When was the last time you baked a dessert? Well meet Maleka Manuel who bakes for all occasions!
Born in Washington, DC, raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and currently residing in Woodbridge, VA, Maleka Manuel has her own sweet shop.
Maleka is currently a full-time Employment Specialist, with a hustle of making cakes and cake pops! Theses delicious treats helps her bring in extra income, to take care of her family. (Talk about a side hustle!) Maleka makes her delicious treats for special events such as birthdays, weddings, and etc. Along with her traditional cakes and cake pops, Maleka also makes vegan cake pops. (Jack of all trades!)
So how does one get into making cake pops?? Well one day, back in 2011, Maleka was browsing around on the internet, and she came upon a blog by Bakerella. She instantly fell in love with the cute little cake pops and challenged herself to see if she could make them herself. She soon started her cake pop business and called it “Manuel Sweet Shop.” (Boss Status!)
Currently, Maleka makes cake pops in traditional flavors of vanilla, chocolate, almond, lemon, and red velvet. (Yummy!) So we asked Maleka about the process of making cake pops and she told us that making cake pops is definitely a labor of love. It can take several hours to make and design ONE. (OMG!)
A cake pop starts with baking a cake and then crumbling it up into fine pieces. It is then mixed with a little buttercream icing to form cake balls. The cake mixture is then refrigerated and then taken back out for dipping. Maleka says that it’s definitely not as easy as it looks! It also takes time to master the chocolate temperatures, to avoid cracks, and to just keep the ball from falling off the stick. (Whew! Sounds tough!)
Maleka told us that even though the cake pop process is very time consuming, she enjoys the outcome and finished product. Maleka’s most requested flavor of cake pops are red velvet and almond! (Yum!) Her customers also love their cake pops to have sprinkles!
“Honestly, I hate hand rolling part of the cake pops but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know there are cake pop makers on the market, but I feel those cake pops don’t come out as tasty as mine. Believe me I’ve given up on cake pops a few times, but now I’ve mastered the little devils.”
“If you’re looking to get into the pastry industry, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on classes. I am self-taught, I love tutorials on YouTube, and I pay for classes on Craftsy as well.”
At this time, Maleka’s cakes and cake pops are only available to residents of DC, Maryland, and Virginia. So if you’re ever wanting a tasty treat and are in the DMV area, you know who to contact.
To keep up with Maleka and her tasty treats, you can follow her on: