Jordan Cleavland: Perfecting her craft


Saying the sky is the limit for Jordan Cleavland might be an exaggeration, but if she could figure out a way to stack cupcakes that high, she would do it for her customers.

The SUNY Adirondack graduate is owner of Baked by Jordan, a specialty cupcake business that opened five years ago. 

“I love being able to customize flavors to fit what a customer really envisions in a cupcake, like the ultimate cupcake,” said Cleavland, whose best-known creation is a confetti cookie dough cupcake — confetti cake with chocolate chip cookie dough inside, frosted in vanilla buttercream, topped with edible cookie dough. 

After graduating from South Glens Falls High School in 2009, Cleavland wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, so she enrolled at SUNY Adirondack as a liberal arts major and started work in a Hannaford bakery. 

“Then I knew I wanted to do something with baking,” she said. She started taking culinary classes and kept honing her craft at the grocery chain.

“I’ve always been somebody who has been super creative,” Cleavland said, recounting how her detail-oriented mother made birthday cakes for Cleavland and her four younger brothers. “That’s how I fell in love with cake decorating.” 

And she loved SUNY Adirondack’s baking classes. 

“I felt like instead of learning the material as new, I was able to perfect the skill,” she said. “I was given the tools and resources from a schooling standpoint and it was up to me to take the material and run with it.”

She graduated from SUNY Adirondack in 2016, worked as head baker at the since-closed Betty’s Cakes in Saratoga, then returned to Hannaford.

“I knew I needed to still be baking, perfecting my craft,” she said. 

But customers thought her work was already amazing. Soon, she had so many side orders, she decided to open her own business. She rented kitchen space at The Hiland and would book as many as three weddings a weekend.

In the time since, she has moved her operation into the kitchen at Kelly’s Roots, where she also sells her sweet wares. 

She looks forward to weddings rebooking after the pandemic.

“The displays I put together become a huge social point in the room,” she said. “Cupcakes are so interactive: You can still dance holding a cupcake.”