As the first new episode of Cake Boss to premier Monday night opens, Grace enters the Lackawanna factory with her daughter Bartolina. They want a cake because Bartolina is turning 16, which is the age teenage girls learn how to drive, and when their fathers feel a sudden urge to begin polishing a shotgun on the front porch.
Joey, her father, says that Bartolina has been through a lot, including epilepsy, a brain tumor and two brain surgeries. “She's a tough kid,” he says.
Bartolina has picked an under the sea theme for her sweet sixteen party. She wants her cake to have a fish tank. She also says she wants her friends to be wowed by it. When your uncle is Buddy Valastro your friends are going to be wowed, guaranteed. He's not going to just get you a DVD of the latest Twilight movie when he could make you a cake that turns into a werewolf.
Buddy gets an aquarium specially ordered for the cake, plus a huge piece of coral to go inside. Joey begins building the base. Frankie asks him where Bartolina came up with the under the sea theme. “I have no idea, I only pay the bills,” Joey says. Just wait until Bartolina gets married and he has to pay for that.
Meanwhile, Mauro takes an order for a cake honoring a man who is retiring from the FBI, where the man worked as a female body inspector. No, actually he worked in the cybercrime division, which means he tracked international computer hackers and 17 year-old dorks who want to be international computer hackers because they think it will help them meet girls.
Grace begins inspecting the cake for her daughter. She says the fish look horrible. “You never have anything else nice to say,” sculptor Ralph tells her. Ralph has an odd streak of fire engine red hair running down his forehead like he's moonlighting for a Boy George cover band. Grace says she wants the fish to be more shiny, and Ralph says he's going to make them shiny.
Buddy has an idea to install a whirlpool at the bottom of the sea cake to propel fish. He's got the rest of the team shaping other pieces of coral with modelling chocolate and fondant.
Meanwhile Mauro finishes the FBI cake. It has four tiers and shows all the stages of the agent's law enforcement career, including some Matrix-like code from his time in the cybercrime division, and some SWAT figurines for when he shot Jeremy Renner in The Town.
Mauro, Frankie and Madeline deliver the cake in New York City, where the agent, Shawn, is being honored at a reception. Shawn actually starts crying when he sees the cake. “It was beautiful, a piece of art,” he says. “To see my bureau career depicted in a cake was really quite an honor.” “It was touching to see he was touched,” Mauro says.
Back at the factory Buddy finishes the birthday cake. It's one of his most colorful. The bakers load it into a truck and deliver it to the Macaluso's banquet hall.
During the party everyone marvels at the cake. Bartolina calls it sick, which apparently the darn kids these days say when they like something a lot.
“There's just so much to say about Bart,” Buddy says as he gives the toast during his niece's party. “To see her here so beautiful today, shining like a star, I'm so proud of you."
“I've never seen her smile that way,” her dad Joey says. “She was smiling the whole night,” her mom Grace says.
Good for her, Bartolina, the girl who has been through a lot. Happy sweet sixteen!