Long IslandLI Life

Nicola Ingrassia takes the cake

Nicola Ingrassia with some of the cupcakes she

Nicola Ingrassia with some of the cupcakes she baked and decorated. The Deer Park High School 10th grader has been able to juggle a hectic schedule of school work, sports and dance classes, to pursue a cupcake baking and decorating business. Her family has been very supportive in her efforts. (Jan. 17, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

At 15, honors student Nicola Ingrassia takes dance classes, plays lacrosse and, in her spare time, is an entrepreneur.

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, uses a squeeze bottle to
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, uses a squeeze bottle to fill the cupcake pan with batter at her Deer Park home recently. (Jan. 15, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, uses a small brush to
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, uses a small brush to apply edible pixie dust to chocolate butterfly wings. The wings will eventually become toppings for Nicola's cupcakes. (Jan. 16, 2013)

Joe Ingrassia gives his daughter Nicola, 15, a
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Joe Ingrassia gives his daughter Nicola, 15, a hug as she takes a break from making cupcakes. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Sue Ingrassia, foreground, helps with some clean-up chores
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Sue Ingrassia, foreground, helps with some clean-up chores as daughter Nicola, 15, takes over the family kitchen to make cupcakes. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, takes over the family kitchen
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, takes over the family kitchen to make cupcakes. Here, she makes eyes, mouths, and noses out of chocolate and other edible materials. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia uses a pasta machine to flatten
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia uses a pasta machine to flatten fondant into the right thickness for a smooth cupcake topping. (Jan. 16, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia uses a stick to smooth out
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia uses a stick to smooth out melted chocolate, forming the shape of a butterfly wing. The wings will be used to create a butterfly topping for cupcakes. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia uses a variety of edible materials
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia uses a variety of edible materials to decorate her cupcakes. Here, she adds a piece of chocolate chip cookie to form the mouth of a Cookie Monster cupcake. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, left, with Bay Shore nature
Photo Credit: Joe Ingrassia

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, left, with Bay Shore nature photographer Holly Gordon, at the opening of an exhibit of Gordon's photography in Huntington. Gordon, who commissioned Ingrassia to make the cupcakes for the event, has since become a mentor of sorts to the Deer Park teenager, encouraging her to turn her cupcake decorating hobby into a business. (Oct. 6, 2012)

Nicola Ingrassia with some of the cupcakes she
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia with some of the cupcakes she baked and decorated. The Deer Park High School 10th grader has been able to juggle a hectic schedule of school work, sports and dance classes, to pursue a cupcake baking and decorating business. Her family has been very supportive in her efforts. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Finished Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes made by
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Finished Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes made by 15-year-old Nicola Ingrassia. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Finished Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes made by
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Finished Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes made by 15-year-old Nicola Ingrassia. (Jan. 17, 2013)

A sampling of cupcakes made by 15-year-old Nicola
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

A sampling of cupcakes made by 15-year-old Nicola Ingrassia. The Deer Park High School 10th grader has been able to juggle a hectic schedule of school work, sports and dance classes, to pursue a cupcake baking and decorating business. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia shows off some of her work.
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia shows off some of her work. The Deer Park High School 10th grader has been able to juggle a hectic schedule of school work, sports and dance classes, to pursue a cupcake baking and decorating business. (Jan. 17, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, foreground, rehearses for a spring
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, foreground, rehearses for a spring recital with her ballet class. (Jan. 16, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia rehearses for a spring recital with
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia rehearses for a spring recital with her ballet class. (Jan. 16, 2013)

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, foreground, prepares for her ballet
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nicola Ingrassia, 15, foreground, prepares for her ballet class. (Jan. 15, 2013)

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