The holiday season is brimming with delicacies, especially in the dessert category. Pies, cookies, candies, chocolates and sugar plums dance in our heads as well as our bellies.
For Jordan Cleavland, owner of Baked By Jordan, a miniature cake captures the magic of the season. “I love cupcakes for the holidays because so much thought and love is baked into every cupcake,” says the Glens Falls resident. “From the making of the delicate and precise batter, consistent level scoops, accurate oven temps, creative fillings and flavors, beautiful buttercream swirls and the attention to every last creative detail.”
Her seasonal cupcake favorites include apple pie, drunken pumpkin, maple carrot cake, pumpkin spice frappe, snickerdoodle, red velvet peppermint, cranberry orange and one of her personal favorites: a giant chocolate chip cookie for Santa. (Leave out a massive glass of milk, too!)
“I have learned to step out of my comfort zone, to spend time experimenting and researching flavors and the chemistry of baking to see what will work and what won’t work,” Cleavland says. “I am constantly trying to push myself to be as unique and original as possible. I’m not afraid to fail…”
After studying culinary arts at SUNY Adirondack, Cleavland was the head baker for Bettie’s Cakes in Saratoga Springs. While there, she made special desserts for the Dave Matthews Band when it performed at SPAC. Now she bakes from a commercial kitchen in Queensbury.
During the holiday season, Cleavland packages her cupcakes “in a pink box… with a bow on top and a handwritten thank you note” — a tasty gift to bring to a party or dinner. She also offers gift cards, a handy present or stocking stuffer.