Pasco businesswoman discovers hidden cake decorating talent

Pilar “Angelica” Hernandez had already earned her cosmetology license and commercial driver’s license before realizing she had a hidden talent as a cake decorator.

Now, the Pasco businesswoman owns Delicakes by Angelica, operating out of the Pasco Specialty Kitchen and providing elaborate cakes for weddings, birthdays, quinceañeras, baby showers and other celebrations.

But don’t expect her to cook or even bake.

“I don’t know how to cook,” Hernandez said. “I don’t ever want to do anything in the kitchen, but I love decorating.”

Her decorating steals the show, featuring intricately detailed touches using fondant to match any theme, color or occasion.

She employs three people, including one who bakes cakes for her. She has a lead decorating protégé and her brother helps with the books.

She had been operating without a storefront but then expanded her footprint at 110 S. Fourth Ave. in downtown Pasco so she could meet customers by appointment in person to collaborate on a vision.

A walk-up window at the Pasco Specialty Kitchen lets Angelica pass cake boxes directly to customers – which has come in handy during the pandemic, allowing her to limit contact with others.

From refugee to cake artist

Hernandez first wowed a crowd seven years ago when she fixed up a cake her mom had decorated for a Monsters Inc. theme.

“It was a hit. The people at the party kept asking who made the cake, and that was how it started,” she said.

Cakes by Delicakes by Angelica feature elaborate fondant creations, like this layered farm animal birthday cake. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Chalking the rest up to natural talent, she honed her skills by replicating images she’d seen online or by watching how-to videos.

“I was doing marketing – I liked doing letters and painting, but I had never worked with any cakes,” Hernandez said.

Her family arrived in the Tri-Cities 12 years ago from Costa Rica, having been relocated as refugees from Colombia.

“I never imagined this because I never wanted to have any responsibilities,” she laughed.

Preferred vendor at mansion

To support her family, she worked as a hairstylist and truck driver before opening her own business three years ago.

Delicakes is named as a play on the words “delicate” and “cake” to describe the work she does.

“Ever since that first day, it’s just been growing and growing,” she said.

Hernandez works full time at the Pasco School District in addition to running her expanding business.

Delicakes by Angelica is a preferred vendor for Pasco’s Moore Mansion, and the only bakery available for all-inclusive weddings booked on Fridays or Sundays.

“She puts a lot of love and effort into her cakes,” said Sandrine King, an owner of the Moore Mansion. “We’re using her for my boys’ birthday party cupcakes,” King added.

The event center owners wanted to feature Pasco businesses as preferred vendors and word of mouth led them to Hernandez, who’s now supplied cakes or sweets tables for the past year.

“She is very versatile in her décor and clients have been very happy. She also has a great price point. Not everyone wants to spend $2,000 on a wedding cake,” King said.

Prices typically start around $95 for a cake that feeds 15 people.

A multi-layered farm-themed cake headed out the door for $240, following six hours of labor to decorate.

“I feel free when I decorate. It’s my passion,” she said.

Customers can pick from eight flavors and more than a dozen fillings, including dulce de leche, pineapple and strawberry cream cheese.

Packages start at $210 for up to 20 servings, which includes a cake, along with other desserts, like cake pops, cupcakes and chocolate-covered pretzels.

Her largest package serves 50 people and costs $450, including multiple cakes and sweets.

Call Delicakes at least two weeks in advance to book, or up to a year in advance for the most popular times of the year, including summer weddings or graduation.

Delicakes: 509-551-5595; delicakesbyangelica.com; @delicakesbyangelica.

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