Why Duff Goldman Bakes His Cakes In Reverse Order

When it comes to cakes for special occasions, a beautiful cake is a given. But a delicious, fresh cake that tastes as good as it looks? That's a taller order, and one that not every cake decorator lives up to. But Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes fame knows that better than anyone: He and his cake shop, Charm City Cakes, may be known for their over-the-top cake decorations, but as he told Food Network, there's no trade-off when it comes to the inside of the cake.

The cake master told Food Network what really happens in the kitchen when a pretty cake tastes ends up tasting awful. "The main problem is that whoever made the cake didn't make flavor and freshness a priority. Maybe that cake was sitting in a freezer for a month, or worse, sitting in the fridge for a week," he explained. In order to preserve the integrity and freshness at Charm City Cakes, Goldman said he prepares all the toppings and decorations for the cakes first, and then bakes the cakes themselves. That way, the cakes are made at the last possible minute and avoid drying out in a freezer.

More tricks to the perfect flavor, courtesy of Charm City Cakes

In addition to freshly baked cakes, there are tons of flavors to choose from at Goldman's Baltimore location — it's not limited to your plain old yellow or chocolate cakes. There's everything from passion fruit to cookies and cream, chocolate espresso and dulce de leche. Not only will your cakes be baked close to when you'll be eating them, but the flavors will be tailored to your preference. A tiered beurre noisette cake (aka yellow batter with browned butter frosting) sounds really great right about now.

But if you're trying your own hand at baking a fancy celebratory cake — even if it's a box mix and just for you and your cat to enjoy — try the backwards method, and don't be shy with flavors. Goldman also offered a few other tips to Insider: Invest in an inexpensive kitchen scale for precise measurements, some basic rubber spatulas, and make it easy on yourself by cleaning your kitchen before you start on a project. Make sure everything you need is clean and your ingredients are in front of you, and preheat the oven. That way, there's no need to stop and interrupt your baking flow — or worse, give up in the middle of a project.