Dessert with benefit: How healthier cakes are gaining ground
Dessert with benefit: How healthier cakes are gaining ground

2020 could be termed as ‘Year of Health Awareness’ and with this awareness we have seen many businesses change its colour. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the complete food and beverages industry and bakery industry is one of them. This pandemic has resulted into mass production shutdowns and supply chain disruptions which has also affected the economy as well. Similarly, we have seen that customers have also realized the importance of healthy eating and lifestyle, giving rise to an alternate of normal cake that we have been consuming for ages, and the result healthy, vegan and gluten-free cakes in the market.

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“It's a myth that one could not get all their favorite dishes with healthy ingredients, Thanks to growing awareness among our audience. People are trying healthy ingredients to make their favorite food. It's an era where customers understand the importance of alternative flours as well, and the best part is it makes zero difference to the cakes,” shared Gunjan Batra of Bakehouse Comfort who has been customizing and baking cakes for customers as per their need and demand. “We are baking Vanilla Cake, Dates & Walnuts, Chocolate cake and more,” she added.

Commenting on the same Namita Zutshi of Namz Bakehouse who started baking during the pandemic said, “Its experimental, and I say all of us, the pâtissiers are amazing, to fuel the demand for healthy vegan cakes there is now a deluge of options right across the board. This truly is the year of mainstream veganism, all the trends and market feedback seem to point towards this, hence to cite one or more of the three principle motives for becoming vegan, animal sensibilities., environmental factors and personal health (the Covid pandemic has put the spotlight on this as never before).”

She further pointed that what is further pushing this trend is the incredible investments by VCs in this space, new business start-ups focusing on vegan products, cookbooks, YouTube channels, events and documentaries. The traditional food industry is desperately trying to catch up with the flourishing grassroots demand for Vegan products.


“Veganism or a plant based diet/lifestyle is gaining momentum the world over as it’s better for the health of our planet and is more sustainable. This pandemic has proven that we, as a race, need to make a shift in the way and rate at which we are using/abusing the natural resources, else it's not just more pandemics but other natural calamities may be waiting for us in the near future,” added Nutritionist and Dietician Kanupriya Khanna who is also the founder of Karamele that is all into healthy food products and cakes.

Targeting the right customers

According to a report by Data Bridge, Sales in the bakery aisle sector increased by 62.3% over the week ending March 15, 2020 and it has also been found an increase of approximately 44.3% for combined cookies and crackers in food sector. With people who are inclined towards adopting healthy lifestyle and willing to experiment new, healthier alternatives, these kind of trend is already pushing the growth not just in India but also at the global market.

“Overall, the health and immunity benefits of a plant-based diet are being widely recognised. To that end, even while indulging in dessert, which is traditionally considered sinful, some people look for vegan alternatives,” pointed Pragati Mitta, Chef at L’Opéra that has introduced a range of vegan products that include three flavours of vegan macarons, offered at the same price as the regular macarons at Rs 125.

The bakery café has also produce vegan tarts in chocolate and almond flavours and two kinds of vegan verrines, all of which are priced around Rs 250 to 300. Apart from these they have also recently developed a sugar-free pastry.

Vegan Tart

Replacing it with the best

There are variety of Flours like Almond Flour, Oats flour, Ragi flour etc that are nutritious and lends fantastic flavour and taste to the Cake as well. “We use almond, oak, Ragi and buck wheat flour. Also Maida or white flour can be replaced with whole wheat flour. Since whole wheat flour is light, we can add only half the required amount. Margarine and butter can be substituted with apple/maple sauce or prune puree. Refined sugar has absolutely no nutritional value, so we replace it with natural honey, jaggery, brown, raw or Demerara sugar to sweeten the cakes,” added Zutshi whose Almond Walnut Cake which is also gluten free is the top ordered food from the healthier menu.

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Priced anywhere between Rs 300 to Rs 1000, these alternative options have been attracting not only people who prefer healthy eating but also has become a huge hit among children, families who want to feed their children with new and healthier options.

Similarly, for Khanna, sorghum flour, quinoa flour or oats flour is a better replacement. “We use organic jaggery instead of refined sugar; rice bran or canola or olive oil instead of butter. Our food items are made either with almond milk or coconut milk instead of dairy. These ingredients are not only plant based but richer in nutrients as well,” she added by pointing that her orange cake, carrot cake, plum cake etc are some of the top ordered cakes depending on the time and festival.

Hence, we can say that in years to come vegan, healthier and gluten-free cakes wouldn't be an option, rather it will hit the restaurant and cafe business like any other trend that we have witnessed in last few years.

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