At the helm of Auckland’s beloved cake shop, The Caker, is Jordan Rondel. About five or so years ago, we met Jordan and fell in love with what she was building. She also thought we were kind of cool, so we put our heads together and said, ‘let’s do something’. The result, an Espresso Dark Chocolate cake, which is a menu staple for Jordan’s Auckland shop. Since then, Jordan’s been non-stop, so we caught up with her to hear what she’s been up to. We hate to be a tease, but we’re cooking up something pretty tasty with The Caker, which we’re looking forward to sharing with you in a couple of months. Until then, put the kettle on and have a read.
Q: Tell us about about The Caker. What is it?
In 2010, when I was 21, I started a cakery called The Caker in Auckland, New Zealand. Being a self-taught baker, I developed a style of cake that really celebrates the beauty and deliciousness of home baking. My French grandparents instilled in me a respect for using real ingredients, and all of my cakes are based on this ethos.
Alongside my cakeries in Auckland and, soon to be, Los Angeles, I write recipes and recipe books. I also chose some of my favorite recipes to turn into cake kits. And I put all the same quality ingredients I use on a daily basis inside of them so you end up with a true Caker cake.
Q: What led you to starting The Caker?
It was born out of a pure and utter love of baking cakes!
Q: And lately you’ve been spending a bit of time in LA, right? What spurred the move there?
Yes I live in LA now! I moved here primarily to expand The Caker into the USA and set up production of my cake kits, but of course along the way I have begun to build a life here and I love it.
Q: What’s your morning routine; what’s your favourite toast topping? Do you eat standing, straight from the breadboard, or sit down with a plate? Light or dark roast? Filter or espresso?
I take my morning routine pretty seriously these days. I jump out of bed early to make my filter coffee and think about whether I’ll have toast, a smoothie or a bowl of granola...after some deliberation I sit outside at the table with my coffee and breakfast, and feeling the sun kissing my skin, I put some music on and write my to-do list for the day.
Q: Smooth or crunchy?
Assuming we’re referring to PB here!! Smooth!
Q: What’s your coffee setup at home?
I have a Moccamaster, which I use every morning. I like my coffee hot, black and strong and am pretty picky about which mug I use!
Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
...coffee and only coffee.
Q: What is your favourite dessert/treat?
My almond butter and raspberry cake, or a really good tiramisu.
Q: Got a favourite NZ treat that you’re missing?
Whittakers Berry Biscuit chocolate.
Q: What’s on the horizon for The Caker?
We have a few cake kit collaborations rolling out (very exciting), as well as my fifth recipe book.
Q: If you could bake a cake for anyone, who’d it be for?
Just anyone who claims they don’t like cake — I would love to convert them and I’m confident I could.
Q: Who do you look to for inspo/who do you look up to?
My sister-from-another-mister Elora, who I live with as of recently, is always inspiring me with new flavour combinations and techniques in the kitchen, whether we’re talking savoury or sweet. We have a similar palate and it’s so fun living with someone who I can riff with on the subject of cooking or baking whenever we are home together.
You'll find The Caker at 446 Karangahape Road, Auckland, but it's best to order your cake ahead via their website. And if you'd like to be one of the first to know about our exciting plans with The Caker, sign up to receive our updates here.