My name is Maha Muhammed. I am a Muslim self-taught cake designer of Iraqi descent based in Manchester, England. I am also a wife and a Mom to two beautiful kids whom I consider the treasure of my life. Recently my fans have called me ‘the world’s best cake designer’ and I have been featured in publications across the world. I have even sold to the famous Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield – as well as teaching his daughter to make buttercream flowers in one of my master classes. So how did all this come about? Well, here’s my ‘cakey’ story….
I had never studied art or design, all my education and tuition was based on English, teaching and childcare education. The only two things which helped me with the talent ALLAH blessed me with; were my crazy passion for flowers and colours. Even though I have been making my cakey creations for less than 5 years my customers and fans see me the best because they find my work very special, different to cakes they have seen before, it’s amazing what passion, creative energy and buttercream can do .
It all started in 2010 when my little boy asked me to do him a Mickey Mouse cake for his birthday. At that time I had no idea what so ever about making character or any kind of professional/custom cakes. In the past we had usually got kids cakes from ordinary places, basing our decision on what to buy on the decoration. Inevitably though, after blowing out the candles, the cakes would always end up in the bin because the taste was horribly sweet. So even though my son’s request was a challenge, it was one I welcomed. Luckily I had plenty of time to look and do some practice on how to do a Mickey Mouse face and I started to buy all the required tools to do my boy’s birthday cake which I then made.
Maha’s Cupcake Creations
All the guests were impressed and many couldn’t believe my cake was a homemade. I didn’t ever realise that this humble start would be the beginning of something huge which would change my life forever. My journey from schoolteacher to cake artist had begun.
Soon afterwards my best friend suggested I should start a cake business. I didn’t take the idea seriously at first but when I discovered that I really could re-create the real flowers in buttercream and people really did like my work I decided to open a business and www.artycakes.co.uk was born.
A Festival of Flowers, nina-iraq.com
I must say here, to me, I don’t consider it as a business as much as I like to call it my favourite hobby, simply because, designing a cake for me is all about being creative and going mad with new ideas and unusual things to be inspired by like a picture in your child’s bedtime story book, or memory of an old photo showing your kid feeding a swan or a walk in a field of flowers….etc. I rarely look at others people work as a lot do, I always use ALLAH’S beautiful creations as my main inspiration source, that’s why most if not all my cakes are my own original designs and ideas which are inspired by ALLAH’S beautiful creations.
Now Arty Cakes is known globally for its original designs and my work had inspired a lot around the world. In a few short years my work has gone from a little birthday cake to edible art pieces and is being featured in some of the best UK and US magazines, blogs and websites; including as UK Handmade Magazine, Wedding Flowers magazine, Cake Central magazine, The Business Insider and many more.
I feel so blessed. This has also made me realise how important it is for our lives to be joined up. Just imagine if I hadn’t listened to my son’s request… if he hadn’t asked me for a birthday cake I’d never have discovered my hidden talent.
I thank the Almighty ALLAH for everything HE blessed me with, then my family, my dear friend and fans for all the support and love they showed me on my cakey journey.
Get in touch with Maha through the Nina business directory. And please do write for us if you have a story to share.