Baking Hyderabad

Customised and crafted

Vineela Yadlapalli makes baking look like a cakewalk

A couple made an unusual request — a cake with the famed ‘Bapu bommalu’ for their wedding. Vineela Yadlapalli was only too happy to oblige. Her cakes come in the form of castles and one even resembled the Iron throne from Game of Thrones. Vineela’s Instagram handle showcases her innovative creations which turn the concept of custom-made cakes on its very head, and have made her a social media sensation. Counting Samantha Akkineni and Upasana Konidela among her customers, the baking whiz who retails under her own name has created a splash within a short period of time.

Vineela, who moved to Hyderabad from the US at the end of 2017 after she quit her plush IT job in 2009, to follow her passion, has never looked back since. Her quest to to learn the craft from some of the best chefs in the world saw her move to different cities in the US and even relocate to France for a while.

An alumna of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and a student at French Pastry School, Chicago where she graduated with honours in all the three disciplines of pastry, cake and bread, Vineela confesses that she immersed herself in work. Further training under Ron Ben Israel, Kate Weiser and Stephen Pyles amongst others. “I came back to India because I wanted to raise my kids here,” smiles the mother of two, adding, “I do not own a patisserie, I make custom-ordered cakes taking into account the client’s tastes and interests into account. I talk to them and create cakes based on their hobbies/passions which are the centre of attraction at any celebration.”

From merry-go-rounds, tiered cakes ideal for weddings to diaper bags and even a cake shaped like the wheels of an automobile, her creations cater to all moods — subtle, ostentatious or artistic. The flavours include vanilla white chocolate, pineapple coconut, orange hazelnut and almond white chocolate.

Customisation is the key here. “I am driven by what the client wants,” she smiles. “If the clients are not specific, I ask them to share a couple of pictures of what they want and try to understand what caught their eye in the first place,” she shares. Her inspiration comes from Nature (and also when she is on the treadmill!) and one can find intricately woven flowers in almost all of her works. Admitting that it is her signature, Vineela laughs, “They find their way into everything I make. Even on a cake for a guy, I ended up adding small white flowers.” She admits that sculpting is a big challenge. “From proportions to carving, sculpting takes up a lot of time. Creating intricate roses/flowers is another challenge but I thrive on them.”

Disagreeing that her cakes are expensive, (she doesn’t take up orders for less than ₹15,000 for a single cake which on an average weighs three kilos) she explains, “The ingredients are all imported. Plus, it takes a lot of labour to get everything right and each cake in itself is unique, they are not even made twice, let alone mass produced.”

Currently juggling her passion for baking with a family, Vineela has definite plans for the future which include opening a retail space and working with chocolate.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:07:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/customised-and-crafted/article28696232.ece

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