Sunny Day News
Alejandra Maddox is in the business of making people smile. Her actual business is making custom cakes. Her edible creations inevitably lead to beaming grins.
Maddox works hard to earn those smiles. People use the expression “a piece of cake” to describe a simple task. But that phrase would never accurately describe the detailed design efforts Maddox puts into her culinary creations.
Maddox, 37, is the founder and owner of Everything Cake in Longwood, Fla. She bakes and designs specialty cakes for any type of celebration or party. The word “party” can’t be spelled without a-r-t. That perfectly describes Maddox’s creations. Her intricate designs are the centerpieces at celebrations. Maddox’s decorating talent produces jaw-dropping reactions. Many customers are impressed to the point where they hesitate to cut her cakes.
“Each cake is unique, so it’s (gratifying) to hear that comment,” Maddox said.
But a sweet tooth and a cake knife usually win out. The reluctance is forgotten a few bites later because Maddox’s cakes taste as good as they look.
Her cakes are a hit, judging from the hundreds of “likes” and comments on Everything Cake’s Facebook page. She recently baked two kid-themed cakes to celebrate the birthday of twins. Lynda Flores wrote: “Both (cakes) were amazing – everyone decided to try both. Another success! Thank you for always being part of our family celebrations, Alejandra. We always look forward to what you create!”
Lisa Roberts Morelli wrote: “Everything Cakes is amazing! We have used them several times, from our wedding to our son's first birthday, and she does not disappoint! The cakes are not just beautiful but also yummy!”
Maddox’s baking skills did not rise over night. She studied hospitality and culinary arts for eight years in South America. The first four years were at a university in her native country of Bolivia, then she spent four more years studying in Santiago, Chile. She came to Florida at age 26 when she accepted an 18-month internship at Portofino Bay Hotel, working in restaurants at the Universal Orlando Resort. She further honed her craft by spending several years in Central Florida’s thriving hospitality industry, including time at Orlando’s Rosen Shingle Creek hotel.
About four years ago, Maddox decided to start her own business. Everything Cake was born.
The “Everything” in her business’ name captures the myriad celebrations for which she bakes – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, sweet 16s, bachelorette parties, holidays and, of course, weddings. It’s not just the variety of cake themes that is impressive. It’s the painstaking detail Maddox puts into the cakes. For example, perfecting the petals of each edible flower on a bridal cake. Maddox might spend a half-day or more decorating, making sure the colors of a cartoon character or the logo of a sports team are just right.
She offers a variety of flavors, fillings and icings, all of which are discussed on her website, as is pricing, which is determined by the complexity of the design and size of the cake. Reservation requirements for wedding cakes are also detailed on the site.
Exceptional wedding cakes may be Maddox’s forte. She continues to grow her wedding business, and articles about her in Orlando Wedding magazine, as well as in trade publications, would indicate more bridal business is coming down her aisle.
“People like my work, and people who promote cake businesses are referring me, as well. I feel very proud and very humble and happy,” said Maddox, who even baked and decorated the cake for her own wedding.
Her satisfied (and repeat) customers obviously like Maddox’s work. They continue to spread word-of-mouth recommendations and promote her talents on social media. Her Facebook page and website, EverythingCake.com, feature entertaining photo galleries of her elaborate creations. The breadth of her baking is too expansive to list here. Maddox says it best on her site: “There is no cake that we cannot design, bake and make.”
If that sounds like a challenge, Maddox is up to the task. The galleries of her cakes run the gamut of themes. And no one has yet stumped her on a design.
Oh, but she has been tested! A customer once brought her a photo of a pet Rottweiler and requested a dessert in the dog’s likeness.
Not to be collared, Maddox produced a cake of the muscular pooch that was spot on, lifelike down to the dog’s unique mahogany coloring and outstretched paws.
“I love the challenges of different ideas and techniques. I love to learn,” said Maddox, who also makes custom cupcakes, cookies and chocolates.
Sometimes, the greatest challenge for Maddox is letting go of her creations.
“When I go to drop them off at the weddings or (parties), I feel sad to leave them after all the hard work,” she said.
But then she remembers the smiles.
“I love the cakes,” Maddox said. “I need to keep doing this, to keep doing what I really like to do and, hopefully, continue to do it better and make more people happy.”
Scroll down to see more photos of Maddox's cake creations. Visit her cake gallery here.