Akhila, a native of Kannamoola in Thiruvananthapuram, has been busier than before during the lockdown period. The undergraduate student for whom cake baking and decorating is a passion was busy baking delicious homemade cakes as per orders. Akhila has been interested in cooking since childhood. However, it was only two years ago that she unexpectedly entered the world of baking. She attended a two-day workshop on cake baking and watched countless videos on Youtube to master the basics of cake baking.
While baking, Akhila would experiment with the flavors as the measurements mentioned in the Youtube videos may be too much. It was only after deciding to take up baking seriously that she even bought an oven and other utensils that are required for it. Akhila debuted by baking a delicious black forest cake that she served to her younger brother, his tuition instructor, and his friends. Everyone loved it and the positive responses encouraged Akhila to try out different flavors and styles. She even baked a cake for her friends who had until then mocked her sudden interest in baking. However, they were floored by the incredible taste of Akhila’s cakes.
One of her friends Annie and her mother had amazingly supported Akhila, especially in the initial stage. Soon, Akhila’s cakes became a hit at her mother’s office as well. She realized she could turn it into a business when her cakes became a must at all the parties in her mother’s office. It was mostly through mouth publicity that Akhila began receiving orders. Those who tasted her cakes couldn’t help but talk about it to others as well. Akhila runs a page called ‘Piece of Cake’ on Instagram in which she regularly posts the pictures of the cakes baked by her.
“I bake at least 3 – 4 cakes in a week. I experiment with the recipes while baking. My red velvet cake is the most popular as people give repeated orders for it. My mother Shanti buys me all the ingredients and equipment that are required for baking. She too would join me whenever she is free. My younger brother Anandu, who is a class twelve student tastes my cakes and gives his opinions. He is my greatest supporter and critic. He would openly say if he doesn’t like a flavor,” says Akhila.
Akhila uses the income that she earns through baking for her education. Besides, she has a small saving of her own as well. Akhila says she feels confident earning money and is happy that she could help her mother financially. "I felt confident when people who had ordered once began giving me repeated orders and appreciated me for the quality of the cakes. This is what inspired me to take baking seriously. Initially, my friends, relatives, and the people in the locality were my customers. Now, I receive more orders through phone calls and through my social media pages," says Akhila who wishes to create her own unique identity in homemade cakes.
Where to begin
Akhila says one could start baking after buying a few pieces of equipment first or after having all the equipment, vessels, and ingredients. "In the beginning, I had only bought whatever was just required. If we spend lots of money to buy everything and then the business doesn’t flourish, the money would be lost. I just had an OGT oven, cake tin, and a few things to design. I have already baked hundreds of cakes. I have even earned decent savings selling homemade cakes. The demand for homemade cakes had gone up during the lockdown period," says Akhila proudly.