So, I really cannot plan a party simply. It’s just not in me. If I have to be honest with myself, I will tell you I can’t do much simply at all. Eight kids is complicated sometimes, just a little, lol, and entertaining, birthday parties, Christenings etc could become too rote if I didn’t give it that extra “UMPH.”
Enter PINK CAKE BOX, who has been decorating and deliciously adding sparkle to my parties for years.
The Northern NJ baked fantasy cake palace was started by this cute little thing, Anne Heap, in 2005. “After becoming a pastry chef and completing an internship with Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in NYC, I new I loved cake,” admits Anne. “I had finally found my most favorite artistic medium. I knew I always wanted to start my own business and it seemed like a logical step.” She admits she took on this sugary dream at 26, when we probably all think a little over our heads. “The name was a collaboration of my love for the color pink and a little blue box.”
Now, if you take a cup of coffee and just pursue through Anne’s drool over website, www.pinkcakebox.com, the first thing you will notice is that if you are looking for a yellow cake with buttercream frosting and fudge layers, well, you need to take your cannolis somewhere else. Have you ever seen a peacock cake? I have because I did it for Federica’s birthday? Or a Sephora themed masterpiece? Hmmmm…that was another Federica birthday goody. Or a Sound of Music sculpture…oh, that would be Eva’s Communion, just to name a few. We can’t stop there, because her flavors are CRAZY, and now I need a cookie….
Specialty cakes have certainly taken over from the hum drum bakery sheet cake my generation did know and love growing up. I mean, we thought Carvel cakes were a magical step up from a bakery strawberry shortcake. Today, the sky’s the limit … or really, the ganache is the limit. “When I first started in 2005, specialty cakes were just becoming popular,” Anne says. “ There were few, if any television shows and no one, including myself knew what was possible in cake! Since then, the countless tv series, competitions, decorating tools, products, etc … have completely changed the industry.”
I do adore cooking, but a baker…not so much. I have mathematical issues with measuring. But, Do I love desserts? I love them more now than I ever did…and when I was pregnant, Devil Dogs were my go to. But, what inspires this “Pink” patisserie creator extraordinaire to go beyond processed treats? “ After graduating from Boston College in 2001, I began my career in advertising. Soon, my passion for baking led me to study Pastry Arts at the French Culinary Institute. (Now International Culinary Center) in New York. While I was there, I discovered my love for cake! I began making cakes for friends and family and soon I discovered the joy my cakes brought to others.”
The New Jersey native, raised in Kinnelon, and rolling the home dough in Morristown has two children, 3 and 6, who love to watch mom bake and of course, make gastronomic, kinder delights with Playdoh. What is Anne’s most favorite, outta the “box” PCB, over the top project to date? “ Our largest, most wedding intense cake was Megan and Tracy Morgan’s a few years ago. It was taller than me! It was filled with well over 1500 hand made sugar flowers, edible gold and lace details and was built on a large structure.” Ok then, and you think my volleyball cake for Brynn’s graduation was over the top? Oh wait, don’t forget the Lego Land Cake Challenge: “it was over 7 ft tall and had a working water slide, rotating Lego blocks and lights!” The next time Gianmarco asks me for new Legos, I will be sure to call Anne for advice…NOT.
So, what does this mom/creative sculptor/baker/over the top pastry chef love to make?, “cookies,” chuckles Anne, “because I love to eat them.”
In the end, it’s always about the cookies.