Changing The World One Cupcake at a Time with Karina Jimenez


After baking cupcakes as an escape to a dull desk job, Karina Jimenez decided to turn her attention to a more creatively fulfilling side business. She searched within, turning to her own knowledge and found what she had in her all along, a love for her Mexican culture and the food she had grown up with. As a self-professed sweet tooth and foodie, it only made sense to Karina to fuse dessert with culture, and thus Viva Los Cupcakes was born.  Since its official beginning in 2012, Viva Los Cupcakes has been baking Mexican inspired cupcakes to the delight of Los Angeles and neighboring cities. With award winning flavors like “Tamal con Mole”, “Conchita”, “Churro con Cajeta”, “Horchata”, and the wild “Street Elote”, “Mangoneada”, and “Chile En Nogada” to name a few, Viva Los Cupcakes has made a name for itself presenting a classic American dessert with a modern Mexican twist. After 4 years of cupcake catering and being on the road, Viva Los Cupcakes is in preparations to take the next step of moving into its own flagship bakery.

Brown Girls Rising is a partnership with Nylon Espanol to elevate the conversation of feminist action, leadership, community involvement, and culture

"There are so many things tied to food - emotions and memories - it’s a powerful thing." - Karina Jimenez

In this episode, we chat with VivaLosCupcakes Founder, Karina Jimenez about her move from Mexico. In this interview, Karina talks about how she brought her Mexican upbringing into her cupcake business today.

“I grew up in Mexico so that’s where all my inspiration comes from. I remember going to the mercadas, all the candies, and the desserts. I grew up with all of that.”

Karina also discusses how she was a feminist before she even knew about the label and how being one is still prevalent when it comes to her business.

“I learned the word later but, I just knew it in me. I always realized when things were unfair and when I was treated differently because I was a woman.”

Audrey and Yvette talk about the importance of food in their households growing up, the different traditions they were raised around, and the importance of gender roles.

"I’ve come to the point in my life where I strive to think of people as people. Not as genders." - Karina Jimenez

This episode, Brown Girls Rising Episode 11, can be found at or on iTunes.

This episode was recorded in sunny Downtown Los Angeles at Maker City LA.