Keizer cake-maker bakes up sweet smiles

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Given enough fondant and a few days of toil, Tresha Capps can turn your next party cake into just about anything you want.

She knows fondant isn’t everyone’s cup-o-tea, but she’s hoping to make converts out of her Pink Princess Cakes clients.

“Store-bought fondant can be a little weird, but I made everything from scratch. The fondant I use is make of marshmallows and powdered sugar so it tastes a lot better,” Capps said.

Capps, who lives with her family in south Keizer, started her home-based business eight years ago, but it’s growing by leaps and bounds lately.

Tresha Capps has been making specialty cakes, cookies and other treats out of her home for the past eight years and is setting her sights higher now. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

“I’m almost completely booked through the summer. It just really seemed to take off at the beginning of the year,” she said.

Capps specializes in cakes and cookies with healthy dose of imagination. A quick scroll through her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PinkPrincessCakes) reveal items like geode cakes, edible graduation leis, Minecraft cookies, Star Wars-themed cakes and cookies, and just about anything else clients have tossed out as inspiration. Most of them are outright stunning.

“I really like working with clients to make a plan,” Capps said. “I sat down with one client a few days ago and we came up with ideas for a Moana cake.” Moana is the latest in Disney’s line of animated princesses.

Prices vary depending on the type of treat and the amount of work it will take to produce. Capps also needs time once an order is placed.

“I usually need at least a week. Everything is made from scratch and the cakes and fondants need a couple of days to harden,” she said. “Even cookies take a couple of days and then they need to set for 24 hours before they are packaged.”

She recommends ordering at least a week before the items are needed and two weeks is preferable.

Capps got her start in cooking and baking at North Salem High School where she captained a group of culinary students that took second place in the state. After starting a family and a stint in nursing, the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom was one she couldn’t pass up. She took a cake class at JoAnn’s and it reignited her passion.

“I made a few cakes for classes and my husband would take pictures of them and show them around to his co-workers. I started taking orders through him and he literally put me into business,” Capps said.

She considers herself a “YouTube graduate” after honing her skills and picking up new tricks and ideas through watching instructional videos on the internet. She’s recently started trying her hand at sculpted cakes as a result of crowdsourced tips.

“The strangest thing I’ve done was a cake shaped like a toilet,” she said. “Learning which shapes to bake and then decorating them so they don’t fall apart is always tricky.”

Fondant, she said, is Play-Doh for adults because it offers versatility and a shelf-life well beyond what frosting can offer. There are challenges, however. Recently, a number of orders have come in for Minecraft-themed treats and she has to charge more for those. Minecraft is a popular video game with a pixelated look to all the characters, items and scenery.

“Every one of those little blocks needs to be cut out and put together,” she said.

She said her husband, Rob, and her mother remain her toughest critics and fiercest supporters through thick and thin.

Capps said she isn’t certain where the future will take her, but she envisions a bistro or bakery, and is leaning toward the bakery.

“None of the local bakeries offer cookies and I would like to make that a focus,” she said.

To place an order or find out more about available options – including full party set-ups with cookies, cupcakes, cake pops and a two-tiered cake – contact Capps through her Facebook page or call or text 503-400-8187.