Christmas cakes sell fast in Islamabad's best bakeries

Published 25 Dec, 2017 09:13am

Most people ask for fresh cream cakes or cakes with nuts and dates

Photo by Tanveer Shahzad
Photo by Tanveer Shahzad

Bakers across the garrison city started preparing for Christmas a few days ago, including making many different kinds of cakes for the occasion.

“We have made many kinds of special cakes for Christmas. Most people ask for fresh cream cakes or cakes with nuts and dates. Since a few years ago, demand for chocolate cakes has also increased,” said Mohammad Sagheer, the owner of a bakery in Satellite Town.

“The recipe for the cakes remains the same. Our bakers spend most of their time before Christmas in decorating the cakes. We try to make them as festive as we can. We decorate the cakes with bells, edible glitter, gingerbread houses and candy canes.

“We also have cakes covered in multi-coloured flowers and crosses. The days leading up to Christmas are very interesting in our kitchen,” said the owner of a bakery in Saddar.

“Normally, most cakes we make weigh a pound or two but during Christmas, cakes made across the city weigh at least three to four pounds,” he said.

The manager of Tehzeeb Bakers, Mohammad Hadis, said cakes were the more popular items on Christmas whereas the menu is broader on Easter.

“We make Easter eggs from chocolate and hot cross buns but cakes are in demand on Christmas,” he said.

He said the cakes are given as gifts to relatives and friends and are a good alternate to traditional sweets.

“For me, Christmas celebrations are synonymous with cakes. White snow is what comes to mind when I think of Christmas, so I always take home an ice cake on the day.

“But I always make sure the cake looks festive and that it is from a good bakery, said a shopper at Saddar, Muzaffar Gill.

A resident of Lal Kurti, Gulfam Samson said special cakes are made in most houses for Christmas.

“We usually make plum cake. Almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts and peanuts are mixed with fruit to make the cake. It is mostly made at home because such cakes are not available in bakeries,” he said.

Talking to Dawn, Christians said the menu at family get-togethers on Christmas includes many desi dishes, with the more popular items being biryani and kheer.

“Gajar ka halwa is a must and the dessert is a regular during the winters anyways,” said Mushtaq Masih, a resident of Bhata Naik Alam, near Asghar Mall.

Mushtaq said the occasion is a perfect mix of Pakistani and Western foods in his family.

He said his family starts with a traditional breakfast of halwa puri or puri and chaney on Christmas followed by a lunch of biryani and other desi items and a roast dinner, on demand of visiting family members.

Shamoon Gill said his family has roast turkey as the main dish, but it is accompanied by local dishes.

He said the children in the family always insist on chocolate cake.

“We start our day with a breakfast of vermicelli, followed by roast chicken for lunch and end the day with other meat-based dishes for dinner,” he said.

Originally published in Dawn, December 25th, 2017