Traditional Christmas Cake Shops In Kolkata

Traditional Christmas Cake Shops In Kolkata

I have made quite a few enemies after writing a blog on Baking Christmas Cakes in Kolkata, my friends are now demanding that I treat them with homemade Christmas Cakes. Since it will be extremely difficult to call everyone home for a treat thus I have decided to write a blog on traditional cake shops from where you can buy Christmas cakes this season. Now there are many cake shops and bakeries in the town that sell cakes during Christmas but I feel a shop and its environment also matters much and adds a certain visual flavor to the cakes that it sell.

Can you please tell me which shop sells authentic homemade Christmas Cakes?” this is one question that many ask me and I keep repeating that homemade Christmas cakes are always different from the ones that you get in the shops. The shops always need to make the cake a bit economical so that selling them brings some profit whereas homemade cakes are created out of love and no price can be put on them. The quality and quantity of dry fruits and nuts are always better for homemade ones. However, there are few shops in the town which comes the closest.

So without wasting much space let me begin the list. Let me put a disclaimer here that the choice is based on my personal preference and many may argue but since this is my blog thus would like to tell the world my perspective.

Saldanha Bakery

This shop is subjected to a series or myths and legends when it comes to bakery products. Due to its limited presence which is just a single outlet in an obscure corner of the city, it’s not frequented by many but only a select few swear by the quality and taste of Christmas Cakes from this shop. You can either buy ready-made ones which are sold as per measurement by weight or you need to pre-order your share much in advance. The demand is such great that there are chances you won’t get any if you wait till the Christmas Eve.

Saldanha’s are basically a home baker who have converted their house into a cake shop and a bakery and throughout the year produce finest confectionaries. This is a family run business and you will be surprised to see the baby piano at the corner of the room being used as a table to pack cakes and chocolates.

According to Ms. Debra Alexander, the reason why they are so successful is due to the fact that they use only butter and best of dry fruits and nuts. She insists that there can be only fruit cake and shops selling varieties of fruit cakes with names such as special fruit cake, Dundee cake etc. are all hoodwinking the customers into buying similar products with a different packaging.

Cakes available this year at Saldanha

Fruit Cake
Walnut Cake
Plain Cake

Location of Saldanha Bakery

19, Nawab Abdur Rahman St, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

Saldanha – Entrance
Saldanha – A Portion Converted Into a Bakery (Oven on Left Side)
Saldanha – A Portion Converted Into a Bakery (Oven on Left Side)
Saldanha – Workers Preparing Fruit Cake Batter
Saldanha – Rooms Converted Into Storage with Racks Full Of Cakes (Piano on the Left)
Saldanha – Debra and Her Daughter Alisha
Saldanha – Debra and Her Daughter Alisha

Nahoum Bakery

More than the quality and taste it’s more famous due to its heritage as being the only surviving Jewish bakery in the city. A trip to New Market during Christmas season would for some be incomplete without cakes and pastries from Nahoum. There used to be another Jewish bakery called M X Digama at New Market but that one shut shop decades back.

The sale of Christmas cakes pick up and by the last week, the queue outside the shop extends a good to 100 plus customers. This shop (non-franchisee type) according to me sells the highest in terms of quantity.

Other delicacies that are must from this shops are its Heart Cakes, Marzipan, and Patties. However during Christmas cakes are the items which are stocked the maximum. On the taste front, these are average and cannot be classified as a homemade style. More than the taste its ambiance is what adds the sparkle.

Cakes available this year at Nahoum

Special Fruit Cake
Rich Fruit Cake
Light Plum Cake
Plain Cake

Location of Nahoum

F17 – F20 & F47 -50, New Market (SS Hogg Market)

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

Nahoum & Sons at New Market
Shop Window of Nahoum
Interiors of Nahum
Nahum – Cookies, Pastries and Cakes
Nahum – Cookies, Pastries and Cakes
Nahum – Christmas Cakes on Display
Nahum – Three Varieties (Plain, Plum and Fruit) Christmas Cakes on Display
Nahum – Three Varieties (Plain, Plum and Fruit) Christmas Cakes on Display

Great Eastern Bakery

It’s no more Great Eastern but The Lalit Great Eastern, however, once this shop used to compete with Nahoums during its heydeys. With the closing of the Great Eastern Hotel this bakery outlet also shut down and remained so for decades. It’s only after the revival of the hotel did this outlet reopen its doors again. Great Eastern Hotel had one of the finest bakeries in British India and if you ever happen to visit the hotel then you can still see the old bakery utensils and equipment being kept on the display.

Cakes available this year at The Lalit Great Eastern

Fruit Cake
Fruit Cake
Plum Cake
Dundee Cake

Location of Great Eastern Bakery

E (N) (134) New Market (SS Hogg Market)

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

Great Eastern Bakery Outlet at New Market
Great Eastern Bakery Outlet at New Market

Imperial Bakery

Not many know of this shop but for some, this shop sells some of the cheapest Christmas cakes in New Market region. This shop, however, is actually more famous for its traditional vegetable, chicken, and chicken special patties that are sold in metal boxes which are heated by charcoal kept below.

The quality is average and so is the taste but it has its own dedicated clientele who would swear by its taste and it also supplies to many smaller shops across the city.

Cakes available this year at Imperial

Special Fruit Cake 
Regular/Normal Fruit Cake
Butter (Plain) Cake 

Location of Imperial

E (N) (135-138) New Market (SS Hogg Market)

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

Imperial at New Market
Imperial – Interiors
Imperial – Three Varieties of Christmas cake (Special Fruit Cake, Normal Fruit Cake & Butter Cake)

Mullick Bakery

Right opposite to Imperial we have Mullick which just like Imperial caters to its own exclusive clientele. However, I would definitely recommend you to buy the coconut, peanut, dry, chocolate cookies from this shop which are sold as per weight. Also, you can try the rose cookies which if you think are made with rose then it’s not but is definitely is part of Christmas tradition.

Cookies available this year at Mullick

Coconut Cookies
Any Other Cookies

Location of Mullick

E (N) (73-75) New Market (SS Hogg Market)

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

Mullick at New Market
Cakes and Cookies at Mullick


This good old Kolkata-based bakeries which were the first one amongst the big bakeries in Kolkata to try out the franchise model to expand its footprint in the city. Its main and original shop is the one at New Market on Mirza Ghalib Street (Free School Street) in fact its main bakery is right next to it at Cowai Lane.

Due to excessive demand during Christmas season so they tend to outsource its manufacturing thus the quality may differ from batch to batch. The taste I would say would be on the good side and the varieties they sell is quite a few thus making them also a stop on your path of exploration.

Cakes available this year at Kathleen

Dundee Cake
Premium Fruit Cake
Classic Fruit Cake
Rich Plum Cake
Fruit Cake
Plain Cake

Location of Kathleen

12, Mirza Ghalib St, New Market Area, West Bengal 700016

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

Kathleen (Mirza Ghalib Street)
Premium Fruit Cake at Kathleen
Premium Fruit Cake at Kathleen
Plain Cake at Kathleen
Plain Cake at Kathleen
Fruit Cake at Kathleen


It’s probably the one name that comes to our mind first but I have deliberately kept it below for the simple reason of being very expensive in terms of quality and quantity. Its prime location on Park Street makes it have its own charm during the festive season. Park Street which gets all decked up for Christmas gives the real feel of Christmas and with a view like that outside the window, the cakes become more festive.

Cakes available this year at Flurys

Plum Cake
Plain Cake
Fruit Cake

Location of Flurys

18A, Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

Flurys at Park Street
Flurys – Interiors
Flurys – Interiors
Flurys – Plain, Plum and Almond Cake
Flurys – Fruit Cake

Barua Bakery

Once this brand was what we now associate with Nahum, a Christmas without a cake from Baruas was incomplete. During the 40’s till the 70’s its cake was synonymous with taste and quality. This bakery was started in the year 1928 by Manoranjan Barua an immigrant from East Bengal (Bangladesh) who set up this business. However, without any expansion, it fell behind but still caters to a different income group now who keep visiting this shop because of its price advantage.

You can get these caked from counters at the bakery or from Entally market and as a tradition, we buy a couple of kilos which is mainly used for distribution after church service. My mother still swears by its taste which she was well used to as she grew up in that locality.

Cakes available this year at Barua Bakery

Special Fruit Cake
Fruit Cake
Plum Cake

Location of Barua Bakery

23, Lenin Sarani, Kolkata, West Bengal 700014

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

Barua Bakery – Entrance
Barua Bakery – Cake Vans Ready to Ship out Fresh Cakes

21 thoughts on “Traditional Christmas Cake Shops In Kolkata

  1. Having a predilection for bakery items; specially cakes, I’ve tried from these traditional shops – except for Saldanah and Baruah, until last year, when I had the ‘good fortune’ of tasting their cakes. And I feel that I should share my experience with these veteran outlets so that my friends here are better informed before deciding to try them:

    .Saldanah : While the taste of their fruit cake is decent to say the most, it appeared they use cheap vegetable oil (Dalda) as the base and the product is therefore very acidic. Certainly not for those with a rather ‘sensitive’ Gastro Intestinal tract.
    The same problem is there with Flury’s cakes as well. Acidity is guaranteed.
    And I find it extremely baffling that shops of such repute use such inferior ingredients for baking.

    Barua Bakery : On 26th December last year, following a regional T.V. channel’s Christmas special program, the name of this place resurfaced in my ‘radar’ and that evening only I dropped in at their Lenin Sarani outlet, all excited!

    Bought a pound ‘special’ fruit cake and took it to one my dear friends’ place as a Christmas gift! Since I myself had not tried that cake earlier, my friend forced a sizeable piece of that cake down my bag which I eventually brought back to home.
    I could finally try a piece of it late in the night and …and …what the heck is this!!!…it was a dry lump of bread of sort…with a strange taste and texture. It definitely was not a CAKE by any means..The first thing that occurred to me was that I run the risk of loosing my friendship, if my friend has tried this piece of s***t already!
    Called him up and no, the damage was already done!!..he has already eaten a piece and found it to be ‘strange’ to put it mildly.

    Although I still have managed to keep my friendship with him as I could get the chance to ‘explain’ to him all about it but you might not, if you happen to gift that to someone more formally related to you!

    Hence, I would sincerely request you to go and buy one cake from Barua Bakery for yourself!..Yes, you’ve read it right! We should not only have the best of it but the worst of it as well!..for the sheer variety and experience.
    And this will haunt you for the rest of your life….one nightmarish experience which you’ll never be able to get over from…guaranteed!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, For the record you have given me the longest comment (word count) till date. And also for the record the taste is not that good when it comes to Barua but as I said it has its own clientele who buy it sheer for the price factor. I have spoken to the owner personally and they would not like to experiment with the taste or quality since for them its a price sensitive factor. Mind it for some its not the name of the shop that matters but the cost.

      Also as I have mentioned in the beginning of the blog that a home made cake is always a home made cake since its made only with butter and I personally add an extra kilo of butter just for the heck of it. Without dalda or vegetable oil it would be impossible for the shops to sell to customers.

      I would always suggest to bake your own perfect cake to get the best taste as you will always invest in the very best for ones self.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your clarification and suggestion for turning homeward for real satisfaction. My mother takes care of it big time and it’s just out of a quest for authentic cakes, I explore these place.

    You’ve mentioned about their price, which, with due consideration, I did not find to be very cheap for that matter. If you are interested, I can give you names of at least five other local bakery’s address who sell far superior cakes at much lesser prices during this time. And their product tastes like ‘cakes’ above everything else – not some lump of inedible flour!

    I personally don’t want to malign or bad mouth the reputation of any ‘name’ for that matter, if I can help it. And I also had spoken to the owner of Barua, ‘the day after’ ,- an extremely polite and gentle elderly fellow. I felt really bad to put my complain forward.
    However, I was really frustrated, disheartened and disillusioned and could not hold the emotion back – even after a year now and vented it out here. Sorry for being so harsh in my rather impulsive reaction – as I read it now.
    The point is, it’s the loyalty, the obsession with a Brand that keeps a particular clientele glued to one product, irrespective of it’s quality.

    For instance, take Aminia – the vintage mughlai restaurant. Now, the main outlet near Elite cinema has long lost it’s finesse and quality and on two occasion over the last three years, I failed to finish the food there – it was so bland and inferior. Few other friends of mine have had the same experience. But the brand ‘Aminia’ has survived the taste of time and other franchises in Kolkata doing thriving business using that name (and serving quality food, nevertheless). This is a classic case of brand loyalty and our trust in them.

    it’s time that we come of this spell and see / experience things as they are!

    Another long post, once again….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Namaskar Rajarshi Devi,

      As someone born in 1960, and growing up in Middleton Row as well as in north Calcutta, I have a perspective that is a tiny bit different from yours, and which may help you figure out some things! Or not!!

      Those were hard times, the mid-1960s, some of the very worst we have faced in Bangabhumi, and India, for that matter. But let that be for now. Kolkata was a place of certain charm and beauty that now is completely lost.

      All along Chowringhee Rd. we used to have large ponds or reservoirs set by the tram lines and lovely red cannas blooming their heads off, behind lovely low brick barricades constructed with aesthetics in mind.

      This was the time, too, when many cows and bullocks [ the latter very common then as the motive power behind huge bamboo wagons loaded with sacks of coal!] would without fail choose to have a relaxed siesta, right from near Gandhi’s statue to almost the crossing of Chowringhee with Central Ave.

      In those days, Park Street used to be lit up and beautfully decorated for Christmas. There used to be a Santa float right by the Skyroom, and the entire front of Flury’s would be wonderfully decorated. I would hold on to my foster father’s hand, and daily take in the sights, as part of our late evening walk, “doing keesmash” in my foolish estimation.

      In those days, Park Street had not yet succumbed to the Punjabi invasion, Swaraj and Jeet Paul, as well as the Sikh gentleman who purchased Peiping an ddestroyed its qualities, and ethos, without a shred of pity. The same fate was to overcome Flury’s, but not right then.

      Flury’s still was a quality place, but not one we could afford to visit, sit down and eat, ever. However, once in a while, we would eat a chicken sandwich, which was beyond wonderful, rich with butter and pungent mustard. Amazing bread, too, which was not the case with the thinly-sliced milk bread later sold under Flury’s brand.

      Once in a while, too, we would share a rum ball, or a palmiere. All made of butter, even in those very hard times!!! This is what I wanted to tell you. None of the nonsense desi idiocy of piling food to be sold, on top of the glass counters, where the effluvium from voluble customers would contaminate the entire lot. Alien monsters such as Kripal Amanna, and Rocky/Mayur cannot understand that talking over food that is to be sold, effectively contaminates that with sputum, a dangerous body fluid our ancestors tried to keep out of the food-handling chain.

      ALL food at Flury’s was inside glass cases. Kalimpong Homes did have bread standing outside, but far away from customers. Most of their other stuff, including the delicious green peppermint toffees, were safely enclosed by glass. Kalimpong HOmes had excellent bread and cheese, and some types of biscuits/cookies. The bread was great, but the confections took a second place to Flury’s, just up the road. But people with shallower pockets patronized Kalimpong Homes.

      This was also the case with Baruah Bakery, which was the “Flury’s” of north Calcutta, and meant for wallets even slimmer than those of the Kalimpong Homes patrons. Around College Street, we used to enjoy Barua Bakery cakes, that were still VERY dry and VERY DEPAUPERATE in those yummy Christmas cake fruit, i.e. raisins and candied citrus peel.

      I was shocked when I came to the USA and tasted their version of fruit cake, dense with various dried and candied fruit and nuts. I did not like it at all, and missed the far more austere Christmas cake baked by our Christian friends, often in delightful dinky little box ovens, that were a double sided aluminum box with a window, and one rack within. It sat on the stove, and when I was older, I purchased one to carry out my own adventures.

      We would visit our Christian friends all through the Christmas week, ending with the New Year, and enjoy their loving hospitality, namely, a little tower thingie containing slices of cake, and a whole biunch of fried and candied dough sweets. Plus the tiny glasses of red wine, which I disliked intensely, but which we all assumed was part of the “Christmas etiquette”. I am sure my mother enjoyed the wine a million times more than I did!!!

      There would be at least one close Christian friend who would gift us a medium sized cake, and how much do I miss that particular type, which is not available for sale, and depends on generations of cake artistry passed down from mother to daughter! Included in this repertoire were some amazing relishes and pickles. A garlicky, pungent/hot tomato sauce that was better than the best ketchup I have ever tasted, and brinjal pickles with dried shrimp. Of course, our Goan and Parsi friends were economical with recipes, ha ha!!

      Our Parsi friends generously would keep us supllied with the most amazing sambhar/fried masala + the other ground masala that created the Calcutta Dhansak, but never the recipes!! However, I did learn a secret, graciously shared with me by a fabulous cook, Mrs. Sutaria , whose daughters would today be in their late 70s. Such a wonderful family, too, of great human souls. Their fish patio and patrani fish included unique touches, and I pray someone will find the daughters and learn how to reproduce those, for the sake of cultural preservation of Calcutta styles of cooking.

      I shall say this about their dhansak: included in the aromatics for boiling meat and vegetables, were not only methi greens, but also the unique Calcutta PARSLEY, of which I shall write about some other time.

      Although Nahum’s was famous, I do not recall eating their cake more than once or twice in my life. Free School Street was my backyard! But WYSE, within New Market was a baker we all loved. Is it still there? Prawn patties were a special each Thursday, the “meatless” day! We had one of those, once in a long while, and the uniquely Calcuttan “pattice”, made with yufka-type dough sheets. Very spicy filling, and unique flavors, too!

      Baruah Bakery cake was always dry, and had very little by the way of Christmas fruit, candied peel and nuts. Polson’s butter was another fixture in north Calcutta, and I disliked its rancid taste with a passion. Amul Butter was present on the scene but relatively dear in those hard times! People used to visit the Keventer’s outlet and sit quietly drinking milk from bottles, with straws. How quaint Calcutta was in those days , how removed from the brittle, rootless “sophistication” of the present time.

      Thanks to Subhadip for creating this site, where memories of a Calcutta long past can be lived again.


  3. These places seems really very awesome, I think I got very late to comment on this. Apologies.
    I also have one bakery in Gurgaon, if you ever visit here, please visit us too and taste the unique here. This is not promotion but I want to be connected with like minded people


  4. What happened to Wyse, inside New Market? My days in CCU date back to the early 60s, when Flury’s was truly Flury’s and not a punjabi dhaba chain with the rest of the current ‘park street’, Peiping included. What a shame. The old Waldorf and Peiping gone to the dogs. I should love to hear from any who are interested in reviving and preserving the recipes of these 2 institutions of Calcutta Chinese, when there were NO OTHER such restaurants ON OR OFF the Park Street area: no How Hua, or any such interlopers. Just Jimmy’ Kitchen on Theatre Road.

    And when Sri Subhadip speaks of “celery leaf” in the Calcutta masala sausage he means the CALCUTTA PARSLEY which is distinctly different from all Petroselinum crispum I have tried, and also from all “cutting celery’ leaf. [I am anxious to find a source that can supply true to type seed for Calcutta Parsley. Subadhip, anyone you know can help?]

    The lady from England who corrected Subhadip re: celery leaf is quite mistaken, since she is not aware of his writing “celery leaf” when he is correctly indicating the CCU PARSLEY.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Subhadip,

    Can you suggest the best place to try for the plum cake? Is the Barua Bakery still operating? If yes, where can I find Barua’s Cakes?

    Eagerly awaiting for your reply.

    Liked by 1 person

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