The first cake Kareem Queeman made, back when he was a kid growing up in Harlem, was a Duncan Hines yellow.
“It’s still one of my favorite cakes,” says the 32-year-old local baker who has since graduated from store-bought box cakes, and now runs his own custom cake business called, fittingly, Mr. Bake.
This Saturday, Queeman will appear on Discovery Family’s Bake It Like Buddy, a cake competition that pairs him with a family member in competition with another baking duo, also related to one another.
Queeman’s cousin is not as experienced as him, but, he points out, she’s “a quick learner.” To win, the pair must create a “topsy turvy cake” that wows New Jersey Cake Boss Buddy Valastro.
“It’s a whimsical cake,” Queeman says of the Topsy Turvy. “It’s [multiple] tiers of cake, each at a sharp angle, and they look like they’re going to slide off of each other. And then decorate with a lot of whimsical colors. We had four hours to bake and decorate it.”
The episode was taped last February, and Queeman has had to keep silent about the results for the past nine months.
“I had to act like I didn’t even do this show until we got the air date,” he says. “Now I’m so excited for everyone to see it, even though I’m like ‘Shoot, I already know what happened.’”
The episode airs on Discovery Family on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 9 p.m., and Queeman will be hosting a viewing party that night from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at The Allison House, 619 Allison St. NW.
There will be a meet and greet with the baker, as well as samples of award-winning desserts, wine pairings, and other spirits. Admission is free, but you must RSVP to attend. Visit mrbakeoncakeboss.eventbrite.com.