Clara Cakes Teen Baker Makes Awesome Vegan Treats!
Clara Polito is just 16 years old, but she already runs her own vegan bakery called Clara Cakes with awesome recipes that are all her own. What started out with the simple desire to create yummy vegan desserts turned into a passion and then a business.
Sweety High interviewed Clara about how she eventually came to be the genius behind Clara Cakes.
Before Clara became vegan, she wasn't much of a baker.
"I would do the usual cake box and tub of frosting cakes for family birthdays, but I never really had a serious interest in it," she explained.
Clara became vegan when she was 12 years old, meaning she chose to no longer eat or use meat and animal products. Most baked goods you find at the store contain eggs, milk, and butter, leaving Clara with few options.
"Becoming vegan inspired me to bake vegan goods," Clara said. "It was so difficult to find vegan desserts that weren't dry and dense which motivated me to experiment myself."
That experimenting involved taking traditional recipes and making substitutes. Some ingredients had clear replacements, while others took a bit more work to discover.
"Dairy is the simplest ingredient to replace," Clara said. "You can use soy milk or any non-dairy milks to substitute it."
The replacement for eggs wasn't so obvious.
"There are tricks like using vinegar instead of eggs which is actually an old trick that was used back during WWII because of the restrictions on foods due to needing to feed the soldiers," Clara explained. "The vinegar acts as a binding ingredient, much like an egg would."
Clara has a number of adorable and delicious-looking cupcakes ranging from Cookie Dough to Bubblegum and "Not So Thin Mints." Her inspiration comes from a number of sources.
"Normally [the ideas] pop in my head and I'll write the flavor down to remember it," Clara said. "Other times I'll be inspired by a certain event I'm doing, or a restaurant that carries my treats and will come up with ideas that will compliment certain types of foods, or even the weather."
Clara's personal favorite cupcake is the Neapolitan. "This cupcake is perfect for an indecisive person or someone who just wants it all," says her site. She also adores the Inception Cookies (an Oreo cookie within a chocolate-chip cookie!) and the S'mores Bars.
Clara said that she never set off to create a business. Instead, she was motivated by frequently being asked where people could buy her baked goods.
In Clara's words, it "silently transformed my hobby into the business." Thanks to her fans, Clara Cakes was born!
For the first two years of her baking career she simply sold her goods at bake sales and events. The experience gave her a taste of what a baked goods shop could be like. What started as a hobby turned into a real business opportunity.
"Once I started taking orders and printing tee shirts I did set some expectations for the business that I'm still working on accomplishing," she said.
At just 16, Clara has already accomplished a lot. She believes that other girls have just as much of a chance to achieve their goals. She had some advice for those girls.
"I'd say that if you have an idea for a business, start it now," Clara said. "If it doesn't play out the way you want it to, start another business. Think of yourself as a businessperson with anything you do."
She also insisted that even if you don't see yourself as a businesswoman, you might still be one.
"I think there's an assumption that businesspeople are just suit and tie, Donald Draper types which is so not the case," she said. "Learn now about the things that interest you and teach yourself how to do them."
Check out Clara Cakes on her social pages!