The rise of NZ's Tongan cake maestro


He's the self-taught baker, whose extravagant cakes are taking social media by storm.

22-year-old Niuafe Junior Malupo's talent doesn't come from any formal training - just what his mum taught him as a boy.

Mr Malupo attended Lynfield College and upon graduation he began a degree in Hospitality Management, but it wasn't for him.

"I wanted to become a hotel manager or something, because I kept thinking about money. Money was such a big issue for my family. I didn't really realise until last year that I should do what I'm really good at."

The rise of NZ's Tongan cake maestro

(Sam Farrell / Newshub.)

Instead, he decided to follow his true passion - baking - which he learnt by spending time with his mother in the kitchen.

"Mum used to bake all the time and I used to watch her do everything. And coming from a family of five brothers I was the one that watched Mum bake, and it turned into a passion."

He opened his business, Niu Cakery, in New Lynn last year. It took off after gaining some serious traction on social media for his otherworldly designs and his chocolate drip technique.

Right now he has around 14,000 followers on Instagram.

Inspired by Australian cake queen Katherine Sabbath, Mr Malupo says one of his proudest moments was when she posted pictures of his cakes online.

"She did share two of my cakes I think, that were inspired by her, I couldn't believe that."

The rise of NZ's Tongan cake maestro

(Sam Farrell / Newshub.)

So what does his Mum Olga think of the success?

Well, initially she was worried after he pulled out of university, but now she says she couldn't be prouder.

"It's pretty overwhelming for us, but I am proud, the whole family is so proud. We never thought that he would be this big, but he's always been stubborn. When he puts his mind to it, he will go for it."

Five years from now, Mr Malupo wants to have another shop, one where people can sit down, have a coffee and a piece of cake too.

Until then though, he's likely to get even busier. In the last 24 hours, Niu Cakery has gained another 1000 likes on Facebook - and he's already booked out for the rest of this month.

If you want to discover more of these delicious morsels, go to Mr Malupo's website.