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Meet The Palestinian Baker Behind Bella Hadid’s Birthday Cake

For her 26th birthday, part Palestinian model, Bella Hadid, celebrated with some special treats that honored part of her heritage. One of her birthday cakes was gifted by Nadia Tayeh—the Palestinian makeup artist behind some of Hadid’s most noteworthy looks. The cake was made entirely of kunafa, a traditional sweet dish that is loved all over the Arab region.

What’s more is that the unique cake was created by a female Palestinian baker too - 24-year-old, Shadin Hamdan, who owns Kanafa Cups based in Staten Island. The bespoke kunafa cake made just for Bella was heart-shaped in the bakery’s signature bright orange-hued phyllo dough, featuring crushed pistachios and rose petals, and a topper that read “Happy Birthday Bella” on it.

Tayah shared an image of Bella Hadid with her cake, with Hamdan then sharing her joy at having her “small home business” being appreciated by a public figure like Hadid. She stated, “This has been a dream of mine and I’m soooo excited! This journey with Kanafa Cups really started as a dessert I was good at making for friends and family and turned into a business that made it all the way to Bella Hadid! I never thought I would be writing this. Work hard and it will all pay off in the end.”

One featured on the Thrillist, Shadin Hamdan told the food blog that she turned her baking hobby into a business during the pandemic. Her kanafa cups quickly rose to fame in Bay Ridge, which encouraged her to set up shop and sell her the arabic desert in different shape like hearts, Christmas trees, Ramadan crescents, etc. Customers buy the cakes half-baked and pop them back in the oven for a fresher cheese pull drizzled in rose syrup.

“My father owns supermarkets, so it starts with him bringing home the ingredients. My sister helps with the social media as well as the baking, and my brothers pick up the orders to take them to pickup locations in Brooklyn and Queens,” Hamdan told Thrillist. 

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