so glad you did this post. It’s nice to see their current designs, which are all beautiful!

  • Love, love, love…=that soft-serve ice cream looking-cake is stunning! And I have an ao dai in the same color as the purple flower cake…so cool!

  • These cakes are truly lovely. Some of them remind me of the beautiful English wallpaper that you see in magazines. I can only imagine how much time goes into each one! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Thanks for the update Mary Alice. I do hope we see more of this influence in Remington!

  • Thanks for the udpate Mary Alice! I truly appreciate the response. I hope we see more of this in Remington!

  • Oh wow these are truly gorgeous.. I love that show.. though I haven’t been able to watch as often as I used to.. my house has been invaded by cartoons and the Wiggles..
    You can tell what wonderfully talented Duff and Co and also of kind and fun they are.

  • Wow, these cakes are absolutely stunning! I grew up around cake decorating (my mom works for a cake decorating company) and have seen many lovely cakes in throughout my life, and these may be the prettiest cakes I’ve ever seen. I too loved watching Ace of Cakes and miss the show! Cupcake Wars, Cake Boss, etc just don’t compare and don’t have the friendly, fun personalities of the CCC staff!

  • I love seeing the elegant side of CCC. After watching the show, I feel like I know these people! Very silly, I know, but cool that I can comment on a post that Mary Alice and Mary Smith both commented on. Such talented people.

  • What?! They are Sensational!!! I love the very top one – incredibly elegant. Wonder if they would consider a branch in nz……yummmmmm.

  • I am getting married winter of 2013. I wish we could have a CCC original.

  • I will miss this great show, it started my love for cake decorating
    Chris, Australia

  • Oh God. What have you done? How can you make such a great cake recipe? As a chocolate lover, I have started to feel hungry already. This looks so yummy and i must say the photography is reaaly really awesome. Thanks for sharing and Well Done.

  • An awesome creation for wedding, flower on cake with off white theme looks amazing, and art with perfection.