Karen Tack, Parents contributing editor and mother of two, is our go-to baker for the three "C's": Cookies, cupcakes, and candy. She and photographer Alan Richardson cowrote Hello, Cupcake and What's New, Cupcake? and two New York Times best-selling books on how to creatively use candy, snacks, and frosting to make cupcakes that look like everything from animals and flowers to a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. And while some might see Tack as a skilled food stylist, she simply calls herself a "lazy cupcaker," using resealable plastic bags as pastry bags.
In addition to styling countless features for Parents magazine, Tack bakes up cute cookies for the Cookie Jar section of the magazine nearly every month. Tack says with all that baking her house often looks like "Willy Wonka meets a tornado."
When she's not baking up a storm for us, Tack cooks and styles for other publications, such as, Ladies' Home Journal (she and Richardson met on an LHJ photo shoot more than 20 years ago), Real Simple, and Gourmet. Tack describes her greatest accomplishment (aside from the success of her books) as styling a cake that appeared on the cover of Gourmet, the now-defunct magazine that once dubbed her the "Cupcake Whisperer."