While many of us have been brushing up our culinary skills during quarantine with regular baking and experimenting in the kitchen, others either don't have the time or lack the expertise to bake for themselves to satisfy their cravings. For those who fall in the second category, there is nothing to worry about! There is a wave of talented home bakers in Dubai, each offering unique flavors and their own twist on universally loved cakes, bakes and desserts. They create magic in their kitchens and spread happiness by delivering their delicious creations to you! We are all in for supporting local initiatives during the COVID-19 crisis, and what better way to do that than by ordering your favorite treats from these small businesses.
Bread n Batter Co. - Ummulkiram Pardawala
"What is BnBCo all about?
Everything sweet in everything baked - that is what we're all about. Ranging from cakes and cookies to tarts and brownies, sweetness is our forte.
Generally, everyone knows what they want to do once they graduate. I thought I did too. But then, amidst the chaos of deciding my career, baking came as an inspiration through divine intervention. It wasn't something I had ever studied, or practiced before in my life, but it was something I fell in love with overtime through my years of professional training for the same; urging me to pick up the mantle of a baker for the rest of my life. To this day, I cannot get over the feeling of smelling fresh bread and seeing a hard-worked cake come to life; and that is why I continue to push myself to better myself with every ounce baked.
But every story has a compelling hurdle. For me it was leaving behind a somewhat established customer base in India post marriage and moving to Dubai, where, if I wanted to continue my baking endeavors, I'd need to start all over again - and starting over is never really fun.
Granted, it's been a slow start, albeit one filled with a litany of compliments from customers and thousands upon thousands of harsh critiques from my husband. This balance has surprisingly helped me keep my sanity and at the same time helped me improve the quality of everything I bake.
We now hope to continue doing our best in giving our customers the tastiest, moistest and creamiest cakes they've ever had. Our baking comes from a passion to give you the best and the happiness that our customers get from our cakes.
We look forward to expanding our menus, our services and our approach to baking, as we are constantly learning and evolving our baking techniques and enhancing the decorative appeal of our cakes, breads and more to get them #InstaReady ;)"
Baked by Nehla - Nehla Aydeed
"If you ask me why I love to bake, my answer is simple - there’s no better feeling than to see joy on people’s face when they taste something I made. My name is Nehla, and this is how my journey started. I remember as a young kid, I loved watching Nigella Lawson’s show - I‘d wait week in week out to jot down her amazing recipes and try them! She took me to an entirely different world filled with colors, chocolates and pastries. While my experiments were not always successful, what kept me going was that there’s so much more to learn and perfect.
I had no doubt about what i wanted as a career - baking and bringing smiles to people’s face everyday! I pursued a degree in hotel management as a starting point - and completed a specialized diploma in patisserie at ICCA Dubai.
Meanwhile, I was baking cakes and desserts for my friends and family and it brought me immense joy to see how much they loved my treats. I always knew I’d be a home baker whether full time or not - and one fine morning I just went for it!
As I have only recently started my venture, I have mostly been doing celebratory cakes for birthdays, brownies, cookies and soon many more. The biggest challenge for me is to achieve perfection in all I bake - easier said than done! Marketing and expanding my customer base is an additional challenge - I’m excited to continue following my dream and growing my business!"
Melting Moments - Fatema Murtaza
"Melting Moments started out almost 6 years back as a platform to bring together my love for art and baking. Even though I have an Interior Designing degree, my heart was not into doing a 9-5 desk job. For some one who had been baking from the age of 12, I knew that it was something I truly enjoyed. To sharpen my skills, I trained to become a certified pastry chef and that was my turning point in life. From then onward, I have slowly grown my small business by learning new techniques and introducing new baked treats from time to time.
Being a cake artist, I cater to all kind of events whether it be birthdays, engagements, weddings, baby showers etc. I personally love working on floral themed cakes just because how pretty the final look always is. Along with this, my brownies are one of my best-selling desserts. With multiple flavor options, there are mix brownie boxes available as well. Something new that I started about a year back are my Mix Dessert Boxes which I do once every month with a different menu every month . I really look forward to these boxes because not only do the contents of the box look and taste great, but I prefer the packaging to be equally beautiful. For a person who loves pretty packaging, every month I plan out different ways to make the boxes look beautifully presented for it to be an experience for the client from the time they receive it. Even after so many years I enjoy my job and feeding people mainly because of the joy they get while eating it."
Cakes By Zoya - Zoya Umran
"My name is Zoya Umran, I am 24 years old & I started my journey of baking at the age of 17. Though I always wanted to be an inspiring fashion designer or an architect, my baking journey started with my curiosity and love for eating sweets! Back in 2012, when I tried baking a cupcake which I wanted to devour all by myself, I realized that I enjoy doing this. From there onward, I sold my very first cake, which was such an incredible feeling that made me believe there was no looking back! Over time my love for baking and cake decorating just kept growing, my heart was always beating for creating and decorating wedding cakes in all shapes and sizes; grand, tall, elegant!
Being a home-baker in Dubai is a tough job, as it does come with difficulties, my limitations are plenty, but in the end what matters is the smile I see on my customers faces. I never had a mentor or any form of guidance, whatever experience I have is through my mistakes, trails along with lots of practice and learning all these years. Knowing this, I give masterclasses to pass the knowledge I have so those who desire to learn or enhance can always reach out to me!
The whole business takes a tremendous amount of effort and energy as I perform every task by myself from the baker, photographer, accountant, admin, salesperson, and so much more. It becomes quite challenging, but that is what an entrepreneur feels like, and that’s the true beauty of it! I started the business when I was in university, and it was a big struggle for me to juggle and manage my time between studies and work at the same time. Work not just being “baking” but also dealing with a lot of clients, keeping up with shoots, creating art, all of which got me very tired at the end of the day, but it was all worth it! When you’ve got your priorities straight with proper time management, it all falls into place!
We specialize in custom cakes that meet your detailed requirements looking into the tiniest of details from the flavor of the cake to the design of the cake! Whether it’s birthday cakes, Baby Shower cakes, wedding cakes we create it all! We’ve also recently launched our best selling cookies that are going to be your favorite!"
Baked by Shifa - Shifa Khaliq
"For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed baking - but it was always just out of love for my family and friends. I guess this only really changed once I reached the end of my freshman year, and a professor mine ended class by saying, “If there’s anything you want to do, do it now. The more you wait for it, the further you go away from wanting it.” After hearing that, I was more than convinced - I wanted to pursue my baking more professionally.
Another huge factor that influenced this decision was the major I was studying in university - architecture. Having entered a major that revolved around design, I was not only able to envision what I wanted more clearly but was also able to acquire the basic skills needed in order to obtain the aesthetics that I wanted. I had gained experience in designing and was able to experiment with logo ideas, menu, photography, Instagram feed and even the desserts itself, all by myself.
I started off with the hopes of it just being a summer experiment, something fun to try on Instagram – I didn’t even expect to get orders beyond my family and friends. As time went on however, I got more and more orders. Along with the feedback I got from everyone, I was really curious to see how far I could take this little experiment, so I went on.
Being a student entering her second year, the issue of time management was a major concern to me, and this raised many doubts in continuing this project when university started again. But, as classes started again and more word about ‘baked’ spread around campus, it just did not feel right to end something I saw so much potential in. I wanted to be able to provide students with quality desserts without compromising quantity (and vice versa). I decided to continue and push myself to pursue the baking – at least until I really couldn’t.
Fast forward three years later, I would not have imagined to be in the position I am today. I am proud to say that I now receive regular orders on a weekly basis, and thanks to my customers feedback, loyalty and patience, I was not only able to improve over the years but also keep myself motivated. I am truly grateful for the opportunity as I would not have expected to result to be so sweet. That being said, I highly encourage anyone and everyone to pursue their passion. Regardless of what point you are in your life, you really cannot predict the direction it will take you in, so might as well go for it and see where you end up."
Cake Story Dubai - Manju Daryanani
"Being intrigued early on in life, by how patisserie chefs bake outlandish cakes, I was always inclined to learn how to bake. Baking has always been therapeutic for me. It is the love and passion that turned into my profession. When I first moved to Dubai about 12 years ago, I only baked for friends and family. Then, I took up a small stall at an exhibition at the Dubai Ladies Club, and the overwhelming response surprised me. That’s how it all started!
This profession gives me a chance to make peoples special occasions happier and sweeter. The smile on their faces and the twinkling of happiness in their eyes gives me a sense of satisfaction. That is the true reward for my hard work.
I have been baking and teaching cake making and decorating for the past ten years now, and it only gets better each year. As I teach baking, I get the opportunity to meet people from different nationalities and different professions who share the love for baking. It keeps me going, and many of my students are still in touch with me. I offer a structured list of cake baking and decoration courses, and upon request, I customize the sessions keeping the students requirements in mind.
We do all kinds of cakes and desserts with customized flavors (floral theme cakes, elaborate sculpted theme cakes, fondant designer cakes, dessert stations, birthday favors and more). Anything from simple, straightforward cakes to something lavish, striking and exotic, you know where to go. I have recently ventured into healthy baking and do vegan, sugar-free, healthy, keto and gluten-free desserts and cakes too."
Pretty Baked - Anushka Makar & Lenita Dsouza
"Friends for over 13 years, we always made plans of starting a business from a very young age. We would brainstorm various business ideas, but as summer passed so would the idea. Over the years, we went on different paths to pursue our education and careers and drifted away from our teenage plans of starting something of our own. In 2017, Lenita moved back to Dubai, and over time our passion for food and business revived as we started discussing different products offerings. Both of us now had more experience to offer and given our completely different choices in almost everything we drew a good balance to exploit each other’s strengths.
We did a bit of research and given our passion for sweet over savory, we decided to do something in desserts. There was a market for cookies in Dubai; however, quarter-pound cookies was a concept we wanted to bring to Dubai from the West. We tried and tested several different flavors and fillings to reach the cookie flavors we have today. We have eight unique flavors on the menu now and plan on adding more flavors soon. For us, Pretty Baked is our passion rather than a business, and we believe that’s what encourages us and keeps us going."
The Sweet Escape Cakery - Sarah Abbas
"I started baking when I was a teen, but surprisingly it wasn’t until I graduated in Business Management that I realized that it was Baking that was my true calling! It was then, I chose my passion as my profession and pursued a professional degree specializing in Baking from the International Center for Culinary Arts (ICCA).
Known to be a foodie and lover of desserts, I used to experiment a lot with my cravings. Making new desserts with whatever was available in the kitchen became more of a hobby and routine that I enjoyed. Of course, I had my doubts on starting a legit venture, but the strength and motivation from my parents and husband just kept pushing me forward.
I endeavor to bake cakes and other treats in such a way that it can be eaten as a whole and bring joy to others. Although working from home gives one comfort & convenience, being a home-baker is sheer hard work. The satisfaction I get from my work is definitely worthwhile.
My Double Chocolate Ganache/Truffle Cake is one of my best-selling cakes, and by default, it became my signature cake too. It’s a cake that melts in your mouth, and clients usually come back for the same flavor. Along with Cakes, I also make a lot of other desserts such as Brownies, Cookies, Cupcakes, Mousse, Parfaits, Cake Jars and so on.
Lastly, I would like to end by giving a tip to those looking to get started. It is something that I have learnt in the past few years of Baking. Failure is not the end of success; it’s the most important part of success. Give yourself enough time, and your journey will be successful!"
Nour In The Kitchen - Nour
"My name is Nour. I am half French, Half Egyptian living in Dubai for the last four years. My passion for baking started when I got married and made my first cheesecake that everyone loved and gave fantastic feedback. Since that day, no one has been able to get me out of the kitchen, so much so that I have started selling my bakes because my waistline could not handle it anymore! I make birthday cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, cheesecakes; everything your mind can think of when it comes to dessert, I have tried it over and over and perfected it. I have also recently started sharing my recipes on my blog and YouTube channel. I do all of this alone while also being a proud mom of my two-year-old twin boys."
What are you waiting for? Get in touch with these talented bakers through Instagram to order mouthwatering treats!