TIRUCHY: Home bakers grew in popularity during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, as they are considered to implement hygienic practices than commercial bakers.
Their popularity continues this year, as they appear to be much in demand for making plum cakes this Christmas. Bakers in Tiruchy are offering new variations in cakes, giving healthier options and also giving Christmas hampers.
Cake Doe, run by Aishwarya Chellam Dhanaraju and her sister, is offering special Christmas hampers and samples. Their hamper comprises two varieties of cookies, a Babka (breadcrumb cake), brownies, shortbread, and other goodies. They have put a promo about their Royal Plum Cake, which was a hit, and brought in several orders. Their biggest seller is macaroon.
"Demand has been steady this year too. We added a Babka, a Polish cake this time in our hamper. We made a small promo while we tried the first batch of the Royal Plum cake this year, and it was a huge success. We received orders after that. Demand for our macaroons remains high," says Aishwarya.
Pradeepa Murugaiah, who runs Pradys, provides authentic plum cakes. She says she buys wine and ginger ale to soak the nuts for the cake from June. She bakes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic plum cakes. Her wine-based plum cakes have already been sold out a week before Christmas.
"I took up baking as a business about four years ago. We provide various flavours in plum cakes, with berries, dry fruits, with and without alcohol, and with wine or rum. I start soaking the nuts in alcohol three months ahead to give it a great taste," says Pradeepa.
To keep up with the times, she also bakes wheat-based and diabetic-friendly cakes. Most of her customers are through personal recommendations, and she has customers across the country.
Her best sellers this Christmas are rum and raisin cake, lemon zest cake, yule log cake and blueberry cake.
Vivek, who prefers home bakers, says that they provide good quality products and are worth the extra money.
"When we buy cakes from a home baker, we know the quality of products used is good and it is made hygienically. I started buying from home bakers in 2020, and there has been no turning back since then," says Vivek.