Discovery Plus is just one of many new streaming platforms put out by larger networks in an attempt to provide even more content for its viewers. And baking shows have always been a hit with cooking fans, so Discovery Plus plans to gain viewership through their new original baking show, Cakealikes.
With baking competition shows like The Great British Baking Show leading the way, Discovery Plus is attempting to throw their hat in the ring as well. Cakealikes follow bakers as they attempt to make life-sized replicas of celebrities out of cake. So, who are the judges lucky enough to see a Lady Gaga cake? We have all the details below!
YouTuber and comedian Kalen Allen takes the first judge’s seat.
Described on the Food Network’s website as a “comedic food commentator,” Kalen Allen brings fun and flair to the Cakealikes judging crew. However, the baking show is not his first time being in the spotlight.
The comedian first became well-known when he got the attention of a very famous person by the name of Ellen DeGeneres back in 2017. His “Kalen Reacts” videos became a hit, and she showed them on her show frequently, which ultimately landed him a permanent gig on her talk show.
Kalen also has a popular YouTube series called OMKalen, which is in its fourth season. He also dabbles in music and released a Christmas EP entitled, “For Christmas Sake!” This man is doing it all, including being a new judge on Cakealikes.
In an exclusive interview with Distractify, Kalen gushed about his latest gig and revealed that his passion for baked goods dates all the way back to his childhood.
"Growing up, I always watched competition shows like that, especially when it came to baked goods," Kalen shared. "I remember there was a point in time where I was determined that I was going to become a pastry chef.”
"Now, clearly, that didn't happen, but I loved being able to go on the show because I also felt like I was like watching and learning at the same time," Kalen joked.
Although Kalen may never pursue a career as a pastry chef, he's had a crash course in the art of making baked goods look like celebrities, which Kalen says is much more challenging than it looks.
"I think the artistry that the cake artists have is absolutely phenomenal," he added. "If you gave me a cake and some chocolate molding, I wouldn't know how to put that together.”
In an interview with LATV, Kalen explained how much fun he’s having as a judge.
“It is so funny. It is literally one of my favorite things I have ever done. I enjoy the process,” he said. He also mentioned that while the show has a lighthearted feel, he doesn’t shy away from being honest with contestants. “On the show, I am very honest. If something doesn't look right — it doesn't look right,” he said with a laugh.
Natalie Sideserf judges on ‘Cakealikes’ as an expert cake sculptor.
While Kalen may bring humor to the show, Natalie Sideserf brings the expertise. Natalie specializes in hyperrealistic cake sculpting techniques and has received national and global acclaim for her realistic designs. In 2014, the Food Network declared her as "one of the most talented young cake artists in the country at the forefront of realistic cake decorating."
She owns her own baking studio, Sideserf Cake Studio, which is located in Austin, Texas. She is actually the first known baker to coin the term "Cake Studio.” She wanted to put an emphasis on the artistry of decorating and design as opposed to a traditional bakery.
As for her judging style, she told Joe Barlow that she empathizes with the contestants. “I think I’m the nice judge because I’m understanding. I know what everyone’s trying to do, and it’s one of the hardest things in cake-making to do — trying to make it look like a real person.”
‘Cakealikes’ is more about how the cake looks than how it tastes.
What makes Cakealikes so unique is the fact that this is a baking competition show focused strictly on the cake’s appearance rather than the taste. The winning team earns a prize totaling $10,000 “and a special one-of-a-kind celebrity souvenir.”
Twitter erupted with just how unconventional, strange, and funny Cakealikes is compared to other baking competition shows. One user wrote, “Cakealikes is one of the funniest, dumbest shows I’ve ever seen.” Another fan wrote, "How have I been sleeping on Cakealikes?"
Season 1 of Cakealikes is available for streaming now on Discovery+.