Shellie Campos, owner of Pink Tulips Cakery has been making cakes since she was in grade school. “I started when I was a kid, just playing around,” said Campos, a Hawaiian native who moved to Texas when her Army dad was assigned to Fort Hood in 1979.
As the years passed, she married her high school sweetheart, Martin, and they had two daughters. She continued to create cakes for family and friends who encouraged her to take her cake creations more seriously.
“I was inspired by my grandmother and mother,” said Campos, now a grandmother of two. “My mother was so creative, a genius at cooking and baking and whatever you needed her to do.”
When her mom became ill and was no longer able to do the things for her family that she enjoyed, Campos picked up the pace. “I do things to honor her.”
Campos’ cakes range from simple to elegant, whimsical to themed. Pink Tulip Cakery has been making cakes for every occasion. She said wedding cakes in particular are getting very specialized.
“It doesn’t have to be the traditional stacked tiers,” she said. “It can be a little wonky, you know. I see what ideas customers come up with and what ideas I can come up with and marry the two. They get the cake they want and my greatest reward it to see my client happy. It’s a high compliment to be part of their special day.”
What’s new in wedding cake designs?
Multiple wedding cakes with different sizes and flavors; the main wedding cake is usually a slightly larger cake with complementary-decorated cakes surrounding it.
Do you still get requests for grooms’ cakes?
Yes, I love making grooms’ cakes. It’s such a fun way to see their personality shine through with their cake design. Some grooms just want chocolate cake — they don’t really care about the design — whatever their lovely bride wants. I made a drum set for someone, a pool table, a University of Texas inspired cake, a badge cake for a fire department — it’s a combination of everything.
How are couples personalizing cakes, and what are some of the unusual requests you have received?
We’ve added favorite photos of the couple and their pets. They love using favorite colors or college logos. We’ve made everything from a pool table to a drum set to an American flag covered cake with a helicopter on top.
What is the most asked for cake flavor for brides and grooms? Do grooms still get chocolate?
Traditionally, brides have asked for white or vanilla cakes, but with multiple tiers, each tier could be a different flavor from strawberry margarita to key lime. It’s the best way to satisfy so many different tastes. Most of our grooms have asked for chocolate and some have been quite involved in designing their cake.
What about frosting? Do you use buttercream or fondant?
We use fondant and buttercream. We frost the cakes with a generous layer of buttercream and may top it with our homemade marshmallow fondant if the design needs clean lines or is a carved cake.
What are the favorite fillings?
Buttercream, chocolate ganache or strawberry buttercream are favorites. Our newest flavor, chocolate Guinness cake with Irish whiskey frosting, has been a big hit.
What are the smallest and largest cakes you’ve done?
On the bridal couple’s one year anniversary, we gift them with a small celebration cake. It’s in the same flavor as the top tier of their wedding cake. The tallest cake that we’ve made has been a groom’s cake inspired by the University of Texas clock tower. It took quite a bit of time making all of the windows.
Have you done a cupcake cake?
Yes, we made a cupcake cake with alternating flavors and wrapper designs. The top tier cake was decorated in a similar design, which was used for the traditional “cutting of the cake.”
Have you done themed cakes?
One of our favorite couples wanted a travel-themed reception. They have traveled all over the world and their cake resembled stacked luggage tiers and a map of the world. Cookie luggage tags with the names of the cities they visited were used as party favors and table decorations.
Since you don’t have a storefront, how does someone get a hold of you?
Usually Facebook messenger, emails or text messages.
How many wedding cakes do you bake in a year?
We’re still pretty new to the wedding scene. We’ve made about a dozen wedding cakes and grooms’ cakes. We’ve also made some treats for the rehearsal dinners.
What is the most important thing when ordering a cake?
If a couple has an idea or concept in mind, we’ll design a cake to match. We can make it as beautifully elaborate or as sweet and simple as they’d like. It’s their big day and they should enjoy it. They don’t need to worry or stress over their wedding cake.
How far in advance do customers need to place an order? What about deposit and cancellation policy?
Certainly three or more months would be great. It gives us time to work with the couple to custom design a cake to fit their budget and personalities. We ask for a 50 percent deposit at the contract signing and the balance due within two weeks of the event. Cancellations may be made two weeks prior to the event and a refund will be given for any payments received less any costs already expended on their cake. We certainly understand if something unforeseen happens and will work with the couple if they’d like to select another date or use the funds for a future event.
What is the price for a cake, and can a bride make payments? When would the balance be due?
Our cake prices are based on the number of servings and design complexity. Cake payments can be made over several months with the final payment due two weeks prior to the event.