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Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets Hardcover – November 1, 2011

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Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets + Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia + The Essential Cake Boss (A Condensed Edition of Baking with the Cake Boss): Bake Like The Boss--Recipes & Techniques You Absolutely Have to Know
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143918352X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439183526
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Recipe from Baking with the Cake Boss: Chocolate Brownie Clusters

In a bakery like Carlo's, everybody contributes some recipes at some time or another. These cookies—-which replicate the flavors and textures of a brownie in a meringue--like cookie that's miraculously crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle—-were the invention of the late, great baker Sal Picinich (who passed away while I was writing this book) and they-re pretty ingenious.

What impresses me about these cookies is the complex, deeply satisfying result achieved with just a handful of ingredients: egg whites, sugar, cocoa, and nuts. The batter looks like an unholy, goopy-gooey mess. When you make these, you might even think you did something wrong—-how could it transform into something appetizing? Your doubt might even be increased by the fact that these can only be spooned onto your baking sheet; the dough is too sticky for a pastry bag and too messy to work with by hand.

But trust me: Once these get into the oven, something magical happens and these ugly ducklings turn into perfect little swans—-and everybody will love the way they mimic the flavor and texture of brownies. It's a cookie to die for.


  • 3 extra-large egg whites

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered (10X) sugar

  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted raw walnut halves


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.

2. Put the egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. (Be sure the bowl is immaculately clean; see "Egg Whites," page 56.) Whip on low speed for 2 minutes, then on maximum speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.

3. Sift the sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl together, then fold into the batter with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth and shiny. Fold in the walnuts, until they are well coated with the batter.

4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, using nonstick spray or a dab of butter in each corner to glue the paper in place. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 1/2 inch apart, being sure to include about the same number of walnuts (3 or 4) in each one.

5. Bake until the outside has crisped and the bottom starts to pull away from the parchment paper, 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. As soon as the clusters can be moved, use a spatula to transfer them to a rack and let them cool.

Enjoy the cookies right away, or store when completely cool in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


I sift ingredients for two reasons: (1) To be sure dry ingredients aren't too compacted; sifting helps ensure a lighter result in the baked good being made. (2) To better combine two or more dry ingredients that will be added to a recipe at the same time. This is especially important when you are using leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda—-you want those strong-acting ingredients to be as evenly distributed as possible to ensure an even result across the entire baked good. (All of that said, in some cookie recipes I don't call for sifting because the dough gets mixed enough that the ingredients can't help being evenly distributed.)

About the Author

Buddy Valastro is the star of the hit TLC series Cake Boss and Next Great Baker and author of the New York Times bestsellers Cake Boss and Baking with the Cake Boss, as well as Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss. He is owner of Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken and the Cake Boss factory in Jersey City, which supplies stores around the country. Buddy lives with his wife and four children in New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to bake!!
Pictures are great illustrations and directions are easy enough for him to follow.
I bought this book for my daughter who loves to bake and loves Buddy.
Katy Dee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 103 people found the following review helpful By milloer427 on January 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will start by saying this is a good book.
"The Good" I love the way Buddy goes into detail for decorating. He explains decorating basics, walks you through the simplest cakes then step by step goes into a little more advanced. Great for the Beginning decorator. The instructions are clear and the step by step pictures are wonderful. SOME of the recipes are to die for. The chocolate mousse, Italian custard...Chocolate cake, icing recipes are spot on! yummmmm! Love his flavor suggestions for cakes.

The reason I can't give this book 5 stars is:
"The BAD" I was a little disappointed that there really weren't any NEW recipes. The same recipes can be found in his first book. If you don't have his first book then this is a good buy for you

"The Ugly" Even though MOST of the recipes in the book are divine: WARNING! The vanilla cake recipe is the worst recipe ever! I am a professional baker as well but this recipe leaves you with a heavy cake that taste like pancake dough. I wouldn't even call it a sponge cake... I tried it twice making sure everything was exact. Both attempts, Big fat BOMB on this one!!!! I was very disappointed in this recipe. Hopefully it is just a misprint in the directions. All in all I would recommend the book!
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Anna on February 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you're buying this book for it's baking and decorating tips, it's great. But if you want this book for its recipes, do NOT get it unless you can look at a recipe and tell if it's going to work! The recipes are not tested and I've had several disasters trying to bake his recipes (and after trial and error figured out the problems were not my fault, it was due to a shoddy recipe). I'm very disappointed in the recipes, but the other sections of the book I've found very helpful!
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71 of 79 people found the following review helpful By lennyrabbit on June 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to say that I am beyond disappointed by this book. I have never posted a review this scathing before, but I feel compelled to express how angry this "cookbook" makes me. I have formal culinary training, but I've never worked professionally in baking or pastry, so I figured I would buy this book and learn some of Buddy's recipes for home baking. I thought his vanilla cake recipe was a bit odd at first glance, particularly because it doesn't follow any of the traditional mixing methods or ingredients required for most traditional cakes. I gave the recipe a chance, but the result was two 9-inch vanilla hockey pucks. The recipe calls for vegetable oil, no butter, and no creaming of the fat and the sugar. What he does not tell you is the commercial bakeries use emulsified shortening as a fat source in what are called "high-ratio" cakes, since emulsified shortening allows a cake to hold more sugar. He simply substituted vegetable oil for emulsified shortening, even though these two ingredients behave TOTALLY differently.

I think Buddy (or some unsupervised delegate) was lazy and changed one ingredient in this recipe, with no regard for modifying the method associated with the change. He even says in the acknowledgements that his brother-in-law, Joey, tested all these recipes...HIGHLY unlikely that two skilled bakers tested these recipes. If the recipes were intentionally altered to protect the intellectual property of Carlo's Bakery, then Buddy should write a guide to decorating, NOT a cookbook that delivers poor products, tarnishes his reputation, and makes him look like a shady character who turned his father's sterling reputation into a lot of gold at the expense of quality. Buddy comes across as an honest guy, a family man, and a true professional on his show.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By P. Ostlund on February 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Hey, Buddy, I wish you had been the one to pick up my daughter from the birthday party she spent hours baking the cake for. Not one of the kids there ate more than half of their slice of cake, and I'm talking about hungry teenagers here. She made the vanilla cake with the basic decorator (butter cream?) frosting. After this event I read through other reviews of this book and his other book and I don't think I would take a chance on trying any of the other recipes. It sounds like we would be better off using a cake mix or a tried and true family recipe of our own next time. The decorating instructions are good, so if that's all you want you might want to try the book. If you're looking for recipes, go somewhere else. I would never wait in line for a taste of this cake if I were at his bakery, and I don't think anyone else does either. I would have preferred that he honestly say that his recipes are prioprietary, which is understandable, and let people come up with their own cakes using his decorating advice. He cannot have really tested this recipe, and from other reviews of his books, I am not the only one thinking so.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Sharpmama1 on January 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love watching The Cake Boss. On a recent vacation I actually stood in line for 3 hours to buy something from his bakery.
So I was so excited to get this book. While it is a good read the cake recipes fall very short of the baked goods he sells in his New Jersey bakery. I come from a long line of bakers so I didn't really learn anything new. I did make his red velvet cake. I was so disappointed at how dry and tasteless in came out. The frosting was too sweet and thin. My sister made the vanilla cake for her daughters birthday and it was awful. She worked as a baker for many years so she and I know how to follow a recipe. I am afraid to try any other recipes so I will just remember the wonderful treats we had in Hoboken Baby!
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