A blind taste test revealed a clear winner. 🍰
This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Carlo's Bakery cake is well known for being licking-the-batter-out-of-the-bowl delicious, but does it taste better coming from a bakeshop or a vending machine?
The iconic bakery is owned by Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro, and while his main shop is based in New Jersey, Ontarians can get a taste of Buddy's cakes from several vending machines across the province and Canada's first Carlo's Bakery location in Port Credit.
The cake slices in the vending machine are temperature-controlled, stocked regularly and shipped from Buddy's bakery in New Jersey, where the specialty Rainbow Cake from the Port Credit bake shop is assembled in-store, with only the base cake shipped from the U.S.
I decided to put a slice of Rainbow Cake from the Toronto Eaton Centre vending machine and the Port Credit cake shop to a blind taste test to see if I could tell the difference.
I grabbed a slice from each location within 24 hours, left both out to sit for about 10 minutes after taking them out of the fridge, put on a blindfold, and a had friend mix around the slices before digging in.
Here are the results.
The vending machine slice
Carlo's Bake Shop vending machine. Right: Slice of cake.
Purchased: 220 Yonge St., Toronto, ON
Taste: At first bite, I wasn't positive that this slice was from the vending machine, but I had my suspicions. The cake was creamy, fluffy and light, with the perfect amount of sweetness to it, but the icing was a bit softer than I expected, and it had an almost melted quality to it.
The bakery slice
Carlo's Bake Shop. Right: Rainbow Cake.
Price: $49.99 (whole cake)
Purchased: 167 Lakeshore Rd W., Mississauga, ON
Taste: As soon as I tasted this slice, I knew it was the one from the bakeshop. The icing was solid but creamy, and the cake itself was perfectly spongey and moist. It had the same great taste as the first one but with an extra dose of freshness.
In the end, the slice I got from the cake shop was the clear winner.
I could tell the difference the minute I tasted it, and when I took my blindfold off, I was right.
While you can't go wrong with either slice, if you have the opportunity to try one of Buddy's famous cakes, I would recommend grabbing a specialty cake from one of his bake shops over a slice from one of the vending machines.
Luckily, folks in Toronto won't have to make the journey out to Port Credit for Carlo's Bakery much longer, with a new bake shop opening in Toronto in the of summer 2022.