Meet Ashley

Ashley Manila

Hello! I’m Ashley; the baker, cook, photographer, and all around do-er behind this blog. I live and work in upstate New York and couldn’t be happier with the location. On a good day… it looks something like this. Not bad, eh?

I founded Baker by Nature in 2010 with nothing more than a point-and-shoot camera, an idea, and a ton of ambition. My passion for cookies, cake, and chocolate everything has been burning inside me for as long as I can remember, so writing a blog hopelessly devoted to the aft and craft of baking just seemed like the right rabbit hole to fall into. It’s been a wild ride – this blogging thing – and I cannot wait to see what’s next!

Quick Facts: I am not a professionally trained chef. I am just a girl who strives for excellence in the kitchen, and when that is found, shares it with you. I work very hard on the recipes found on this site, and truly only share the best of the best. There are many (many many way-too-many) recipe fails in my kitchen each week. I promise I will never share those with you.

Baker by Nature accepts a limited amount of sponsorships and works with companies/brands/and bloggers who fit with the beliefs of this space and its content. I am also available for freelance recipe development, photography, and private events in the NYC area. Feel free to contact me @ for more info.


I believe we create our own happiness and try to start everyday with a positive perspective.

I love yoga almost as much as I love red wine.

I grew up in Philly but have spent most of my adult life living in New York City and Upstate New York. #willalwayslovephillycheesesteaks

Growing up I always knew I wanted to entertain, I just never thought it would be from the comfort of my living room. To say I landed my dream job would be a complete and utter understatement.

When I’m not making a mess in my kitchen, I can be found scouring deals for airline tickets! I LOVE to travel and jump at the opportunity anytime I can!

Anything dipped in chocolate, wrapped in bacon, brushed with butter, topped with an egg, or made with love is a friend of mine.

I hope we can be friends, too!

If you want to contact me, there are a few ways:

You can also follow me on Twitter, or leave me a comment below any post; I read them all.

I’m also OBSESSED with Pinterest! Do you follow me? I pin daily so there’s never a dull moment on that front.

I’m not vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free (although I faithfully respect each practice), so unless I’ve specified that a recipe is one of those things, it’s probably not.

If you’re going to use one of my recipes, please give credit to the original source. And if you’d like to post any of my images, run it by me first.

To view this sites privacy policy, please click here.

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67 thoughts on “Meet Ashley

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      I love cafe grumpy! I am so lucky to have amazing cafes at basically every corner here in NYC.

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Angie! Thank you; I will be adding a subscribe button very soon. Look back next week!

  1. Piper@GotItCookIt

    Gone With The Wind… best… movie…. ever! Love your blog, I have added a connection to your blog on mine. Thanks for commenting today and introducing me to your beautiful blog, recipes and pictures. You have inspired me to try harder with my own pictures!

  2. Holly

    Hi Ashley,
    You made a comment on my blog last week, thanks for stopping by. I have only just found it as it went into spam for some reason, but after following your link I realise you certainly are not spam and love your blog!
    I’ve got lots of baking going on at the moment, so hope we can share some inspiration!

  3. Nicole from Cordial Fare

    I tried emailing you but it didn’t go through!
    I just wanted to thank you for commenting on my blog, Cordial Fare. I’m just starting you can tell haha..and I really don’t know how to get my blog out there for people to read. I do have a Facebook page and I am telling friends about it. Any tips? How did you come across mine?
    By the way…Love your blog! I plan on making your lemon drenched lemon cake tomorrow.
    Thanks so much!

  4. Kara

    hi there! thank you for visiting my blog :) I wholeheartedly agree that chocolate is amazing in whatever form it comes my way.

    Anyways just wanted to say your blog is adorable& I love your recipes! What template do you use that allows you to reply to comments? I am a blogger newbie. please help me! haha

  5. Anna

    Love your blog! I also recently discovered the food blog world and couldn’t resist chiming in, what an amazing amount of delicious food we produce among us all :) Looking forward to reading more!

  6. Helene

    hi ashley,
    thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting 😉
    your blog is just mouthwatering… especially the sweet stuff… i will definitely check out your blog regularly.
    have a great day,
    take care,

  7. Emmy (Wine and Butter)

    What a beautiful blog – I’m so happy to have found it!! Can we be butter fuelled friends please!? The chocolate bread looks AMAZING, but I’m not sure its something I can be entirely trusted with and I may need to hop back a post and make those incredible bars. Such gorgeous photos too! Do you have a Frenchie, or are you just an obsessive!? (Its okay – Im obsessed with loads of breeds of dog I dont actually own. It happens) xox

  8. Linda Ghostwriter

    Your photos are amazing! The baked items look decadent. ‘Just stopping by for the first time, but I will be back to visit real soon, especially now that the holidays are fast approaching! Oh, and I love New York, too! Oh, and this chocolate dessert you have here … Mercy!!

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Linda! I will have plenty of sweet dessert recipes coming up soon for the swiftly approaching holiday season :)
      New York is easy to love; I’m so happy to be able to live here. And that chocolate babka is to die for!!!


  9. Tandy

    HI there, for some reason your positive reply to Secret Santa ended in my spam folder :( Thanks so much for agreeing to take part. Please can you email me your postal address tandy(AT)

  10. Katie @

    Hi Ashley,

    I’m Katie. So pleased to meet you. I’d love to cook with you, too. Or have you cook and me eat everything you make. Sound good?
    As a fairly recent blogger (since April) I love stumbling across new sites. Lord have mercy on me with your recipes… LOVE THEM! I plan on making… well, everything. Come visit me soon!

    Katie @

  11. Sophie


    Greetings from a foodie from Belgium! :) You have a cool & lovely blog over here! I am just starting to browse through them! Bye for now! :)

  12. David Crichton

    Hi Ashley, loving your blog. Lots of inspiration for me. Nothing wrong in admitting you are a Francophile, we live for our summer holidays there. Their wines are over priced but I hate to say it, quite simply the best.

  13. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    So happy to meet you, Ashley! I’m an 80/20 girl when it comes to eating nutrient-rich foods and balancing with indulgences (the other 20% of the time!). One must live life to the fullest…hopefully, whilst being healthy, no? I share your love of the color red, chocolate, coffee, wine and especially bourbon! (I have a few wicked bourbon cocktails at my blog as well as Wicked Black Magic Brownies drizzled with bourbon. Check it!) Also, I share your passion for baking…the all-natural way. We are kindred spirits. I bet you really rock those red jeans and pumps, girlfriend! Do you adore Sammy Hagar, The Red Rocker, like I do as well? LOL! xo

  14. Julia

    Hi Ashley – love the vibe here and I’m yes to many of the same food and life this g’s. just add 20 years, ditch the red pumps and the bourbon and we’re practically twins. Oh and I take all my photos with an iPhone and my kitchen is probably the size of your whole apartment ( which means nothing good just more counter and floor space from which to scrape dough and dried carrots peels). Can’t wait to check out the rest of your stuff – the mango margarita is already calling to me.

  15. Cris

    Hi Ashley! I am so happy I found your blog! You have so many amazing combinations and recipes! I`m looking forward to see more!

  16. Dawn

    Hi Ashley,
    Just rabbit trailed onto your blog through Pinterest whilst pinning your NY Style Pizza Recipe. I own a slight obsession with homemade pizza and am constantly looking for ways to perfect my recipe. Having been weaned on Famous Rays (the original in downtown) grabbing slices nightly on my way to NYU. I believe it all started there. Yet I digress …
    In real life now (many years later) I’m a travel agent. I also saw in your pizza blog you spent some time in Sicily. I would love to hear about your trip, especially where you stayed and ate as I am putting together an itinerary now for a client who is a foodie and headed there in Sept.!
    Any help you might offer wold be great. Thanks bunches in advance!!
    Avenue Travel Group
    American Express

  17. Sylvie @ Roamingtaste

    I just wanted to say you have a beautiful blog and you’re such a talent. I have been salivating from almost all the recipes I’ve seen on here and have definitely bookmarked a few to make.
    Kind regards,

  18. Laura

    Lovely blog and the recipes look delicious! Is it alright to pin recipes from your blog to Pinterest boards for reference? Pinterest is my online recipe file.

  19. Sharon Waldrop

    How do I subscribe to your blog? I looked for a link but didn’t see it. This doesn’t mean that it’s not there. I tend to miss things. :)

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Sharon! I’m currently switching my subscription services to a new network – hope to have it up and running by next week! Would you like me to notify you when it’s up?

  20. Shelly

    Hi Ashley, congratulations on your lovely blog. I like pintrest too. Today I was notified that your lemon blackberry cupcakes pin would be deleted from my board because the author is complaining of copyright infringement. Can you tell us what’s up with that?

    1. bakerbynature Post author

      Hi Shelly. Thank you for you kind words.

      In response to your question: Unfortunately someone stole my photo, placed it on their website, and then pinned it. I had to ask pinterest to take the photo down as it was leading traffic to a site that steals bloggers hard work. You did nothing wrong by pinning! It was just unfortunate that that was a bad pin added by someone taking credit for others work. Please feel free to pin any photos you like straight from my blog.

  21. Rachelle

    Finally a food blog with pictures as gorgeous as the recipes!! Just found you tonight and will be back for sure! Great site :)

  22. Estelle

    Hi Ashley,

    I am french, so excuse my english. I love your blog. I was looking for traditional chocolate cookies like we can’t find in France and I was captured by your pictures on Pinterest and I don’t regret it ! (except with all the conversion..). Thank you !


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