A bunch of small bakers serve them fresh, jazzy and guiltfree.
Cupcakes are pretty much the cat’s meow in the world of dessert in Mumbai these days. As she adds the final touches to her ‘Rakhi-like cupcake’, Sheth says, “Cupcakes are perceived as less of a ‘sin’ than cake or other desserts. They are a small, guilt-free dessert.” Having sent out nine dozen cupcakes on the occasion of Rakhi, Sheth is one happy but tired baker.
A bunch of passionate bakers like Sheth have been cooking up a rage in their kitchens in Mumbai and the result has been a string of creatively-designed, deliciously moist cupcakes that have hit the private party and dining circuit across the city.
Tea parties, weddings, birthdays or just treats — there never seems to be an end to the possible occasions at which a cupcake could feature. Some date the cupcake craze to a Sex and the City episode in which Sarah Jessica Parker bites into a pink-frosted cupcake outside Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street. Ten years later, tourists still flock to the place for their tiny desserts.
The small size of cupcakes is a major reason why they are such a fixture on menus of new-age bakers like Rebecca Vaz, an ex-flight attendant. Since consumers are open to new forms and flavours in their cupcakes, Vaz too tweaked her recipes. “Vanilla and chocolate are still popular, but I think you’re starting to see a trend of thinking out of the box,” she notes.
Vaz, who now pursues her baking under the brand name The Baking Tray, has perfected her own healthy recipe of banana bread cupcakes with oatmeal and honey that has been a runaway success with Mumbaikars. “It’s going to be Brownies in Diwali as they have better shelf life than cupcakes.” Though the cupcakes are not going anywhere, she adds quickly, as private and corporate Diwali parties love to indulge on mini-cupcakes.
“The fact that you can be creative with the colour, icing and sprinkles makes baking cupcakes a great stress buster too,” enthuses Mallika Rahat Khan, owner of Sugar Rush, another cupcake lover and baker. She tells us that besides the fashion elite who love cupcakes, they are now a must-have item on baby showers, pre-wedding bashes, kitty parties and even weekend get-togethers. A Cordon Bleu graduate, Khan returned to the city three years ago and discovered that ‘cup-cakery’ was fun and a great business. Today, she insists that close to 95 per cent of her orders are for cupcakes — customised to her customer’s wishes. “I have included apple cinnamon, strawberry, cherry, peach, and other seasonal fruit flavours in my cupcakes. Even eggless and sugar-free cupcakes are now sought after by customers,” she lists.
For Purple Foodie’s Shaheen, the expansion to cupcakes was an obvious one as every one of her customers began asking for them. “Nearly 40 per cent of all my bakery products is cupcakes,” she says. The fact that most of the women dish out customised bakery products from their own kitchens has been one of the main reasons for customers to return for more. Shaheen offers, “We aren’t commercialised set-ups like bigger bakery chains, so we can talk to each customer about what they want.”
|Sugar Rush||Apple cinnamon, strawberry, cherry, peach and chocolate||Regular - Rs 45, Mini - Rs 20 (Minimum order: 6 Regular or 12 Mini)||9833498943|
|The Baking Tray||Mr Lava Lava cupcake, tangerine cupcakes, peanut butter cupcakes and whole wheat banana (walnut cupcakes)||Starts from Rs 400 a dozen||9821694917|
|Babycakes||Chocolate cupcakes (with themed cupcake frostings)||Rs 300 a dozen||9820120098|
|Purple Foodie||Double chocolate, Oreo cookies||Rs 60 a piece||9820995543|