The PieCaken Story
Picture it. New York City. November 2015. Chef Zac Young and his team are brainstorming Thanksgiving specials for a restaurant in a hotel in midtown. The Executive Chef, was super stoked about the Turducken special he was serving, like it’s all he could talk about. Knowing they had the last course and the last word, the pastry team set out to make the Turducken of dessert. PieCaken. If for no other reason, to compete with and possibly make fun of the savory side of the kitchen.
Zac posted an in progress shot on his Instagram and the comments ranged from a lot of “OMG” to “my daughter just tried to lick this picture.” To “can I buy one?”. “Buy one? Buy a whole one?,” Zac thought “that’s silly, it’s just going to be served by the slice, as a Thanksgiving special.” Then his phone started ringing with friends calling in favors to get one. “Fine. Let’s sell it.” Zac said, “if we sell 40, I’ll be happy.” Zac called the marketing team at Craveable Hospitality Group and they put together an Eblast announcing that the PieCaken was available for NYC pick-up. If any orders came in the events team would process the order and pass it to the pastry team. And Zac went to bed, thinking about the labor it would take to make 40 of these cakes for Thanksgiving.
The next morning, Zac woke up to 4 text messages telling him that Kelly Rippa was talking about the cake on her show. She had printed out the email and took a bite out of the picture. Zac reached out to a long time favorite restaurant guest who happened to work for the show, and offered to bring some cakes as thank you for the shout out gift the next day. Sure enough, the cakes themselves opened the show, and Kelly finally got to eat the slice. “This is the greatest thing that’s happened to me since the birth of my children.” She exclaimed.
Zac’s original estimate of 40 cakes, capped out at 400 cakes, in two days. Production only stopped when they discovered they had used all the pumpkin puree in New York City.
Work began on the Holiday follow up, the PieLogen, a festive take on a yule log and a cupcake version for valentine’s day the PieCupen. Nationwide Shipping began in 2016 and everything was calm in the land of pies and cakes. Until 2018…
In the summer of 2018 Craveable Hospitlity Group in partnership with Emerging Concepts broke ground on Revolution Hall at Rosedale Center in Roseville, Minnesota. Rethinking and reimaging a mall food court, creating a 11 concept, single operator food hall. Plans were made for food stalls ranging from Tacos to Asian Noodles, Cold Pressed Juices to Poke Bowls, the team turned to Zac. You are doing a bakery, right? Zac’s brain was focused on juicing kale and making pizza dough, “oh, yes, right, I’ll do a bakery!” And PieCaken Bakeshop was born. The brightly colored and sprinkled shop, is Zac’s sweet playground, and a peek into his sugar fueled mind. Wake up to Stuffed Muffins and Sticky Bun Centers, snack on his festively flavored Zacaron (Zac’s Macarons) in flavors like Birthday Cake and S’mores, and don’t forget the cakes! Grab a slice or the whole thing selections include The OG Thanksgiving PieCaken to a party ready Sprinkle Cake with wild strawberry frosting, or our Chocolate Toffee Crunch Cake. For special occasions, custom cakes can be made as quickly as a few hours or a few days, and don’t forget office and party catering. You can’t Spell Party with out PieCaken [actually, you can, but it would be “rty”]
Meet Chef Zac Young
Named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America 2015, Chef Zac Young is known for his playful takes on American desserts. As Pastry Director of The Craveable Hospitality Group, he oversees the dessert creations at all of the Company’s proprietary restaurants.
His career began on the opening team of Bouchon Bakery. Zac then spent 4 years working as Chef Alex Gaurnaschelli’s Pastry Chef at her New York hot spot, Butter Restaurant. Always hungry for more, Zac trained in France under Philipe Givre at Valrhona and Philipe Park at Chocolate Michel Cluizel. Back in New York, Zac started a Donut Revolution with his dessert program at Flex Mussels Restaurants, making the New York Times list of the Best Donuts in NYC. Zac has been with the Craveable Hospitality Group since 2012.
Zac is best known for his Final Four finish on the inaugural season of Top Chef: Just Desserts, and his signature wit and pastry wisdom showcased on The Cooking Channel’s long running show, “Unique Sweets”.