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The Challenge (08)

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So by now you’ve all seen the Food Network Challenge… I want to first say thank you to all that have sent emails, blog comments, text messages and phone calls…sharing your support! I truly appreciate knowing that you are out there enjoying what I and Pink Cake Box produce!

After living the real life 8 hour challenge, and then watching it on tv…my comments are below 🙂

1) I do realize there is no crying in cake 🙂 But sometimes there is…

2) At the time, I made the decision to do as the client wanted…even though in theory she wasn’t a client…and it was a challenge….but in real life I always try to make the bride happy!

3) In the end, I was upset because I didn’t stay true to my work (i.e. it wasn’t as clean as I would like, nor was the color scheme very cohesive, etc) and the result was that my cake looked terrible…and the judges called me on it.

So that’s it in a nutshell. It was a great learning experience..I do feel I did a lot better in the 2nd one…and I can promise I don’t normally cry when I make wedding cakes. : )

Thanks again to my family and friends for sharing your warm wishes with me!!!

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51 Comments for “The Challenge”

  • Gennifer says:

    I completely thought you handled yourself beautifully on the challenge! You wanted to please your bride first and foremost, and it just so happened that she was your assistant for the day. For those of us who admire your designs and your work, we know the difference in the challenge versus your usual end results. It wasn’t your design, as noted by the bride on the show… was hers and clearly, she knew it wasn’t working to what she had expected it to. You are an amazing designer and your work is always beautiful. Despite the end result of the challenge, you represented yourself and your shop beautifully.

  • april says:

    I just wanted to say I was so excited to see you on the challenge! As a fellow cake decorator (not near as good as you) i LOVE watching those challenges and I have often come to your site to see your beautiful work! I think your right…the judges and people there did not get to see your best work since it was a challenge…you do phenomenal work and I look forward to seeing you win one of those challenges! Look how long it took that buddy guy to win…so you did great for your first time!

  • Bonnie says:

    You did great..and anyone who knows your work knows how spectacular it is! Can’t wait to see you in future challenges. And if it wasn’t going to be you, I’m glad Buddy finally won!

  • Kathleen says:

    You did so well! It wasn’t your fault at all. You were kind enough to incorporate the bride’s designs and her, not your, taste is what cost you the win. Your designs are gorgeous! Your work is always amazing. I am sure you will win in the future! 🙂

  • Carolina says:

    I am so new to cake decorating that I thought your cake was adorable! I think it is so cool that you were in the challenge. Also, I have cried for lesser cakes, so I completely understand!

  • Alexandra Bill says:

    I have been following your blog for sometime now so I figured it’s about time I comment! I saw you this weekend at the cake show and your work was great! You’re an amazing cake decorator 🙂

    I think you handled yourself well on the challenge and you were the only one who did what they were supposed to do: to design a cake the bride wanted.

    I admire your skill and creativity! Thanks for being such an inspiration to us up and coming cake designers 🙂

  • lynn carbone says:

    Hi Anne, I have watched almost all the challenges and i thought your cake was great as usual. I also think that their is a initiation process that you have to go through as a first time challenger. I thought you did do fabulous. Lynn

  • rochelle says:

    I am sorry about the challenge. She had to have known that that would not be the actual cake being used for her wedding, right?! You did great for your first (with many to come) challenge! That bride was just plain rude…even to say all of that on tv. I understand how it feels to have your wedding cake become a disaster.. first hand. Your cake was far from it. And you do beautiful work! Be proud of yourself!

  • Susan says:

    Hi Anne,
    I couldn’t wait to see you on the FN Challenge, and I just want to say…….you got the worst bride ever!!!!! But you handled the situation perfectly…….I mean, it WAS her design, and you were just trying to give her what she wanted!!! And I didn’t think your cake was horrible!!!! You do such fantastic work, that it couldn’t have been horrible!!!!!!! (You did the best you could given that you had the bride from Hades to work with!!!!!!!) I felt for you in the end…….I have cried over cake too!!!!!! But you did a great job, and I can’t wait to see you in the next Challenge!!!!!!!

  • doreen says:

    Well, you’ve got one under your belt and know what to expect. Sometimes it’s trial by fire, right? I thought you did great and carried yourself well. I look forward to seeing you compete in future challenges!

  • Heather says:

    Hi Anne,

    It was so exciting to see you on Food Network Challenge! I’m also a cake decorator and love to watch the challenges…it was nice to see someone knew involved. You handled yourself very well and did exactly what I would have done…do the best to make the bride happy. I check into your site often, I love looking at your beautiful cakes. Don’t beat yourself up too much on what the judges said though, you were asked to be a part of the challege for a reason and I still think you did a great job.

  • Jennifer Cote (Kinney) says:

    Anne, being a longtime fan (and a one-time Pink Cake Box cake receiver!), I felt like *you* got the shaft in this challenge. You did what you could with what you had. Even the judges pointed out that you were the only one who actually took your bride’s opinions into account and tried to please her. You could tell, considering how blunt the judges are, were on your side and were looking forward to your work in the future.

    I was so sure in just the first five minutes that I’d dislike every bride but yours, and I found by the end of the competition, your situation left a bitter taste in my mouth; I ended up liking everyone but her.

    Your work is magnificent, and anyone would be beyond lucky to have you and your staff to work with.

    Like you, I’ve wiped my hands clean of this, and I cannot WAIT to see your next Challenge!

  • Brooke ROhrer says:


    As stated in many of the comments above, you did a WONDERFUL job! Those that know your work, LOVE it! Who cares what the judges say, you are talented! Best of luck!

  • Jill S. says:

    I’m SO glad this won’t be your only Challenge because your work is phenomenal! It would be incredibly difficult to try to make someone’s design when you only have access to what you brought with you. I’m excited to see the next one!

  • Patty says:


    This was the first of these shows I’ve seen, and I just had to tell you that after watching it, I thought you were the only cakemaker I would actually want to call and order a cake from. You did a great job trying to please your bride (even though she was a cranky, low-blood-sugar ingrate) and your professionalism and natural talent showed through. Well done!

  • Tia says:

    People are being way to hard on both of you. I thought the cake was okay and her design was good if you had a lot more time to do it. I am sorry that you feel bitter but its really not as bad as you think. You both worked hard. I thought you guys would still win in the end.

    San Clemente

  • Christa says:

    Hi Anne!
    I just started getting into cake decorating and have enjoyed all your beautiful creations. You are truly gifted! Just saw the Challenge and I thought you handled yourself wonderfully under such crazy conditions. You were the only one who really listened to your bride and created exactly what she wanted. That is a real testament to your customer service! Thanks for such a great website that a novice like me can refer to and learn from. You really inspire those of us who are just starting out. I always look forward to seeing your new, creative designs. I hope to someday be half the artist that you are!!

  • Rhonda says:

    I also think you did a great job for your first challenge! You just got a bum deal with the bride. You’re techniques were fantastic for the planning and time allowed. So you have another challenge coming up? You’re awesome!!

  • Erinn Tucker says:

    I think you did a terrific job! I really enjoyed watching you on TV and look forward to your next challenge. You do amazing work and you handled yourself very well under strenuous conditions. Fortunately, I’m sure most of your clients are nothing like the bride from the challenge!! I’m expceting my 2nd child at the end of this week and can’t wait to use Pink Cake Box for his Baptism, 1st birthday, etc…

  • Jodi Creamer says:

    Dear Anne,

    I am probably one of your biggest fans and you don’t even know me! I just wanted to give you a hug after the show! I agree with the other comments, you were the only competitor who was willing to try to incorporate the bride’s ideas for her wedding cake and for her to turn on you in the end was unacceptable. You were also the only newcomer to the show. I can’t imagine the pressure and stress you were going through and you handled yourself so professionally. I receive your newsletters about 3 times a week and am so impressed with your quality decorating. I have been cake decorating for about a year now so I research many, many cake websites and you are by far, my very favorite! (Plus my favorite color is Pink so when I found your website, I knew I would love your masterpieces!) I am so looking forward to seeing you in the next Challenge! My daughter Mikenzi who is 6 wanted me to write that she thought your cake was the best one and she was sorry you cried. You have quite a fan club in my family!

  • Paula says:

    I wish they had offered the cake artists the 1K to leave their “brides” instead….your bridezilla was hard to watch! I love your work – can’t wait to have another awesome cake from you soon!

  • Wendy says:

    I watched the show last night, and all I can say is you handled Bridezilla very well. The other 3 competitors didn’t give their brides what they requested. While the one that won was a pretty cake, it was definitely not what the bride had imagined. I thought you should have been given alot more credit for following your brides thoughts. While she was definitely not someone I would ever want to have to please, you were very gracious to her. Your cakes are all out of this world. I love looking at this blog.

  • I just wanted to say that I am a huge fan of your cakes! They are so clean and perfect. I’m sorry the challenge was such a pain. Your work is amazing and I can’t wait to see more of it.

  • Jodi Creamer says:

    Dear Anne,

    No doubt about it that your wedding cake would have won if you could have designed it the way you wanted to! I can’t wait to see your next challenge!

    Joey Creamer, age 10 (Jodi Creamer’s son)

  • Suzanne says:

    Hi Anne,

    I had to comment on your blog since I just had a chance to watch the challenge on my DVR. You are a VERY talented designer and your creations are gorgeous. If you were making my wedding cake I would just say “work your magic Anne” and let you do the rest, that is how much faith I’d have in you. Bottom line is it was her design/idea and it was awful!!! As she realized that herself I think she started to turn on you! You were the only designer who took the bride’s ideas into consideration and in the end they “scolded” you for it. Don’t let this one get you down, you are amazing!!!! You worked with such confidence and grace under such stress. Chin up 🙂


  • I missed the challenge. Hopefully I can catch it on repeat. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    Best Wishes,

  • Jeremy C. says:

    We were so excited that the challenge finally came on! I think it was a terrible idea for a challenge, but I guess they have to keep trying new things to make the show, whatever. I still think your cake looked great and that your bride was a big horse’s rear end. I think your cakes are the best and we are looking forward to the next challenge!

  • Jasmine says:

    You were great! It was fun seeing you in action. We all know your work is incredible and I know you will do great on the next challenge. Keep up the great work and keeping us inspired!

  • Kris - A Denville Neighbor says:

    I found the show while flipping channels Sunday night. I first want to say that the bride was a “you know what!” I felt so bad for you. I agree with one of t he other posters that they should have offered the cake decorators the option to leave the bride.

    I am lucky enough to get to see your awesome work all the time through your daily blog – and even luckier that I get to see some of it in person (while peeking in your window in town).

    Can’t wait to see you rock the next challenge!

  • Jennifer says:


    I had been looking forward to seeing you on the Challenge since you announced your involvement a few months ago. (even set the DVR to record so I wouldn’t miss it!)
    My family and I all cheered for you and applauded you for being the ONLY contestant to consider and provide the bride’s requests. You should be proud of yourself! We certainly are! And we look forward to seeing you competing in the next one! We’ll record it again and be cheering away!

    Awesome Job! You have lots of fans!
    -Jennifer (and family) in Utah

  • Bethany says:

    Anne… you rocked the challenge regardless! They should have given more points for the chef’s classiness and sophistication (you won hands down). Watched it with a few people from Ktown and we were boo-ing the judges and totally cheering for you out loud (there was a little wine involved… ok a lot of wine!). It was really entertaining and fun to see you in the spotlight… Can’t wait till the next one!

  • Bethany says:

    Anne… you rocked the challenge regardless! They should have given more points for the chef’s classiness and sophistication (you won hands down). Watched it with a few people from Ktown and we were boo-ing the judges and totally cheering for you out loud (there was a little wine involved… ok a lot of wine!). It was really entertaining and fun to see you in the spotlight… Can’t wait till the next one!

  • Heidi says:


    I think you did a great job. What a challenge! It must have been hard to have the bride as your assistance. I can’t wait to see you again on Food Network Challenge.

  • Steph Cakes says:

    You are so right. I have spent many nights in tears having to regroup and stick to my strengths. I am so happy that others have experienced this cake drama and lived to tell about it. Great job! Making cakes is my love, but not my life. I have to remember to put it into perspective sometimes! LOL. Steph

  • Alanna says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now. I also saw you at the cake show this weekend. I loved the fairy sleeping on the mushroom! I felt awful for you when I watched this competition. You did just what the bride wanted, unlike any of the other competitors. She was awful and very mean. I hope this does not discourage you from future competitions. You are awesome and an inspiration to a new cake decorator such as myself.

  • Yanique says:

    Wow Anne you did awesome! If anything brides could see that you are a decorator who will listen and not a dictator.
    I’ve seen you for a year or so on Flickr and i’m really happy 4 u you’ve come so far.

    Keep it up, your fan from Jamaica 😀

  • Leslie says:

    Hi Anne,

    Being in Texas I was not familiar with your work when I saw you on the Challenge. I could tell that you are a very talented cake artist, although the bride’s ‘vision’ didn’t give you much to work with. I’ve been browsing through the gallery on your site and, just as I thought, you are one of the most talented cake and cookie designers I’ve ever seen. I am very much looking forward to seeing your work on future challenges that will allow you to work your own magic. I have no doubt we will soon see you holding the ‘big check’. I will be pulling for you!

  • Libby says:

    Hi Anne,

    I got to see the replay of your challenge yesterday – everyone has already said what I would have said, but I still just wanted to say YOU ROCK and I CANNOT WAIT to see you on another challenge! You are the only cake blog I subscribe to (well, other than Cake Wrecks, LOL) and I love EVERYTHING you share. It was so neat getting to actually put the face and personality of my favorite cake artist with all of these amazing cakes! You did not disappoint one bit!!

  • I am catching the show for the first time right now!! I am 15 mins in to the show and had to log on to comment!! No matter the outcome I am loving seeing you on the show!! When is the next one? Can’t wait!!

  • Kat says:

    Hey Anne!

    I just finished watching you on the food network challenge and I wanted to post a message for you here. I have been following you and your amazing creations on your blog for a long time now and I think you are realllly talented. If you had been given free creative reign you would have knocked all of those other bakers out of the park, seriously. Your style is amazing and that bride did not know what a gift she was given by getting you as her baker! I hope that you do the show again and get to showcase your extraordinary talent!


  • Aly says:

    Hi Anne,
    I have been an avid blog follower of yours since I started cake decorating last year, and I have to say I was very excited to see you on the Food Network’s Challenge! I felt so very sad for you, not because of the outcome, but because I thought you did an amazing job for your first time and no one got to see what you REALLY do! Both my husband and I agreed that that bride was crazy, and HE was the one who told me i just HAD to write you a comment to tell you how great you are! I absolutely love your work and you have been one of my inspirations since day 1. Just know that the people who do know your work are rooting for you all the way! (And I only WISH I was that bride!!) Keep up the awesome work and can’t wait to see the next Challenge!!
    Aly Bonafede 🙂

  • Kelly Elkiw says:

    Hi Anne,

    You are truly someone that I look up to. I have never had a role model before, but I have found one in you.
    And when I saw you on the Food Network Challange, I was so excited!
    That was a really hard challange to do. They threw in soooo many road blocks!
    I think you did a great job. You did exactly what the bride wanted. It’s too bad you got her as the bride. She really didn’t know what she wanted.
    You would have blown the socks off everyone if you got a normal bride!!! : ) And it was nice to see a challenger who smiled and seemed truly excited to be there!
    I can’t wait to see the next food challange that you are on… i have it marked on my calender! i wouldn’t miss it for the world!
    Anne thank you for inspiring me and all of your fans.

  • Sara says:

    Anne, I was SO EXCITED to see you on TV. you are my favorite cake artist. I was so sad to see that you had a very difficult bride to work with. I understand how aggravating it must have been for you. I kept telling my boyfriend throughout the entire episode.. “she is so much better than this.. This girl (bride) is ruining the cake! Anne could do so much better.”
    You really are wonderful and I can’t wait to see you on challenge again. I want you to take that big check home. You Rock!!!!
    Question.. what do you do with the cakes that don’t win… can you eat them in the end? I’ve always wondered!!

  • Tania says:

    I love your work…and yes I saw the challenge…here’s the thing: YOU are the only one who took whatever pre conceived notion of what you were going to do and threw it out the window…I think that should have been a prerequisite for all of the participants. Honestly…your little “assistant”, I don’t think, painted herself in a very good light…she insisted on the cake…and then spent the next 60 min (condensed for tv of course) talking bad about it. Her design was bad,
    your execution was lovely…Chin up ole girl!

  • Anne says:

    Thanks to everyone for your comments of support…I really appreciate all of your kind words….it makes the whole experience that much better!

  • Tara says:

    Hello Anne,
    I so enjoyed seeing you on cake challenge…and thank you for the kindness you showed your client. You put her desires above your own success….which was evidence of your care and professionalism. You are my favorite cake designer!! I love your blog and website!!

  • lyndsay says:

    i haven’t seen this yet!! i hope it airs soon in canada, or airs again if i missed it…!!!

  • Athena says:

    Hi Anne,

    I FINALLY got to see this Bride cake that you made on the Food Network Challenge. I watched it with my Husband & seriously was almost bought to tears seeing that you were on the show. I was so proud of you!!!! I was upset that you got so down on yourself, as you have made a cake for me (Poker Chips Grooms Cake) in the past & I KNOW your gorgeous work. I felt you got robbed & had such a difficult Bride to work with & it was her idea you decided to go with to make her happy!!! Uuugghhh, anyway, just wanted to let you know I was rootin’ for you & will have to YouTube the other challenge you were on. Good Luck to you in your future Food Network Challenges – you DEFINITELY deserve to win!!!!

  • Staci says:

    Anne, I saw this last month and I thought you did a fantastic job. I loved that you listened to your bride and gave her exactly what she wanted, instead of forcing her to fit into your pre-conceived cake design. I’m sorry she changed her mind about it. You did an amazing job. I was very impressed by it. It just goes to show how amazing you are. I come here any time i need inspiration for a cake i’m going to bake. Love your work!

  • Ashley says:

    Hi. I am 14 years old and my dream is to do what you do. I love to bake cakes and decorate them also. I really like how you design your cakes. I want to work with you and your staff when I get older. My mom also wants me to work some were close to home. Great Job and keep doing what you are doing.

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