Brooklyn baker Amirah Kassem says that there are three things that most influence her cakes: “Barbie, Disney, and Warhol.” Once you’ve stepped inside Flour Shop, her Williamsburg bakery, you’ll understand exactly how those pop culture icons inform her baking as well as her happy-go-lucky attitude.
When Kassem traded in her career in fashion for a flour-dusted apron and some cake pans, she knew she had finally come home. With no formal training, the exuberant young entrepreneur has made a name for herself in New York City for her uncompromising creativity, playfulness in the kitchen, and of course, her delicious cakes. Many of her contacts from her days in the fashion world have supported Kassem in her transition from fashionista to baker, and for her, there is a lot about each industry that informs the other.
Kassem is known for her bright, imaginative cakes that take on the shape of pretty much anything you can think of. She’s created designer purses, sneakers, hamburgers, and a whole line of cakes in honor of the Wu-Tang Clan’s 20th anniversary, featuring a giant beehive, take-out noodles, and even a samurai sword. She is known to adorn her cakes with edible sparkles and rainbows, but according to Scene Magazine, Kassem likes to stay pretty traditional when baking cakes. She prefers butter and flour to healthier, gluten-free confections (she says she’ll send vegan clients to Babycakes), and refuses to use fondant, despite how other big-name bakers have popularized the ingredient.
All of these factors combined result in very unique, artistic cakes that don’t really take themselves too seriously. You can tell right away that Kassem really enjoys what she does, and did so even before making a name for herself in celebrity circles. Have you been to Flour Shop yet to try any of Kassem’s confections? What are some of your favorite Brooklyn bakeries?