We’re having our 18th birthday cake and eating it too, thanks to LA-based baker, Alana Jones-Mann! Her confectionary creations are like works of art and there’s no one else we’d prefer to blow out our candles with to celebrate. Keep reading to find out more about how Alana Jones-Mann is baking the world a better place. And save us a slice while you’re at it!
Your cake and dessert creations are like works of art! When did you first fall in love with creating in the kitchen?
Why thank you! I started baking 9 years ago, and fell in love with the process immediately. From the start, I found it to be very meditative and therapeutic – as well as a great creative outlet, which was exactly what I had been desiring at that time.
At ModCloth, we’re celebrating our 18th birthday. Can you tell us about a memorable birthday you had? What was the cake like?
I think a big part of my creative brain comes from my mom – she threw incredible themed birthday parties for me as a kid. The decorations were always handmade and absolutely amazing, however, I can’t remember her handling the cake aspect of the party. I think most of my childhood birthday cakes were something I’d get to select from the laminated book of cake options they had at the ice cream store, which was always THRILLING for me!
All of your creations look so amazing. BUT, if you had to choose just one dessert or cake to make, what would it be? Who would you share it with?
If it was for me, I’d first build my buttercream palette and crumb coat the cake, and then sit down with no specific design in mind. Design freedom makes my decorating process more fluid – and can also encourage me to experiment with new techniques which is incredibly satisfying.
And I’m always happy to share my cakes with anyone who comes over to my home!
Just like life, sometimes recipes don’t go as planned! Can you describe your worst baking disaster?
Luckily I can’t think of any big baking disasters off the top of my head. However, when it comes to cooking, that’s a whole different story – with too many disasters to choose from!
Many have said that creating in the kitchen is a form of self-expression. What do you want your culinary creations to say about you? How do you express yourself outside of the kitchen?
I’d definitely agree with that! For me, I feel that my personal cake decorating style is a strong representation of who I am as a person. I’ve always been drawn to vintage patterns and elaborate textures, and my own style in terms of fashion and interior design is heavily inspired by the ’60s and ’70s. It wasn’t ever deliberate, but over time I noticed how prominent my personal preferences are in my own cake style. To me, that’s what makes creating so fulfilling – not only enjoying the process, but having unique work that represents who you are at a specific point in time.
Outside of decorating cakes, I like to take photos, garden, paint, and craft. Any activity that feels creative and meditative at the same time is something I deeply enjoy that makes me feel a strong resonance with who I truly am.