Baking is everything to Melody Larsen. As a child in Nevada, she helped her mother, the town’s go-to for cakes, with her creations.
“I had the frosting bag and I would do my thing,” she said.
Those skills are paying off at her and her husband’s East Mesa shop, Sassy’s Café & Bakery, and on TV. The couple will be featured on the Saturday, September 8, episode of Discover Family’s new baking competition series Bake It Like Buddy, starring “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro.
In the episode titled “Amusement Park Cakes,” they battle against two sisters from Kansas City to create an amusement park-style cake in just four hours. Buddy and two others judge both creations and vote for a winner. The Larsens’ cake tells the family’s story.
“It was our story with our three boys,” he said. “We showcased that on the cake. For example, we put a tennis shoe on it with a roll of toilet paper. Our youngest son turned out to be the daredevil. He was frustrated when he was too short to go on rides. So, we stuffed his shoes with toilet paper when we were in the parking lot.”
Sassy’s started simply as a cinnamon roll stand at Greenfield and McKellips roads. In 2011, they opened their restaurant/bakery on Main Street near Greenfield Road. Cinnamon rolls are on the menu, along with cupcakes, salads, homemade soups, hot and cold sandwiches, brownies and novelty cakes. Breakfast is served all day. It’s a true family affair with sons Ryan, Wade and Jace chipping in as part of the 11-person staff.
“The No. 1 thing people talk about is the cinnamon roll French toast,” he said. “We take the cinnamon roll, butterfly it and put it on the grill.
“When we started making that dish, we made cinnamon rolls to bake into French toasts. At one point, I was out of the French toast cinnamon rolls. I grabbed a few retail cinnamon rolls. I never frosted the other ones.”
Geoffrey tried to scrape off the frosting. He did the best he could and put it on the grill. The frosting turned into a syrup.
“Now we don’t make cinnamon rolls just for the French toast,” he said. “We use the same thing.”
The couple, who married 26 years ago, is looking forward to seeing Bake It Like Buddy.
“What Mel and I have together works,” Geoffrey said. “We finish each other’s sentences and have complementary skill sets. We don’t have egos about it. We just work really well together.
“When we’re on set together, even in the midst of failure, we succeed. Everyone has mishaps and missteps in the kitchen. It’s really what happens when you have that failure that the true character comes out. I think that plays well on TV.”