MasterChef Birthday Cake

I love to bake cakes.

I’ve made countless cakes for all sorts of celebrations; birthdays, graduations, baby showers, retirement parties, and everything in between.

I learned to make cakes at a young age. I received an easy bake oven for my fifth birthday and I made cakes until I blew the fuse in our kitchen! And then I made some more.

For my 16th birthday, I received my first Kitchen Aid stand mixer, because every serious cake baker needs one!

Cake should be fun, bright, exciting and delicious! As Julia Child said “A party without cake is just a meeting”. I couldn’t agree more.

When I learned that the pressure test would be baking a birthday cake, I felt very confident. I’ve baked thousands of cakes in my lifetime and thought this challenge would be a piece of cake. Ha!

Little did I know the pressure of the MasterChef kitchen would get to me.

It was my birthday.

And on my birthday, I had to bake a birthday cake in the MasterChef kitchen. Do you see the irony of this?

Unfortunately, my cake was raw, uneven and poorly decorated. I was not proud of this and it was the FIRST time in the competition that I felt worried!

I had to leave the MasterChef kitchen. It really was not the way I imagined spending my 26th birthday!!

But we all have bad days, we make mistakes, make raw cakes (maybe that’s just me lol) but after all we are only human.

I came home and baked myself a proper birthday cake and enjoyed it with my best friend, my husband, Hussein.

And then I baked a few more.

I called some local food banks and learned that birthday cakes are a highly requested item. It made me realize just how much I have taken birthday cakes for granted. In my opinion, cakes are an important part of celebrations and some of neighbors do not have access to them.

For this episode, I baked five birthday cakes, each different and unique and took them to the West Seattle Food Bank. It was my way of celebrating MasterChef’s 100 Birthday and of putting this all behind me (It’s been hard keeping this to myself!!).

Amanda Saab Cakes

I want to thank you all for your love and support! I have been so overwhelmed with all the love and encouragement I have received from you all. Each message is read and appreciated! THANK YOU!!!

I may be done with MasterChef, but my food journey is not over! I hope you continue to walk beside me as I bake and create!

The best is yet to come πŸ™‚ <3

Xoxo,

Amanda

 

 

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89 Comments

  1. Great job Amanda!

    You should be very proud of yourself. You have become a good role model for the young people in the community.

  2. I just watched the episode and was so sorry to see you go! But you showed such grace, and I love that you baked birthday cakes and took them to food banks. That’s not something I’ve ever thought about. I love to bake, too, and I think I’ll check with our local food bank to see if they’d accept cakes. That’s a great idea and act of service!

    I wish you all the best in your continued culinary career.

  3. Amanda, words cannot express how inspired and proud I am of you. Your humble personality is infectious and there are no limits on what you can achieve because of your kindness and passionate outlook to hep others (through cooking). May Allah grant you achievements far far greater than your loftiest hopes, as he already did for me by putting an angel like you in my life.

  4. Hi Amanda,
    What a heart breaker! I will say, you handled it with such grace. I am happy to see you have a website and blog (beautiful by the way). I am a new blogger myself. Finding time to devote to my blog and my real world work has been more challenging than I had anticipated. I hope you are considering attending the Seattle IFBC in September. Keep up the great work!
    Your fellow Washington girl from just across the sound,
    Valerie

    1. Hi Valerie,
      Thank you for your kind message and support! Yes, I will be at IFBC! Looking forward to meeting you πŸ™‚
      -Amanda

  5. Amanda! Seeing you go on masterchef was so hard!! My family and I were rooting for you from the second we saw you! Being a fellow Muslim hijabi in America, it was so inspiring to watch you flourish on the show and gain the respect from not only the other contestants and the judges, but I’m sure from viewers as well! You did such an amazing job proving to the world that we Muslim females are capable of anything and can follow our dreams! I have a feeling you will be back on the show towards the end, inshAllah you do πŸ™‚ oh and I think just having Gordon Ramsey like your food and be so nice to you is the coolest thing ever haha (big GR fan!)!

  6. The 100th episode of MasterChef was heartbreaking to watch.
    I cried at the end of it, and became even more sad when I discovered that the contestant was eliminated on her own birthday after the pressure test of baking a birthday cake.

    Amanda, your journey in Masterchef may have ended, but don’t let it stop you from achieving your culinary dreams. You’re only 26, and you’ve been a huge inspiration to many home cooks all over the world. The fact that you’re well loved by the judges and also the other contestants is a testament of your humble personality.
    The best is yet to come. Looking forward to see what you have in store Amanda!

  7. Salaam Amanda! I started watching Master Chef this season solely because a fellow hijabi was on it. Never watched before. Not sure if I will continue. I am so sad to hear you left the show, however, I want to convey just how proud I am of you for what you did on this show! You are clearly a hard worker and have inspired myself and many many other by your elegant presence. Congratulations on all your accomplishments!!! Your cakes look beautiful and delicious. Love, Sadia πŸ™‚

  8. I just watched this weeks episode of Masterchef and was disappointed you had to leave. I was really rooting for you to win. You would have made a great Masterchef winner and I look forward to following your blog not that I have found it.

  9. Hi Amanda, i’m your fan from Indonesia! So sad seeing you leave. Wishing you all the best for your future plans! Like you said… The best is surely yet to come. God bless your kind heart <3

  10. Salam, Amanda! It’s me again from Indonesia πŸ™‚
    I was shocked to see you’re eliminated from the competition. It hurts when I saw you cried πŸ™ The judges said that you were one of the favorite contestants, it’s proved by your performance in the kitchen. I really hope there will be a moment when all the eliminated contestants will compete again and you’ll be one of them because you’re my favorite contestant. Keep producing delicious food! For me, you’re already the winner πŸ™‚

  11. Amanda,
    Your beautiful personality and love of food is an inspiration! As a pastry chef of 25 plus years I would welcome you into my kitchen! You are at the beginning of a long and wonderful journey! Best wishes and may all your dreams be a reality!

    1. Hi LaNette! Wow! Thank you so much for your kind words! It would be an honor to work with a pastry chef such as yourself! Thank you πŸ™‚

  12. happy belated birthday amanda! you are very inspiring to me and my family and you make us all very proud to be muslim. for us you are the masterchef winner πŸ™‚ and we all can’t wait to visit your restaurant one day and eat your unique food dishes and cake πŸ™‚

  13. Hello from Singapore!
    I was rooting for you since Ep 1 and my heart really sank when Gordan asked you to take off your apron. But anyways, it’s always a pleasure watching you on the show because you always have this smile on when you fight the toughest battles. Nonetheless, even though the title is a good thing to have, it is not the measure of how gifted you are. All the best πŸ™‚

  14. Salam Amanda, I’m your fellow muslim from Melbourne Australia. Week by week I’ve been following your journey on Masterchef! So proud of you, yet still sad that you were eliminated..
    I even still hope tht there would be a second recall of some eliminated contestants.. :)!

    All the best, and Ramadan Mubarrak!!!

  15. Amanda Amanda you are such an amazing inspiration to young Muslim hijabIs around the world. When I first saw that you were on the show i knew that it wasn’t about winning but showing society that Muslim woman aren’t oppressed or weak people that don’t do anything with their life. YOU TOTALLY BROKE ALL THE MUSLIM HIJABIE STEREOTYPES I am so proud that you made to that point on the show and seeing the judges comment I totally think you’ll be returning later in the show inshallah, but the moment you cried my heart dropped. You are amazing and inshAllha one day I will be able to taste your food. YOU ROCK:)
    Ramadan Kareem

  16. Omg… I just finished watching and I was sooooo sad to see you go , I seriously shed a few tears. MashAllah you made this season so enjoyable and you have such a great personality,and smile!! Wish you all the best ! InshAllah!
    BTW …loved all your scarves (maybe let us know where you get them from)and your make up!!

    1. Hi Saara! Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words! I get a lot of my scarves from Haute Hijab, Target, Forever 21, JC Penny πŸ™‚

  17. Omg! I’m so sad to know that you’re leaving masterchef! I thought you will be the next winner. But you are always be my winner. I wish you all the best and may Allah bless you. You know? I come from Indonesia and I’m always watched you from my satellite television. You are my idol. <3 keep spirit!!!!! btw, happy birthday!

  18. master chef or not a good baker needs love and passion to their work and you have both . Just continue doing what you love the most and you’ll do great things throughout your life …. I was ruling fir you but !! Oh well everything happens for a reason stay positive dear you’ll do just fine .

  19. You were an absolute pleasure to watch on Masterchef. I’m not in the food business but I can tell you from my personal experience that there is no real success without going through failure. All your cakes and recipes look very delicious! Perhaps it was meant for you to spend your birthday with your family. It is the best birthday present that you gave to yourself! Yallah can’t wait to read more about you and inshallah your cook book? Best of luck, Amna from Bahrain

  20. It is sad to see that you had to leave!

    You are a great cook but I understand that the outcome of the pressure test depends on the outcome of that test itself. I am so sorry to see you leave but I know you will have a brighter future in this field.

    And I really hope that you will get the chance to rejoin the competition, just like one of the seasons in Masterchef where eliminated contestants were given the chance to be in the competition again. Yes, deep in my heart I pray for that.

    As for now, continue what you love, keep cooking and keep blogging! πŸ™‚

  21. You’re my favourite since the first episode. ForΒ me, you’re so inspiring and passionateΒ aboutΒ what you’re doing. I hope you will be on the show again because you deserved it! Keep cooking πŸ™‚

    Love from Indonesia ❀

  22. love you so much amanda. i am your fan in vietnam. i am so boring when you cry. but i am do pround of you because you are very talent. love ya

  23. You are very inspirational for those who wear a hijab to really go above and beyond in this world. You are my role model<3

  24. Your fan all the way from South Africa , I’m so proud of you .your closing statement on how Muslim women are free and not oppresed made me smile , im sad to see your journey end in the master chef kitchen….

    Happy Cooking and baking
    Aadila

  25. Hi Amanda! I am so proud of everything you have done in your Masterchef journey. I made sure I never missed an episode this season because I had to support a fellow hijabi! I was so disappointed when you were eliminated but I knew that you would still carry on to grace the world with your wonderful recipes! Allah truly does everything for a reason so perhaps being eliminated has opened or will open other wonderful doors for you! Always wishing the best for you and your future endevours!

  26. I will miss seeing you on MasterChef! You were my absolute, total favorite!
    It is ironic that you had to bake a cake on your birthday 😝!

  27. Amanda,

    It broke my heart to see you leave. You were one of my favorites because of your humility, talent, and your heart. I will miss seeing you on MasterChef, but to me you are a champion! I also know that you have a bright future in the culinary world and I believe in you girl! πŸ™‚

  28. Assalamu’alaikum Amanda, like others said u r such a heartbreaker, i am so sad when saw u leave masterchef n tears when reading comments above… There are so many supports for kind people like u. Keep lovable n always improve your cooking skills bcoz u are a role model now…

    πŸ’– from Indonesia

    1. Wa alakium as Salam! Thank you so much for your support and kind words! It means the world to me πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—hope you are having a blessed Ramadan πŸ™πŸΌ

  29. Like everyone else comenting…no one wanted to see you go!!! You could tell it broke the heart of the chefs to see you leaving also!
    Prayers for much joy and happiness for your life πŸ™‚

  30. Assalaamualaikum sister amanda!
    my girls and i have been watching you on masterchef and were so sad to see you go. but mashaAllah you represented muslimahs so beautifully and i thank you for that! you were awesome. and now i’m so excited i’ve discovered your blog!
    xoxo

  31. Assalamu’alaikum Amanda, saw you leaving Masterchef really2 broke my heart :(, my tears keep falling even after the episodes replay. We all will be missing your loveable warm smile (subhanallah) and your humble personality. Keep baking and cooking. And may Allah always protect and bless you. Aamiin.
    Big hug from Jakarta <3

  32. Assalamu’alaikum Amanda…
    I felt your sadness yesterday and i’m crying too, but believe in Allah there’s no bad day Amanda, it just a competition, and i know it is not easy to make a birthday cake with pressure time. you already do your best, and believe in me you still so many…many… people love you, support you and always there for you. i can see how others contestant sad because you leaved the kitchen. We all love you, you are lovely Amanda. Keep baking and cooking and i will always visit your web after this. Love you Amanda. Wassalamu’alaikum.
    Much love from Indonesia πŸ™‚

  33. A big fan of you on Masterchef! Sending you my hugs all the way from Singapore.. May you be successful both now and the hereafter..

  34. Amanda, my husband and I are huge NYC foodies and fans of Masterchef. We both cried when you left – I just wanted to say, as a fellow muslim, how proud I am that you gave our community such a strong, positive and loving image on TV. We needed to have someone like you representing who we muslims really are – especially in the face of the hostility we face in the media and in general lately.

    Keep going, girl! You rock! With love from Brooklyn.

  35. Hi Amanda –

    I’m so moved and awed by your act of baking birthday cakes for the food bank as a way to get over Masterchef. You seem like an incredibly graceful person and a brilliant and conscious social worker.

    I just liked your page on Facebook and I look forward to trying out some of your recipes πŸ™‚

    Best of luck,

    Moulshri

  36. Amanda, you did great! you should so proud of yourself. I hope I get to taste you food one day. Much love!

  37. I was so mad when you got eliminated that I was shouting at my screen! You were my favorite contestant πŸ™

  38. Salaams, Amanda, I just saw your exit on MasterChef -I’m also one that started watching it after seeing you profiled on Muslims of America FB page. Loved the way you represent Muslims, and was crushed to see you go. I was crying along with you, lol.. Wishing you success in the future, keep making us proud. Cheering from Oakland πŸ™‚

  39. I have to watch Masterchef on Hulu, and am
    not to this episode yet. So reading this post made me cry as you are my favorite chef! However, finding out you have a blog might be the best news I’ve had all week! I’m so thrilled I can follow you on here! Keep up the great work!!

  40. hi, i looked up your name and found your blog… your blog is great! just a little notice, when i clicked the “find creative recipes” thumbnails at the home page, i ended up in error page instead of that awesome recipe box. anyway, i think you’re one of the standout contestant esp during team challenge. and i thought it’s really sad that you’re tripped over by birthday cake, something that doesn’t have disadvantage for you as a muslim…. i imagine you’d be tripped over by something like flambe dish though you probably will prove us wrong. i really enjoy this season of masterchef, way more than last season, and enjoyed your performance. i hope that you’ll be a better chef in the future. good luck~! πŸ™‚

  41. I just started watching Masterchef recently. Amanda, you were my favourite contest from the start. Very humble and solid skills. It was very sad to see you leave the show due to one unfortunate but costly mistake. I think you are a great role model to every viewer, not just because you are a female Muslim, but because you seem like a genuinely kind and strong person. I hope your participation on Masterchef brings you great success in the future! All the best.

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