Cakemix, the new DIY cake shop by Ace of Cake's Duff Goldman, just opened this summer. I got to try it out for a friend's birthday this past weekend, and while the final product didn't quite look like the multi-tiered, beautifully crafted desserts Duff makes himself, mine didn't turn out half bad (see photo). Here's how it works: You choose your size (6 or 9 inches), your cake flavor, and your frosting flavor (I had red velvet with buttercream). Then you dye your own fondant and watch as the employees send it through a sheeter and fit it over your cake. From there it's all about the details. They have packs of different colored frosting with a slew of choices for tip size and shape, jars of sprinkles and candy, and stencils to cut out shapes of, yep, more fondant.
I can think of few things more fun than decorating my own cake with professional supplies and tools at the ready. Don't get me wrong, I love Build-A-Bear and Color Me Mine. But really, I find more pleasure in getting to snack on my creation than I do in bringing a final product home (one that won't last more than 24 hours before it is devoured by hungry friends and family, that is). And I was surrounded by budding pastry enthusiasts ranging in age from five to 50, and everyone's cakes were pretty impressive. Clearly Duff has a system down that works. Oh, and did I mention the cake was delicious, too?