Duff’s CakeMix… {and a Giveaway!}

You know I am a cake girl.  It’s obvious.  Besides the fact that I have hundreds of cakes posted around this blog of mine, it pretty much shows on my butt.

I like cake.

So much, in fact, that on my vacation from cake making, I PAID to decorate cakes in Los Angeles, at Duff’s CakeMix.  Located on Melrose Avenue beside Vivienne Westwood, Duff’s CakeMix is owned by none other than Duff Goldman, the Ace of Cakes.


So…what IS CakeMix?

Think Build-A-Bear, but with cake.  You choose your cake, you choose your fondant, you choose your sprinkles or toppings, and you choose where you want to take your design.  A helper is never far away, and every tool and color imaginable is at your disposal. It’s like kindergarten, but with cake instead of gluesticks. Way better.

IMG_4991I took Paula, who is a self-proclaimed NON Cake Person. How this is possible, I don’t know, as I find it relaxing. It’s art. Art you can eat, and we already know I like to eat.  So, win-win if you ask me.  I took her anyway.

We came into the brightly lit shop mid afternoon, ready to get to work. So cute! We collectively chose a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, and opted to cover it with fondant.  We could have chosen any variety – chocolate, vanilla, you name it…  but after a free tasting, the red velvet was hands down our favorite.  We could also have chosen do decorate cupcakes, but for me, that’s not near as fun. Cake is where it’s at.

Or, cake is where it’s TYPICALLY at for me.  Once I had the ball of white fondant, the gloves, the food coloring, and the cake – I froze.

Seriously. My mind seized.  Here I was, in the Cake Temple, about to decorate a cake.  I could. not. focus.  Could not.  What if I failed tragically, a so-called cake artist, who couldn’t even decorate a decent cake? And The Duff heard about this?


I paced a little bit.  I looked through the windows into the Charm City Cakes West Store.  I saw people in there working. I saw fanciful creations made out of sugar. I saw incredible works of cake art.

IMG_5003I almost cried off all the new makeup I spent my allowance on at Sephora. Tragic.

Instead of fretting about it anymore, I put on my big girl apron, grabbed a bottle of teal coloring, a rolling pin, and put Paula to work as a laborer.  We dyed our white fondant multiple shades of teal, then cut it into strips.  I ruffled it as I placed it on our cake, going through from dark to light.  Once I had it covered, I grabbed a few pearls from the counter (included in our decorating rate) and topped it off.

Not too shabby.



It was a fun experience, and the whole shop is whimsical, exciting, and quite an enchanted place. Who can be unhappy in a bakery?

Cake is never a sad time.

Have you ever thought about that? It’s not. No one has ever said, Gee, that cake shop was depressing. At least, I highly doubt anyone ever said that. I could be wrong.

Great light fixtures made of giant whisks, an upbeat staff, and guests overall having a great time playing is what we experienced.  What could be better than that?  Can you imagine a date night there? That would be awesome – lots of fun and then you get to eat the cake. Yum.  Cheaper than a movie date, too…I’d do it in a heartbeat.


IMG_5212Now, Duff wasn’t there, but he tells me he is there quite a lot as long as he’s in LA.  I’m sure that’s fun for his fans!  Since I’ve hung out with him already, and I feel like I can harass him, I really wanted to cut into that cake and hate it.  There has to be a flaw in this system somewhere…and I  wanted to be the one to find it.

Certainly, it couldn’t be THAT good, could it?  Aren’t his cakes all about design, and not about taste?

Damn, it was a good cake.

It broke my heart to have to leave the biggest portion of it in our suite at the Beverly Wilshire.  I wish I had made the time to eat it all… you know, for dinner. And breakfast. And in the tub. That kind of thing. The cake was so moist. Great flavor. Excellent buttercream. I bet the room attendant took it home and did a happy dance. I would have, were I her.

In fact, it was so good, it riled me a bit.  I really did want to find fault – somewhere. Anywhere.  I just couldn’t. Huh. Me not finding fault in something is unheard of. And I tried. I TRIED, people.


You know what else is good? The fondant.  This I already knew.  I’ve been buying the Gartner Studios Duff Fondant for a while now, and it is excellent to work with.  The texture is good, the taste is FAR better than any competitor. It’s MUCH easier to work with.  Yeah, it costs more.  However, I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for…and this is worth it.  Trust me.  I also own his airbrush kit – and LOVE it. It’s a breeze to set up, just as easy to clean, and the results are spot on.

mixedtwitterlogoI am looking forward to seeing Duff in action later this month at Mixed, the conference I am co-hosting here in Virginia.  I’d say a LOT of attendees are looking forward to meeting him as well!  We’ll be decorating cakes all day long, as well as lots of other fun sessions, and the entire weekend will be incredible! Parties, cookies, cake, prizes, giveaways – FUN!!

Lucky for one of you, I happen to have a ticket. ONE ticket. One ticket to give away!!  You’ll have to make your own way to the resort, and a room would be on your own (I can hook you up with a roommate if you want) – but the ticket alone is worth $329!  And – it includes an amazing SWAG BAG!  For more info on the conference, just check out MIXED, and then let me know you want to win.  I’ll choose one entry at random…and you’ll need to be prepared to book your room at that point (FYI, a single room for the whole weekend is only $240 plus tax, and all of your meals are already included) so, only enter if you really want to win! All you have to do is comment below.


If you don’t want to chance it, there are about 5 tickets left to purchase, so grab one!  Don’t wait and miss out on this fun opportunity!  Do you HAVE to be a blogger? No, you don’t. You just need to love food – especially CAKE!

Contest open until November 9 at 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be notified via email provided. Contest is sponsored only by ME…because I love you all!


  1. Stephanie Wolfe says:

    Pick me!!!

  2. Heck yes I want to win! Gorgeous cake, I also am a self-proclaimed “non decorator.” But a dang good baker! And taste tester :)

    Hope to see you at Mixed!

  3. Laura | iheartfreshfood says:

    I’ve been eyeing tickets to Mixed since this fall, it all seems simply inspiring!

  4. oh my gosh this sounds AMAZING!

  5. I would love to win this ticket from you! I really want to go to this conference and have some fun with all you ladies! If I win I am going and I would love to join you!

  6. I don’t want to win (because I couldn’t get away to enjoy it), but CakeMix looks like so much fun. We need one of those here.

  7. Attending MixedCon would be a dream! I want to win!

  8. Love seeing these photos after you told me about your trip. Like Paula, I’m a non-cake person too so I’d love to check this out.

  9. I love baking and Duff Goldman is my inspiration! My dream is to own my own bakery!

  10. would love to attend Mixed!

  11. I would loooooove to go!!!!

  12. The conference sounds absolutely incredible. I would love to attend!

  13. I would love, love, love to attend Mixed!! I have never attended a blog conference and Mixed is only a 3 hour drive for me. I’m a Virginia girl too :) Thank for the opportunity.

  14. Susan,
    I am now curious, does he offer cake mixes to buy like say -Betty Crocker ? If this is true I would like to try one. ( Provided he doesn’t require a small fortune for this mix).
    Would it be possible for me to get one? I walk with you Mom most weekday mornings so getting you the money and me the mix should dare I say it –A piece of cake. Please let me know and I hope your event is a huge success. Thanks, Linda

    • doughmesstic says:

      Linda – he does. You can buy the mixes at Michaels. However, let me talk to him first. I’m not sure the mix is the same thing he uses in his shop, and since I’ve not tried the box mix, I don’t want to lead you astray. I’ll find out as soon as I can, but right now he’s in Colombia…it may be a day or two before I have an answer. Stay tuned.


  16. Lazy Budget Chef says:

    I would die and go to cake heaven! Baking is my zen time. Decorating them is my fun time. The chance to meet Duff and other bakers would be the best birthday gift ever!

  17. I WANT TO WIN!!!! I didn’t even know about this until I saw a post on Big Bears Wife. How much fun would this be?

  18. How fabulous! Would love to attend, and meeting Duff would be icing on the cake!

  19. Seriously fantastic, Susan. Thanks for the chance! :)

  20. uhhhhhh, YEAH I want to go! I’m not a violent person by any means, but stand the person in front of me who says they don’t want to go and I could easily slap them on both cheeks with my gloves! And to meet the Duff??

  21. It was hard for me to read the rest of this post after I fell off my chair laughing about your sweet self spending your allowance at Sephora – but I finally got there and soooo would love to meet you at Mixed!


  22. Very cool! Would love to win!

  23. Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks says:

    I would love to go!

  24. I would love to win!

  25. Ruth Wakida says:

    I’d LOVE to go!!

  26. You and me and Duff in my old stompin’ grounds? That’s a divine weekend if I ever heard one! Fingers crossed that I win!

  27. I would love to win a ticket ti Mixed!

  28. I would love to go….not sure how I’d swing it but if I win, I’ll figure it out!

  29. It was great to ‘rub shoulders’ with so many bloggers from across the U.S. and to reconnect with a good friend from Va. I think we spent most of the weekend catching up and chatting late into the nights.
    It was a very long drive (12+ hrs) but, hey, I got to meet some fantastic people!

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