Don't all great gifts come in small boxes?
Since launching her company The Caker back in 2010, Jordan Rondel has been bringing her cult-favorite cakes to the masses with her ridiculously easy to make, dangerously delicious to eat cake kits.
The New Zealand beauty, easily recognized by her chic face framing hairdo and penchant for statement making eyeliner, has effortlessly bloomed into a Los Angeles It Girl.
From her cake decorating pet peeves to which cake flavor she currently can't get enough of, read below for the scoop on what's new with the baker babe!
How did you first discover your love of baking?
I have early memories from when I was maybe 4 years old baking with my grandparents in their tiny Parisian apartment.
We would make jams, tarts, and pastries together and I remember being so enamored by the aromas and the sheer magic of how you could combine ingredients to form a miraculous creation that no doubt would bring joy to the people you would share it with.
What prompted the big move from New Zealand to Los Angeles?
NZ is an incredible place to grow up and to start a business, but because of how small it is and the distance from other countries, you do eventually reach a ceiling there.
I knew that to grow The Caker, particularly the cake kit side of things, I would have to expand internationally, and Los Angeles made the most sense for several reasons!
How would you describe The Caker?
The Caker is an inimitable brand with a cult-like following, led by me as the figurehead chef, which has become an empire built around home-made style cakes that taste EVEN better than they look.
Seriously though, how much cake do you eat on a daily basis?
I don't eat cake every single day. I prefer to sit down and eat a proper slice of cake on a plate with a fork, served with some yogurt, and thoroughly enjoy it rather than picking at it throughout the day. So I eat cake maybe 3 times a week and my love affair with it is as strong as ever!
What are your biggest cake decorating pet peeves?
I don't understand the desire to make a cake look like something other than a cake! There are ways to theme a cake without using fondant and food coloring, and I think it's super important when decorating a cake to never compromise its taste so I never use anything edible that doesn’t taste delicious.
What's the most unexpected cake decoration you keep in your arsenal?
To achieve colored icings I use fruit purées and freeze-dried fruit powders. These ingredients taste incredible and provide colors from nature.
What's your process for creating new flavors?
I first look at what fresh fruits are in season and create a concept around that. For example if it's fall when pears are in season I’ll think about what spices, nuts, seeds, herbs, tea leaves, floral extracts or other ingredients I’m excited about that would work with pears. I like to work with 3 or 4 flavors in one recipe, so with juicy pears in mind I’m thinking something along the lines of nutmeg, orange, and pear cake with honey mascarpone.
Any flavors you absolutely loathe and won't work with?
Just anything fake tasting, especially where you could use the real thing instead.
What cake kit are you loving the most at the moment?
My Coconut Raspberry Lime Leaf cake kit is my favorite of the bunch right now! The freeze-dried lime leaf that it comes with adds a beautiful freshness and unexpected flavor. We worked with the incredible Tezza on this one to create custom packaging and a cute backdrop, which comes inside the box so you can photograph your finished cake on it!
What are your biggest tips to an aspiring home baker?
Have fun with it! I love the science of baking but as a completely self-taught baker I learnt how to push the boundaries, be creative and a bit more free with it and I think all home bakers will have more fun if they take this approach.
What occasions other than birthdays should we be celebrating with cakes?
Cakes always commemorate something special, big or small, happy or sad. They are a symbol of celebration, a public display of affection, which bring joy no matter what and are usually the star of a special moment. Cakes sometimes say what words can’t, so should be present at all kinds of celebrations from “congrats on the new job” to “happy Mother’s Day” to “thanks for just being you.”
What are you most excited for next?
My collab with Chrissy Teigen, my side-step into the beauty industry (more on this to come!) and wedding season coming into full force because I love making wedding cakes!!
[Photos courtesy The Caker]