Nivaaz Dhillon is a self-taught teen baker from San Jose, California who found her passion for baking when she was 12 years old and trying to escape the boredom of the COVID lockdown. Now 15, Nivaaz has really taken this interest to a near-professional level and is running a successful business sharing her creations with her happy customers.
Nivaaz is a current 10th grade student who attends both Laurel Spring School and Stanford Online High School. She previously attended Khan Lab School and has a solid foundation in project-based learning, which helped bring her baking and business to life. As an online student, she is able to balance the demands of school, her focus on her craft, promoting her business and having fun with her friends and dogs.
Her passion for animals (particularly dogs) and community service led her to donate more than $4,000 in proceeds from her baking to support the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and other worthy causes.
"I started baking after the pandemic hit and all of my activities like swimming and dancing got canceled. Like so many of my friends, I spend a lot more time on Tik Tok and Instagram but what I noticed is that I became obsessed with all of the baking and cake decorating videos I was watching. I would watch some on repeat so many times that soon I started to go to my kitchen and just try to make what I was seeing myself.
I started off using boxed caked mixes and store-bought frosting from Betty Crocker. Eventually, I wanted to try to make my cake and buttercream from scratch and see how different it was, and noticed that it wasn't actually that much more work and tasted so much better!
The first cake I made from scratch was a two-tiered cake with a donut for my best friend's 13th birthday. After that cake, I started getting orders for custom cakes. From the first order, I had decided that I would donate the money to a charity of my choice to give back to the community and help make a change in society!"