I’m Marianna Zapanta, the creator of Mar Z Pan. I created Mar Z Pan in the fall of 2018 as a home-based bakery in Oakland, CA. In 2019, I closed my business and moved to Kansas City, MO with my partner to be closer to her family. While Mar Z Pan doesn’t currently exist as a business anymore, it lives on in other ways so I can continue to express my culinary point of view to others. Inspired by the flavors from my Filipino and Danish heritages, Mar Z Pan was originally created as a way to share my unique creations with my friends, family, and community.

From my mom’s side of the family, I grew up with Scandinavian meats and treats like frikadeller (meatballs), æbleskiver (pancake puffs), lingonberries, and rugbrød (rye bread). Every Christmas Eve growing up, we’d enjoy risalamande (rice pudding) and try to pick the serving with the one single whole almond in the dish. Whoever found the almond was rewarded with a lucky marzipan-shaped pig. The next day, on Christmas, my family would go to my Grandparent’s house for a Filipino party filled with pancit, lumpia, adobo, rice, and ube.

Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed creating food to share. In high school, my friends and I would make chocolate chip cookies from scratch, after school, gathered in a kitchen, we’d giggle about silly inside jokes or complain about all of our angsty and existential problems. For my 16th birthday party, I had a Food Network themed party, complete with a cake decorating contest and an Iron Chef competition.

In the last few years, baking has grown from a hobby to a creative passion and now a profession. I’ve challenged myself to learn how to use new flavors and new techniques. I’ve combined these with the flavors from my family, from ube and calamansi to marzipan and lingonberry. It brings me joy to share these creations with the people in my life and I’m happy to be able to share this with more people.

Although Mar Z Pan has now closed as a home-based bakery, I will still be creating sweet treats to share with people near and far. In the short term, I plan on expanding my skills and sharing things with the Kansas City community locally, along with sharing recipes, photos, food thoughts here and on my social media to connect with people all over. In the long term, I eventually want to work towards creating Mar Z Pan as a brick and mortar bakery, where I can share my Filipino and Danish treats with a wider audience. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me!

Welcome to Mar Z Pan!

Mar Z Pan was featured in the East Bay Express, check it out!

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