Cake Boss



Reality show about family business mixes sweet and sour.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show promotes hard work and teamwork, but the family members/co-workers don't always treat each other with respect.

Positive role models

Buddy and his talented team work hard to keep their bottom line strong, typically putting in 15-18 hour days between five and seven days a week. But when things get tense, tempers can flare, and arguments are common.


Nothing physical, but there's plenty of yelling between Buddy and his extended family. On at least one occasion, a bakery employee express his feelings by slamming huge bags of sugar down on the counter, causing them to burst open.

Not applicable

Buddy uses "freakin'" and "friggin'" a lot, as well as descriptive phrases like "go scratch" and "break my balls." You'll also hear words like "hell," "bitch," and "damn," as well as some bleeped language when arguments get heated.


The show is filmed inside Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J., and directly promotes the business.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this show portrays the inner workings of a family business -- but the family isn't exactly squeaky clean. Family members who work together tend to communicate in raised voices, which often escalates to flat-out yelling and bleeped language -- and sometimes results in physical outbursts involving slamming, etc. Because it's filmed inside the bakery and centers on the bake shop's outspoken owner, the show also serves as a not-so-subtle commercial for the business.

What's the story?

CAKE BOSS follows the day-to-day efforts of Buddy Valastro -- a successful cake artist and master baker at Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken, N.J. -- to keep his family-owned business running smoothly and honor his late father's entrepreneurial spirit. But because Buddy's team also includes his mother, sisters, and brothers-in-law, family quarrels sometimes get in the way.

Is it any good?


Cake Boss is clearly taking its cues from the Food Network's Ace of Cakes, a popular reality show following the day-to-day shenanigans at a spirited Baltimore bakery. (Sound familiar?) But while Cake Boss does at-home bakers one better by offering a bit more explanation of complex cake design and difficult decorating techniques, it relies so heavily on interpersonal conflict between Buddy and his extended family that it runs the risk of forgetting that cakes can be fun.

While it's true that Buddy isn't quite as intimidating as, say, Gordon Ramsay, he's less likable than Ace of Cake's jovial baker-in-chief, Duff Goldman. And in a head-to-head taste test between two shows built around baked goods, that could prove to be Cake Boss's downfall.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of "behind-the-scenes" reality shows about businesses. Is it the business that's interesting, or the people who run it? Do you think they're different in real life than they are on the show?

  • What are the pros and cons of having family members pull double duty as co-workers? Are blood ties a recipe for success -- or disaster? Would you enjoy working with your family? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Buddy Valastro, Danny Dragone, Grace Faugno
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Cake Boss was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byi<3edwardculln123 August 22, 2011


this is the best show ever!!!!!!!!!!! i dont know why they put it as 14. the cakes he makes are AMAZINGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!! best show on tv
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old March 31, 2011


Kid, 11 years old February 22, 2011

Best show ever!

I Love this show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide