By: SOPHIE COLLONGETTE
Mariana Cortez is all about creativity and innovation. As the founder of Bunnie Cakes, she combines health and small delights with her vegan baked goods that range in flavors from triple chocolate to funfetti and classic vanilla. Her plant-based methods are at the delicious core of her practice that champions conscious consumption. A mother of five, who found her calling among her grandmother’s family recipes, Mariana’s story begins with, what else, a cupcake.
WHAT’S BEHIND THE NAME BUNNIE CAKES? My main inspiration was my oldest son, Luke, who had dietary restrictions and was allergic to casein and lactose since birth. I also wanted to bring my art and designs to the community, leading me to create Bunnie Cakes. The brand’s concept and the dessert designs were the ideal means of manifesting all my artistic expression.
WHAT’S THE SECRET TO A DELICIOUS VEGAN CUPCAKE? My secret is to pay attention to detail. I analyze the ingredients, exact recipe measurements, and the tiny decoration details to produce the perfect packaging and presentation of the final product.
BEST THINGS TO BAKE? I love baking banana bread and cinnamon rolls. It makes my kitchen feel like home. The aroma of the banana bread and the cinnamon rolls are very special in my house, and my kids know when they are ready just by the “ready to eat” smell filling our kitchen.
FAVORITE NON-CAKE DESSERT? One of my all-time favorite desserts is tiramisu. I love the combination of coffee and chocolate; donuts with just regular glaze and Key Lime pie are also on my list.
PICK THREE “MUST HAVES” FOR ANY KITCHEN. An oven, bowl, and spatula. My oven is where I can make dinner or bake dessert, so a good oven is a must.
VANILLA OR CHOCOLATE? Chocolate always! No questions.