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 flavour to the cakes that it sell.

Can you please tell me which shop sells authentic homemade Christmas Cakes?” this is one questing 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

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 = Rs. 280 for 1 Pound
Walnut Cake = Rs. 240 for 1 Pound
Plain Cake = Rs. 220 for 1 Pound

Location of Saldanha

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

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

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Saldanha – Entrance
Saldanha – A Portion Converted Into a Bakery (Oven on Left Side)
Saldanha – A Portion Converted Into a Bakery (Oven on Left Side)
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Saldanha – Workers Preparing Fruit Cake Batter
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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

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 home made style. More than the taste its ambience is what adds the sparkle.

Cakes available this year at Nahoum:-

Special Fruit Cake = Rs. 450 for 500 Gms
Rich Fruit Cake = Rs. 300 for 400 Gms
Light Plum Cake = Rs. 250 for 400 Gms
Plain Cake = Rs. 200 for 400 Gms

Location of Nahoum

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

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

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Nahoum & Sons at New Market
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Shop Window of Nahoum
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Interiors of Nahum
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Nahum – Cookies, Pastries and Cakes
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Nahum – Cookies, Pastries and Cakes
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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 not more Great Eastern but The Lalit Great Eastern, however, once this shop used to compete with Nahoums during its heydeys. With the closing of 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 = Rs. 380 for 350 Gms
Fruit Cake = Rs. 600 for 500 Gms
Plum Cake = Rs. 450 for 350 Gms
Dundee Cake = Rs. 400 for 350 Gms

Location of Great Eastern Bakery

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

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

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

Imperial

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 = Rs. 280 for 800 Gms
Regular/Normal Fruit Cake = Rs. 100 for 400 Gms
Butter (Plain) Cake = Rs. 200 for 400 Gms

Location of Imperial

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

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

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

Mullick

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 = Rs. 50 for 25 Gms
Any Other Cookies = Rs. 30 for 25 Gms

Location of Mullick

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

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

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Mullick at New Market
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Cakes and Cookies at Mullick

Kathleen

This good old Kolkata-based bakeries which were the first one amongst the big bakeries in Kolkata to try out the franchisee 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 = Rs. 600 for 750Gms
Premium Fruit Cake = Rs. 450 for 750 Gms
Classic Fruit Cake = Rs. 350 for 750 Gms
Rich Plum Cake = Rs. 300 for 500 Gms
Fruit Cake = Rs. 220 for 500 Gms
Plain Cake = Rs. 180 for 500 Gms

Location of Kathleen

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

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

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

Flurys

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 = Rs. 450 for 500 Gms
Plain Cake = Rs. 400 for 500 Gms
Fruit Cake = Rs. 700 for 750 Gms

Location of Flurys

18A, Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

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Flurys at Park Street
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Flurys – Interiors
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Flurys – Interiors
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Flurys – Plain, Plum and Almond Cake
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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 were 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 = Rs. 175 for 400 Gms
Fruit Cake = Rs. 155 for 400 Gms
Plum Cake = Rs. 140 for 400 Gms
Suruchie = Rs. 90 for 400 Gms

Location of Barua Bakery

23, Lenin Sarani, Kolkata, West Bengal 700014

Click here to open the location on Google Maps

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

Armenian Cake

Now this is something very new and has made me all excited. While discussing the history of Christmas cakes in the city with my friend Anthony we stumbled upon the idea of Armenian Christmas Cake. It’s is to be noted that Armenians celebrate Christmas on 6th of January but they also bake cakes to celebrate the birth of Christ. So this year Anthony’s fiancée Brunnel decided to bake some authentic Armenian cakes and this is going to be very different and I am eager to taste them.

Armenian Christmas Cakes are traditionally very sweet and spicy with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Since Armenians are a very small community in Kolkata thus this recipe is almost lost and this should be a good way to promote it. They are planning to bake some extra cakes which you can purchase by directly contacting Brunnel at +91 91-63-657618. Each pound of cake would cost you Rs. 750 including delivery.

I hope you have enjoyed going through the list and so without wasting any more time head to the nearest cake shop and grab your share of cake this season.

* The price mentioned in this blog is as in the year 2016
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14 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.

      Like

  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

  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

    Like

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