The Sweetest Thing

August 6, 2020

Pastry pastime turns into philanthropic pursuit for teen baker

From seasoned bakers to those who are just getting their spatula wet, Manitobans are spending more time in the kitchen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among this group is Amy Kong.  However, Kong is not among the many Manitobans who are fumbling through their first loaf of bread, eager to pick up a new indoor hobby during the pandemic. In fact, at age 16, Kong has a recipe repertoire that would impress The Great British Bake Off.  She was eager to use her baking passion and knowledge to raise money for the Health Sciences Centre Foundation’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund through her start-up: Cakes Against the Curve.

Amy Kong

Amy Kong is donating proceeds from her baking to the HSC Foundation’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund.

“I saw people selling clothes and things like that for COVID-19 relief and thought ‘I’m going to start selling my baking to help HSC,’” says Kong.

And help HSC she did!  Since Kong launched Cakes Against the Curve in early May, she has donated $700 to the COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund.

Amy Kong, her sister, and mom

Left to right: a younger Amy Kong, her sister, and mom with the first layer cake Kong ever made: “My sister got me into baking by sitting in front of The Food Network when I was a baby. For my whole life, we’ve shared a love for food that few people understand.”

Cakes Against the Curve’s mandate is this: “We are committed to flattening the curve, washing our hands, and fluffy cupcakes.” Fluffy cupcakes are just the start. Kong whips up lemon blueberry pavlova, raspberry macarons, scones, baklava, and a beautiful spice cake with salted caramel buttercream with the expertise of someone twice her age. “I’ve been baking since I was eight. The first thing I ever baked was raspberry muffins for my grandma—they were a hit,” says Kong.

Amy Kong’s baking for Cakes Against the Curve, left to right: black forest cake; lemon blueberry pavlova.

Despite having spent the majority of her spare time co-editing her high school’s newspaper, running in track and field, and completing homework for her school’s International Baccalaureate program, Kong felt she needed to find the time to give back, especially considering her family’s ties to HSC.

“My sister was almost nine months’ pregnant and still working as a psychiatrist at HSC during the pandemic,” says Kong. “My brother-in-law is a pharmacist at HSC and continues to work throughout the pandemic. I am inspired by the selflessness of frontline health care staff and am eager to support them.”

Thanks to Amy Kong, supporting health care in Manitoba is sugar, spice, and everything nice. Simply visit her Instagram (@CakesAgainstTheCurve) and send Kong a message to place your order. Not sure what to order? We certainly recommend the matcha cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream!


By Natasha Havrilenko