Baltimore Celebrity Pastry Chef Points Out Copycat Cake at Trump’s Inaugural Ball

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Photo courtesy @Duff_Goldman/Twitter

Something about a celebratory cake made for one of Donald Trump’s inaugural balls this past Friday looked awfully familiar to Duff Goldman.

The Charm City Cakes owner, a star on the Food Network’s now-retired show “Ace of Cakes” and a judge on the channel’s ongoing “Kids Baking Championship,” made his observation on Twitter Friday evening. The side-by-side photo he tweeted caused a firestorm on social media and was picked up by national outlets.

Four years ago, President Obama’s team commissioned Goldman to craft a cake for his Commander in Chief’s Ball following his second inauguration. Goldman produced a decadent nine-tier, patriotically colored dessert complete with decorative stars shooting out of the top. On Friday, a photo appeared of newly sworn-in President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence cutting through an identical creation at their Salute to Our Armed Services Ball.

According to The Washington Post, the D.C.-based bakery that designed the cake was told to replicate it in its exact form. Tiffany MacIsaac, owner of Buttercream Bakeshop, told The Post she asked Trump’s staff to consider Obama’s old cake as “inspiration” for their order. Their response, according to her: “Nope, they want this exact cake. It’s perfect.”

Goldman and MacIsaac soon talked it out. Goldman later tweeted a message of appreciation for her bakery’s work.

Buttercream Bakeshop also credited Goldman as the inspiration for its design in an Instagram post the next day. The bakery said in the same post that it was donating all proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign instead of keeping them, “Because basic human rights are something every man, woman and child~ straight, gay or the rainbow in between~ deserve!”

Excited to share the cake we got to make for one of last night's inaugural balls. While we most love creating original designs, when we are asked to replicate someone else's work we are thrilled when it is a masterpiece like this one. @duff_goldman originally created this for Obama's inauguration 4 years ago and this years committee commissioned us to re-create it. Best part is all the profits are being donated to @humanrightscampaign, one of our favorite charities who we have loved working with over the years. Because basic human rights are something every man, woman and child~ straight, gay or the rainbow in between~ deserve! (Check out Tuesday's Instagram post to see how much we were able to donate!)

A post shared by Buttercream Bakeshop (@bttrcrmbakeshop) on

This isn’t the presidential family’s first plagiarism-related controversy. Melania Trump, now our first lady, famously copied Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech in her own address at the Republican National Convention this past July. And as of Friday, the president himself has been accused of lifting material from Bane, the resilient supervillain from “The Dark Night Rises,” though that was more likely just an awkward coincidence.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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