Be it a three-tiered cake that catches your fancy or a low-key classic one, getting the right sweet treat for your wedding is a challenge. More so, if you follow a vegan lifestyle. Chef Chhavi Khattar of The Cake Company—a cloud bakery in Gurugram that pioneered the 10-layer chocolate cake—busts this myth and sheds light on how vegan wedding cakes are trending in India. By Bayar Jain
1. What are the usual wedding cake orders you receive?
We usually get orders for tier cakes based on the couple’s preferences, wedding theme, etc. It could range from floral to gold dust cakes! Based on the brief, we offer a wide variety of flavours that the couple can choose from. Earlier—before the pandemic—we would organise a sampling session for the couple to help them decide and narrow down on a flavour. We also craft exclusive flavours on request.
2. Vegan wedding cakes are in vogue in India. How challenging has this transition been for you as a baker?
When we started with regular wedding cakes, we had many problems with flavouring. For instance, vanilla flavours are very light and require a certain temperature to be maintained to ensure it doesn’t melt. Similar are the challenges with vegan cake flavours too. We don’t recommend big vegan cakes, but do create them if the couple insists.
3. What are the limitations of vegan cakes?
As of now, diversity in flavours in vegan cakes is a challenge; we are only playing with chocolate and almond essences. However, we do make variations like chocolate-nuts and coffee-based cakes.
4. How do you ensure vegan wedding cakes remain cost-effective?
Our pricing usually depends on the designs rather than the flavours. We don’t compromise on flavours either way. However, making vegan cakes is slightly more expensive, both for us and the couples.
5. Any myths regarding vegan foods that you would like to bust?
The biggest misconception is that vegan cakes are not possible to make. People also believe that any cake without milk or animal products tends to be dry or lack taste. But vegan cakes are made using healthy ingredients and are better for the environment as well. They are also soft and moist.
6. When choosing a vegan wedding cake, what are the things the couple should keep in mind?
There’s only one thing the couple needs to keep in mind: not all flavours are available in a vegan variation.
7. How will small and intimate weddings during the pandemic affect the baking industry?
COVID-19 has already affected celebrations, which in turn has affected the cake business as well. Earlier, people would opt for big, extravagant cakes; however, now as celebrations are getting smaller, people are looking for smaller cakes. We miss creating over-the-top cakes!
8. Do you think Indians prefer tiered cakes or a quirkier one?
This depends entirely on the couple and their wedding story, but a majority prefer the classic, tiered kind. Having said that, some come up with the quirkiest ideas! I remember, we once had a couple who loved road trips and wanted to include that in their cake. The design featured their family, house, and their dog. We created a rocky road cake for them, along with a topper that represented their family.
9. Your favourite cake flavour?
I personally love Chocolate Gooey Nutella. This fudge-y and mushy cake has a hint of caramel and is extremely soft. For me, it’s a little slice of heaven.
10. A forgotten cake flavour that you wish would make a comeback?
There aren’t any cake flavours that we have stopped making. We have added more options to the existing ones.
11. Indian weddings tend to see a lot of food wastage. How can one overcome this and be more responsible?
While I prefer small weddings, people tend to overdo the celebrations. Subsequent food wastage is bound to happen. I feel leftovers should be distributed to those in need. We, ourselves, have collaborated with Zomato to help distribute leftover food. Other than that, food drives—another one of our initiatives—is a great idea to spread smiles.
12. Quick tips to make a vegan cake at home?
A good oven is highly recommended. Ensure you’ve got all the ingredients like soy milk handy. And obviously, a foolproof recipe!