Buddy vs Duff recap: Knott’s Berry Farm cakes go round and round

Duff Goldman and Buddy Valastro, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 2. Image Courtesy Food Network.
Duff Goldman and Buddy Valastro, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 2. Image Courtesy Food Network. /

In this Buddy vs Duff recap, the Knott’s Berry Farm 100th Anniversary celebration featured cakes that brought some merry to the theme park experience.

As Buddy vs Duff 2 nears the end of the season, this episode’s theme might have created a first ever for cake. Since Buddy is determined to “out cake” his competition, this week’s cakes were an adventure. While the displays were meant to go round and round, only one focused on the cake. Could a swing in the competition be in the cards?

Going into this week’s episode, Buddy had built a commanding lead in the competition. While Duff has struggled, no one should ever count out the Ace of Cakes. His creativity can push the boundaries of what is possible. Although Buddy goes big, Duff can counter with all the little details.

After Buddy and Duff decide that the special skill will be movement, the possibilities seem a little narrow. While roller coaster car is possible, making a roller coaster cake in a day is unlikely. Instead, both teams choose to do carousels. While the idea is the same for both teams, the approach is very, very different.

Comparing last season’s Buddy vs Duff and Buddy vs Duff 2, there hasn’t been the big reactions to the judges’ scores or the feisty commentary (remember how Buddy stormed off in the very first episode last year). In this week’s episode, Duff seemed to have a little meltdown. He decided to block the video feed from both the judges and Buddy. Then, Buddy did the same.

It wasn’t a huge moment, but maybe the ability to see into each other’s kitchen is not the best idea. While the teams aren’t modifying their designs based on what they see, it might add to the pressure.

Duff can struggle with the building aspect. Why does he want Buddy to know his struggles? Isn’t it about the reveal, not the process?

Buddy vs Duff
Team Duff featuring Duff Goldman, Natalie Sideserf, and Sonny Robinson, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 2. Image Courtesy Food Network. /

With both teams making carousels, the comparison to the Buddy’s and Duff’s approaches is quite clear. Buddy goes for the initial wow and Duff goes for the memorable moment. It isn’t that one is better than the other; it represents who they are.

Duff’s carousel featured what Duff does best. All those little details invited everyone into the experience. As it went round and round, another aspect was revealed. From the chicken with flip flops to all buffalo to the character’s expressions, there were little presents waiting to be unwrapped by the eyes.

Of course, Duff did have some fun with the carousel cake. The shooting popcorn from the top was hilarious. While it is not a farting glitter Battlecorn, it was pretty exciting to gather popcorn falling from the sky.


Overall, Duff created a full sensory experience. From the three directional moment to the characters’ faces to the sense of nostalgia, that classic carousel seemed to capture the feel of a 100th Knott’s Berry Farm anniversary. Sometimes, that nod to the classic feel can resonate with everyone.

If anyone thought that Buddy couldn’t go bigger than that whale cake, everyone was wrong. This week’s cake needed a forklift to just get the cake on the structure. To capture the wow moment of “is that really cake,” Buddy nailed it.

Buddy’s cake display was a mini, rideable carousel. It was similar to those little rides that used to be in front of the grocery store. As the judges actually ride the carousel, it made everyone wonder, is that really cake?

Buddy vs Duff
Team Buddy featuring Mauro Castano and Buddy Valastro, as seen on Buddy vs Duff, Season 2. Image Courtesy Food Network. /

Granted, the cake was only part of the top. Still, there was chocolate and other elements to the design. But, how do you eat the cake in Buddy’s display? Was there a ladder to help cut a slice?

While the wow factor was clear in Buddy’s cake, the judges were a little concerned with the overall appearance. The cake was an engineering marvel, but there were many pieces that made it not about being a cake display. Hardware was exposed and little details were missed. Of course, it was fun to ride, but it is about the experience, not the cake.

As the judges revealed the score, Duff pulled out his first win on the West Coast. By gaining three points on Buddy, the current standings are 189.5 to 183.5. While a six-point difference might seem huge, it is nothing going into the finale episode.

The Buddy vs Duff finale cake is worth triple the points. Given that scoring, the finale cake will determine the winner. As the teams prepare to journey to a galaxy, far, far away, anything is possible.

Even though Buddy has had a lot of success this season, no one should count out Duff in the finale. The judges have been unpredictable. Maybe, it would be nice to let the fans (attendees) have a vote. Sometimes the audience might see something differently than the judges.

As the Buddy vs Duff competition continues to go round and round, who will be crowned champion this season is unknown. The one item that is very clear this season, cake is more than just butter, flour and sugar. It is an open door to imagine what is possible.

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What did you think of this Buddy vs Duff episode? Who do you think will win the title this season?