By Raisa Wickrematunge
It is a house like any other, but what sets it apart is the delicious aroma that wafts through the air when you walk in the door. Fazlah Akram has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was a teenager. As a wife and mother, her passion for good food has not waned. “I believe that when you really enjoy cooking, it comes through in the taste,” she says.
Soon, Fazlah decided to take her experimentation with food to another level. She began making cupcakes, and the “Colombo Cupcakery” was born. Fazlah started off with an industrial oven that her husband bought her. In fact, her family were her first critics, tasting her creations and giving her their honest opinion.
It was her eldest son who came up with the name Colombo Cupcakery (which is not to be confused with the other, similarly named establishment). Her nephew, based in Riyadh, came up with the tagline “irresistibly twisted”. “It’s a family effort,” Fazlah laughs. “I couldn’t manage without their support.”
Fazlah is determined not to fall prey to commercialisation. She bakes fresh cupcakes daily, and believes in using quality ingredients. So far, she has relied almost purely on word-of-mouth recommendations. There is also a Facebook page, which keeps cupcake-hungry customers coming to her residence in Wellawatte. She has no intention of opening a commercial branch yet, since she does all the baking and icing herself.
And the effort pays off. One bite into one of her cupcakes and you are transported instantly back to childhood. The icing toppings vary from caramel to mint, from strawberry to raspberry jam, with chocolate shavings sprinkled extravagantly on top. But the real winner is the cake itself. The vanilla cake is light and flavourful, while the chocolate is dense and moist — just like the cakes your mother used to bake.
Fazlah has plenty more unique flavours to choose from, from her sticky date and toffee cupcakes, which were an instant hit, to brownie cupcakes, and red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
Recently, Fazlah has been busy cooking for the British School fair. During Ramazan, she said she was up and about for literally 24 hours, since the demand for her sweet creations was so high. She has also been invited to cater at an event honouring the Fashion Designer of the Year.
“I don’t do this for the money. The compliments I receive from people who taste my cupcakes are a reward in itself!” she says. Since she bakes in batches, the minimum order is 25 cupcakes. The prices range from Rs. 60 for a simpler cupcake, to Rs. 100 for a more elaborate creation. There are often special offers to be found on the Colombo Cupcakery Facebook page.
Orders must be made at least a day in advance, by calling the hotline (0772243043) and customers can pick up their cupcakes from Fazlah’s residence, located at W. A de Silva Mawatha. So if you’re looking for fresh home-made, delicious cupcakes — the sort that remind you of a childhood birthday cake — give the Colombo Cupcakery a try.