From Piñatas to Rainbow Explosion Cakes
Amirah Kassem grew up in northern Mexico, where it wasn’t a party unless there was a piñata involved. The paper mache figurines were dangled by a rope just above eye level, where blindfolded revelers aimed to strike them hard enough to break them open and enjoy the downpour of candy and toys that spilled out from inside. When Amirah moved to the States and began baking her friends’ cakes, she wanted to capture that same festive spirit that the piñata brought to every party.
Enter: The sprinkle explosion cake. “Whenever a co-worker at my fashion job had a birthday I’d wake up really early, before work, and bake these over-the-top layer cakes that I filled with sprinkles so that, when you cut them open, the sprinkles poured out,” remembers Amirah. Soon, people began asking,” Where’d you buy this cake? Where can I get one?”
Turning a Hobby Into a Full-Fledged Career
After a few years of baking sessions “just for fun,” Amirah realized she was more excited about cake than her then full-time fashion job. In 2012, Amirah decided: “Baking is what I’m going to do.” So, she quit her job, starting baking cakes out of her apartment while she figured out how to bring Flour Shop to life.
For the first few years, Amirah worked solo, painstakingly baking, stacking, frosting and decorating dozens of cakes a week by herself. Eventually, her reputation grew, thanks in no small part to her mission of “spreading sprinkles and smiles” and the cake’s Instagram-friendly nature. She began baking cakes for big-name celebs like Katy Perry.
Colors, flavors, and music — these are things that Amirah’s thinking about when baking for others. “Whether I’m baking for an artist, celebrity, or a child’s birthday, I try to get in the mind of who I am baking for; how can I make their dreams come true?” she says.
Baker Turned Author
Eventually, she got enough requests for people wanting to know how to bake the cake at home, that she decided to help out – she wrote a book called The Power of Sprinkles and launched a cake kit and dinnerware collection with Williams Sonoma. The party-ready set includes cake mix and gels for baking the six colorful layers, plus frosting mix, sprinkles and candies for making the “explosive” filling.