Goan carnival, Hawaiian beach, ice age, a jacuzzi and a prison! These are all cakes designed and baked by 35-year-old Divya Sreeji’s. Her style of cake making involves a lot of art – sketching, painting, designing, carpentry, idol making and brainstorming. As much emphasis is on the theme of the cake as on the taste.
Into the business of making customised cakes for the last more than two years under the brand De Cakery, Gurgaon-based Divya learnt this art from London, where she spent a decade after her wedding. Her cakes are a piece of art that narrate a story in a colourful and yummy way.
“Cake art or designing is very individual-based. These cakes reflect one’s personality or live scenes. Cake art is done using sugar as a medium just as a painter uses canvas or a pottery artist uses clay,” shares Divya, a graduate of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and mother of two, with Metrolife.
She started the business of designer cakes after coming back to India in 2010. Initially, it was for friends and family but soon spread of word helped her expanding the business. Now, with a team of three more people, she bakes five cakes a day on an average. Per kg cake costs anywhere between Rs 1300 to 1500.
Having studied fashion technology, business IT and having worked for IBM, Divya uses a lot of technology when it comes to creating characters and scenes as demanded by the clients.
“Once a woman wanted a cake for her sister’s birthday who is a jail officer in Jodhpur and loves her job. I created an entire prison with inmates and a woman reading legal books. The woman called me and asked, ‘how do you know me so well’?”
Designer cakes involve a lot of planning and intricate work. Before beginning the real work, she makes a sketch of the cake. “Cake designing is a mixture of lot of arts. Once I made a cake on the theme of Hawaiian beach party. So , I created bikini girls, palm trees, sea, coconut trees and exotic flowers. For a guy who had an Audi car and was aspiring for a Jaguar, I made a cake with that had a man standing with both these cars.”
One of the important features of her cakes is that they are 100 per cent edible. Since they are customised and the theme changes with each customer, the cakes are as fresh as ever. “I don’t have any catalogue and people place orders over phone. Every cake is distinct and reflects one’s personality, likes or dislikes,” she says.
If her cakes are a visual treat doesn’t mean they are less on taste. According to her, no matter how beautiful the cake looks, people won’t enjoy it if is not delicious. Apart from regular flavours, she also creates special flavours on demand. “For a bachelor’s party, I prepared a wasabi flavoured cake. I wasn’t sure how it would taste, so I first made a rough version that came out well. Then I made the final one. It had the scene of a pool party with girls and boys,”