I’ve never successfully baked a cake in my life. In fact, in 2011, a cake literally blew up in my oven. Yes, it actually blew up, meaning my entire oven interior was deliciously draped in what I believed to be half-baked dark-chocolate cake batter. But despite my severely bad baking abilities, I still find myself mesmerised by those who can do it, and am always looking for any opportunity to order (and eat) cake.
Growing up in rural Ohio, we bought birthday cakes from the grocery store. They looked like rectangular sheet cakes and had an almost equal ratio of frosting to sponge, which might explain the obesity problem in rural America. But the fond memories of these cakes still linger in my mind. At birthday parties, I would lurk suspiciously near the cake and scoop up frosting from the corners until I was scolded. I secretly wish these cakes were sold in Dubai, but thankfully for my health, they're not.
Alas, times have changed and cakes have too, but the fond memories remain. What a beautiful thing to be the enabler of the happy moments associated with cake. Dubai has no shortage of talent in this department, with pastry chefs, cakestresses and bakeries here in abundance. For my research (that’s what we’ll call it) I’ve tried and tested many a cake, and these are the top four that I favour for flavour and flair. An ode to my favorite cakestresses.
A self-proclaimed ‘sugar artist’, Rasha’s cakes are meticulously made, beautiful pieces of art. She's basically your one-stop shop for a themed party as she doesn’t stop at cake alone - she’ll design the entire dessert table, from dream-catcher Oreo pops to Mr. Miffy sugar cookies and colourful unicorn cakes.
Nadia, the pastry chef behind Melange Dubai, is a wizard in the kitchen. Her cakes are rustic and elegant, they stand tall and always boast a bold crown. Her cakes taste homemade, nostalgic almost - her vanilla cake filled with lemon curd tastes like something my grandmother would make, although not my actual grandmother... we’ve established that I come from a long line of non-bakers, but you get the point.
Eats & Treats
If you're vegan or have food allergies, then Eliane of Eats & Treats is your girl. Her cakes are packed with flavour and filled with ingredients like apple sauce, almond butter and coconut oil which means you won’t be judged for having seconds and you can count on converting your skeptical friends to vegan desserts.
If you’re looking for an institution, SugarMoo Bakery is a homegrown concept which offers traditional desserts and cakes while also providing a healthy line of desserts, all with a much-appreciated cheeky sense of humour and so much creative charisma.
Photos: Melange Dubai and Instagram