A 13-year-old self-taught baker is hoping her sweet treats will take her all the way to New York.

Sammy Swan has always loved baking and started making cupcakes for friends and family about two years ago.

More recently she launched her own mini-business, Swan Bakes, to help fundraise for a Musical Theatre trip to New York in 2020.

The talented member of National Youth Theatre Company and accomplished cheerleader hopes to raise more than $8000 for the trip.

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Cupcake maker Sammy Swan plays the part of Rumpleteazer in the National Youth Theatre production of CATS. Photo / supplied
Cupcake maker Sammy Swan plays the part of Rumpleteazer in the National Youth Theatre production of CATS. Photo / supplied

"I had my first order of unicorn cupcakes for a party a while ago and since then they have been my most popular product," Sammy said.

"I have learned a lot from that first order though and the process is getting better each time."

Since her first order, the Takapuna girl has made dozens of unique designs for more than 20 local birthdays, real estate events and community fundraisers.

Tricky unicorn macarons are one of Sammy Swan's specialities. Photo / Sammy Swan
Tricky unicorn macarons are one of Sammy Swan's specialities. Photo / Sammy Swan

Her Instagram page @swan.bakes is filled with snapshots from her signature unicorn cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream, donut sugar cookies and chocolate mermaid tails with gold lustre dust and edible glitter, to glossy looking unicorn macarons.

Sammy said she is mainly self taught but gleaned skills from her big sister Sophie Swan and a family of great bakers.

Sammy's mermaid cupcakes. Photo / Supplied
Sammy's mermaid cupcakes. Photo / Supplied

Her father Matt Swan's seven sisters all bake, as do her grandmother and godmother.

"I also watch a lot of tutorials on YouTube and get a lot of great ideas and inspiration."

"I put my own twist on things or if people have a special request make what they want."

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The teen has a modest collection of cake making utensils, moulds and tools and has learned the hard way "you need more than one mermaid tail mould to make 24 cupcakes."

Sammy had the whole family involved into the small hours one night making two dozen chocolate mermaid tails from just one mould.


"It took at least 10 minutes for the chocolate to set each time and then we had to paint them all with gold lustre dust," Sammy said.

"We had a production line going that night," said mum Penny Swan.

Sammy Swan is fundraising to pay for a Musical Theatre trip to New York. Photo / Michael Craig
Sammy Swan is fundraising to pay for a Musical Theatre trip to New York. Photo / Michael Craig

Since then Penny Swan said the processes had improved with Sammy learning valuable lessons about time management and what to invest money in.

She had also learned the importance of giving back to the community.

"She made dozens of gorgeous pink cupcakes with handmade fondant ribbons to raise funds for breast cancer awareness," Penny Swan said.

"It would be great if she could achieve the goal of raising money for the trip but it is also about learning life lessons."