Buddy vs Duff recap: Waitress the Musical cakes hit the high notes

Team Buddy featuring Jessica Bacchus and Buddy Valastro, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 2. Photo Courtesy Food Network
Team Buddy featuring Jessica Bacchus and Buddy Valastro, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 2. Photo Courtesy Food Network /

In this Buddy vs Duff episode, sugar, butter and flour transform in detailed Waitress the Musical displays for Jordan Sparks. But, was there pie?

As this Buddy vs Duff episode opened, the Food Network competition in almost even. Still, a swing in the standings is bound to happen until the winner is crowned. With this week’s challenge focusing on details, Jordan Sparks wrap party for Waitress the Musical could become part of the stage. Did Buddy or Duff remember that the devil is in the details?

If you are unfamiliar with the Tony nominated Waitress the Musical, it tells the story of Jenna and her journey to find her happiness. Based on the movie, Jenna is a diner waitress who is known for her delicious pies. While she dreams of opening her own pie shop, the journey to that ultimate goal is not easy.

Anyone who has seen the musical understands that pies are a huge theme. From the aroma of fresh baked pies when you walk in (yes, there are real pies on stage) to Jenna’s dream of a pie shop, these cake displays need to have some pies.

For this challenge, Jordan Sparks asked Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman to create cake displays for her wrap party. The idea was to give a gift back to the cast who was part of her Broadway experience. Cake is always the best thank you.


While Buddy’s team was very familiar with Waitress the Musical, Duff had never seen the musical. Similar to the dinosaur challenge, Buddy’s knowledge should have given him an advantage. It was almost like having the recipe to the details challenge.

For example, sugar, butter and flour are interwoven into songs and themes of the musical. As Duff specifically said, it is amazing what can be done with sugar, butter and flour. Just like the musical uses those ingredients to bring happiness, these displays brought huge smiles.

Overall, the displays, in different ways, brought the emotion that Waitress the Musical conveys. All those little details draw everyone into the cake. At each turn, there is a new discovery, another layer and a subtle nuance.

Buddy vs Duff, Jordan Sparks
Duff Goldman, Buddy Valastro, and Special Guest Jordin Sparks, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 2. Photo Courtesy Food Network /

In an uncharacteristic fashion, Buddy’s cake was not as massive as Duff’s cake. While smaller, the cake had movement. From the sugar and flour cascading down to the coffee pouring, these aspects added flair to the cake.

The coffee trick was a great choice. Since it used real coffee, that aroma was a nice touch. It was similar to the pie aroma from the musical experience.

Since this Buddy vs Duff challenge was about the details, there were a few missteps. Although the size of the topsy, turvy pies were impressive, it wasn’t perfect. The pies were too bulky and the pans had imperfections.

Still, the judges liked the character cake topper. It was like the cherry on top. Overall, Buddy’s cake was quite impressive and told the story of sugar, butter and flour.

Buddy vs Duff, Duff Goldman
Duff Goldman, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 2. Photo Courtesy Food Network /

After last week’s Battle-Corn, Duff went big again. His cake display was basically an entire diner scene. From diner stools to the counter to the overflowing diner foods, it was as if he brought the diner scene to life.

The focus of Duff’s cake display was the almost life-size Jordan Sparks as Jenna. Making this cake sculpture in just a day was beyond ambitious. The amount of detail and finesse in this sculpture was quite impressive. Duff’s team is definitely a group of artists who use sugar, butter and flour as their medium.

Even though Duff’s display was big, he had all of the little details. From the realistic looking food to using the musical’s pie names, the little details made that scene more realistic.

Lastly, Duff made a pie. His apple pie in the display brought the detail from the stage to this celebration. It was a really smart idea, especially with all the other details

In another very close battle, the final scores were 29 to 27.5 with Duff winning the Waitress the Musical, detail focused, challenge. With this win, Duff pulls ahead of Buddy by just a half a point.

Looking at this episode, the two contrasting styles is quite clear. Duff tends to focus on the intricacies and the artistic approach to these challenges. From the expert sculpting to the realism, there is an emphasis on the “art” of cake display.


Buddy’s displays bring more of a feeling. As seen in this episode, it was about the exuberance of bringing together sugar, butter and flour. Whether the displays are gigantic or smaller in scale, people are making a connection with an idea.

This Buddy vs Duff episode was the final challenge on the East Coast. In next week’s episode, Buddy and Duff head to California. Based on the preview, Buddy is back to making massive cakes in that episode.

Still, this competition will come down to the finale. Will there be a new King of Cake? It remains to be seen.

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What did you think of this Buddy vs Duff episode? Do you think that Duff deserved another win?