Freshly made dinners and desserts line the shelves in this Asbury Avenue bakery
YOU FACE a difficult decision when you step into Baked by the Ocean.
Sugar cookies in the shapes of apples, leaves, and pumpkins, beautifully decorated for the fall and holiday seasons.
Cakes that look almost too pretty to eat.
Pumpkin cheesecake with a marble swirl.
Candy apples, macaroons, and hot chocolate bombs.
Liz Ellison-Saunders, owner, is gearing up for the fall and holiday baking seasons.
“We offer eight to ten kinds of pies for Thanksgiving,” said Liz.
This year that includes pumpkin, caramel apple, cookies and cream, traditional pecan, cranberry cherry pie, and peanut butter pie.
They make shaped butters, too as well as sides.
“We offer turkey butter centerpieces and flavored butters. There’s a great mac and cheese that we’re really known for as well as mashed potatoes, stuffing, and sides.
Some of their flavored butters include a butter with cheddar, bacon, and chives as well as a honey butter with pumpkin spice.
“We have the Presidential blend of butter which is orange, sage, and cranberry,” Liz said.
After Thanksgiving, they make a hasty transition into the Christmas season.
“Christmas is our cookie season. We do Christmas cheesecake. We make royal iced sugar cookies that we can’t keep in stock. We have our famous shortbread that people ship home to their families constantly.”
Another one of their holiday specialties is their yule log.
“Yule log is a chocolate sponge cake. It’s rolled into a log with a swiss meringue buttercream,” said Liz.
Baking for Liz is a mix of two passions – making things taste good and making things look pretty.
“I started baking with my grandmother and I have a history in the arts. I enjoy making things taste good. Then I found that I could make them beautiful too,” said Liz.
Liz started cake decorating while she was a stay-at-home mom.
“I started cake decorating 12 years ago. Then, I took cake decorating jobs at almost every high-volume bakery in South Jersey. Once there was a turn key operation, I seized the opportunity in 2018,” which became known as Baked by the Ocean, Marmora.
Three years later, Baked by the Ocean opened its doors at 1046 Asbury Avenue … its second location.
It sells a little of everything.
“The cannolis, strawberry shortcake, shortbread cookies, and the raspberry apricot pinches are the most popular,” said Liz. “We offer celebration cakes for all occasions as well as pastries.”
A quarter of her business is something you don’t usually see at a bakery – dinners. With having four kids, Liz knew that she needed to make dinner time less stressful for herself. In turn, she’s made it easier for others.
“I started making meals that I could send home to my family and also sell in the shop. You can come here and get a complete dinner including dessert,” said Liz. “Her stuff is phenomenal and her dinners are unbelievable. I still say her meatballs are the best meatballs I’ve ever had,” said Nick Bricker, a customer who also holds fundraising events for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Baked by the Ocean. “She makes Buffalo mac and cheese. It’s awesome. Everything she makes is so good.”
Though she opened on Asbury this year, the timing was difficult.
“I was eight months pregnant with my fourth child. It was the worst possible timing,” Liz said. It’s worked out. Manager Julianne Young gets her dream of running a bakery.
“It’s a great learning experience. I have a lot of responsibility here that the owners have trusted me with. It’s a great learning experience because one day this is something I want for myself and my own business. It’s a great step,” said Julianne.
Her favorite thing to make is custom cakes, which she learned from attending the Culinary Institute of America. Her favorite thing on the menu is cannolis.
“I like the chocolate chips on the end,” Julianne said.
This season, Baked by the Ocean is finding their ingredients within their community.
“This fall in particular we’re trying to use as much local produce as possible,” said Liz.
That’s how the Beach Plum lemon tart made its way onto the menu. It’s a lemon tart that’s topped with the jam from Beach Plum Farm, West Cape May.
A returning trend to this holiday season is hot chocolate bombs.
“We’re going to have them again around Christmas time,” Liz said. “This past year we did double dark chocolate, white mint chocolate, Kahlua cream, and confetti chocolate bombs.”
Confetti chocolate bombs are white chocolate balls that have chocolate cocoa mix inside. The confetti sequins are made of sugar. The hot chocolate bomb is then covered in edible glitter.
Find this and more in our November/December magazine