How Buddy Valastro’s Dangerous Hobby Eventually Led to His Sweet Success

If the name, Buddy Valastro, doesn’t immediately ring a bell, his unofficial title as the “Cake Boss” probably will. Valastro is the face of the wildly popular TLC series, Cake Boss, and other shows like Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, and Buddy’s Bakery Rescue.

The shows often depict the Italian-American master baker, building some of the craziest and most incredible cakes. Cake Boss also feels like a reality show about the Valastro family. And there are some family stories about the fourth-generation cake designer that certainly make the show interesting.

One family tale you might not know about involves the dangerous hobby a young Buddy Valastro used to have. But in a twist of fate and creative kind of parental punishment, it’s a risky activity that eventually led to his sweet success, and baking television stardom he enjoys today.

Buddy Valastro signing the wall at AOL HQ
“Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro stops by AOL BUILD to talk about his new “Rethink Sweet” project | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

The ‘Cake Boss’ and his out of this world talent

Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro Jr. heads up operations Buddy V’s Ristorante and owns Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. His life-changing TLC showCake Boss, premiered in 2009 and has made him a leading name in all things cake, pastry design, and baking.

Valastro creates impressive cakes and honors the memory of his late father, Buddy Sr., with every sweet dessert he presents. The show is a family affair, as Buddy Valastro supervises his baking squad that includes his sisters, mother, cousins, and brothers-in-law. And while each member brings a level of expertise with the flour, eggs, and icing, none are quite as talented as Buddy Valastro himself.

Buddy Valastro finds himself in trouble, like a lot

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The Valastro family, rich with its Italian heritage, has come a long way over the last four generations of baking for business. Buddy Valastro wasn’t always a cake creating genius, and there are quite a few family tales about how much trouble he would get into over the years.

More recently, he was arrested for driving under the influence and tried to use his TLC fame to get out of it. But back when he was a young lad, trouble seemed to find him, too. One ScreenRant shared a few of Buddy Valastro’s skeletons in the closet, including that one time he spent the night lost at sea.

How Buddy Valastro’s parents controlled their ‘wild child’

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When Buddy Valastro was an 11-year-old boy, he showed signs of being a bit of a pyromaniac. He and his pals would always be up to no good, including getting in trouble for starting fires in the woods. His parents, who spent every waking moment with their bakery, found it hard to supervise the mischievous young Buddy Valastro all the time.

So they made the parental decision to keep him at the bakery with them. After school, on weekends, and everywhere in between, the “Cake Boss” would be put to work in the family business. Cleaning toilets kept him out of trouble his first day reporting to the family store. But it was a punishment that would also lead to an interest and training to become a master baker, much like his father.

Buddy Valastro continues to be a genius cake professional. Although he might still find trouble as an adult, once in a while. But looking back at his unruly childhood behavior, his path could have taken a vastly different turn. Thanks to his parents, imposing a bakery-bound schedule on the youngster, Valastro developed his passion and enthusiasm for baking, instead of one playing with fires.

And Cake Boss fans everywhere are certainly glad they did. His sweet success includes bringing honor to his father, by making Carlo’s Bakery a household name.