SUGAR LAND, Texas -- Amna Khalique never imagined shed open her own bakery. The Pakistani-American graduated from the University of Houston before moving back to Pakistan and working as a journalist there. She moved back to the U.S. with her family. After the birth of her children, Khalique wanted a creative outlet and started baking treats in her kitchen.
"I never painted until I started making cakes," said Khalique. "I didn't realize I was this creative. I've always leaned towards writing. I do surprise myself actually. I didn't think I had it in me."
At first, she mainly baked cakes for her family and friends, but news of her skills got out. Eventually, Khalique named the bakery "Sugarplum Bakery," created an Instagram account, and got a license to run a bakery out of her kitchen.
"A few years ago, I could not have imagined the kind of success that I have right now," said Khalique.
As her business grew, Khalique added more baked goods. During Ramadan, she makes a box of treats inspired by the bakers in her homeland. Each year shes made them, more people have ordered the boxes, even people outside the Muslim community. Khalique was one of the bakers featured in the Houston edition of the Bakers Box in April this year. It showcases recipes from the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community with a curated collection of 18 desserts from 18 Houston Asian American chefs and pastry chefs. She made Nan Khatai using a recipe handed down from her maternal grandmother, whose recipe book is a cherished possession for Khalique.