Do you ever think of cupcakes? Cupcakes are a shot of whisky when you just can’t drink the whole bottle, or afford the hangover. They are what you buy when you need the feel of cake without the investment of an entire one; a romantic gesture, a birthday companion or a treat just for just.
If, like me, you have been scouring the city for good cupcakes, then you have no doubt been faced with regular marble cake in a cup, with aged icing sugar for frosting, posing as a cupcake. On biting into them, you discover the worst thing to ever happen to cakes in Uganda, blue band. Luckily, a recommendation from a friend to visit The Infield Cakery’s Instagram page rescued me. Go on, scroll through it and the optical overload of beautiful cakes is almost enough to put you in a food coma.
But pictures on Instagram and good lighting do not a tasty cupcake make, right? So taste them and you will arrive at the pre-mentioned coma. I promise.
If you are drooling a little too much to make a choice, no shame in it, I was, let me give you a breakdown of the 6 cupcakes you just MUST try from The Infield cakery in Makindye. Olivia Nakiingi Infield, owner and cake artist, was on hand to answer some questions and fill in the gaps.
1. Vanilla passion
If you are looking for a surprise, this one is it. The homemade passion fruit curd is a standout; probably one of the things that make it the best-selling cupcake at The Infield cakery. That it is composed of an authentic Ugandan flavor is probably another reason (I mean who doesn’t know katunda)
“Uganda has so many beautiful and delicious ingredients to choose from, I really wanted to highlight these.”
Olivia having joined university to study journalism dropped out in her first year to pursue her passion-baking.
“Both my parents were understandably very surprised by my choice to leave university. I had worked so hard, for such a long time. Leaving University after the first term definitely came as a shock to everyone, including myself!”
Creations like the Vanilla Passion cupcake collate her years of baking experience (she has been baking since she was 5 or 6 and professionally now for 5 years)
2. Lemon Zester
The peels are a preamble of what to expect from this one. If you have been throwing away your peels, think again, they make quite the companion and are well balanced with the sweetness of the cupcake.
“If you’re a true lemon fan, then this is most definitely the cupcake for you! No artificial flavours, just lots and lots of fresh lemon. The sponge itself is soft and buttery with finely grated lemon zest. We fill it with tangy lemon curd and we top it with a swirl of silky lemon buttercream, more lemon curd and candied lemon peel.”
The Oreo flavour is one of the vegan options.
“Having spent a large part of my baking career in Brighton, a coastal city about an hour outside of London, known for it’s many vegan, gluten free and free-from restaurants and bakeries. I spent a lot of time making vegan cakes and cupcakes, experimenting with different recipes and finding alternatives to butter, eggs and milk.
I believe that our vegan cupcakes should be as delicious as all our other cupcakes.”
And this cupcake banishes that stereotype that vegan options are dull.
“I had a customer a few months ago who ordered a cupcake box for a party, with half vegan and half regular cupcakes. She mentioned that she was not a vegan herself and wouldn’t be eating any of the vegan ones, because in her opinion they wouldn’t be as tasty. On the night of the party, she forgot which was which and ended up having one of each. A few days later, I got an email to say the cupcakes were a huge hit and she couldn’t believe how delicious the vegan cupcake was.”
4. Chocolate Fudge
Here’s the thing. Either you like chocolate a lot or you just don’t care about it. For those bitten by the chocolate bug, try this one. Don’t be surprised to find that the fudge permeates the depth of the cupcake-so that even after you have polished off the frosting, you can still find it.
It is reminiscent of one of the first cakes Olivia first baked. She says her mum had a great chocolate recipe that she used to make all the time. This too is her favorite flavor.
“I’m a big fan of the classics.”
Remember that banana bread you like? Ya it is not this. The cupcake has a caramel center. I was surprised to find that this was my absolute favorite flavor, perhaps it had something to do with the familiar banana. To arrive at the interesting mix of flavours in all her cupcakes, Olivia has to try a lot of cupcakes.
“When you work as a baker and cake artist, you spend a lot of time eating cupcakes. I have a little cake notebook and I scribble down the things I liked and maybe didn’t like so much; flavour combinations, textures, fillings, size, cupcake to icing ratio. With all this, I started to create my cupcake menu.
I wanted The Infield Cakery cupcakes to be buttery and moist, with a silky smooth, almost cloud like buttercream. Some are filled inside, with homemade curds, jams and caramels.”
6. Red velvet
This is the flavor opted for by those who are tired of the ordinary. The tangy and chocolaty sponginess is topped off with a pretty vanilla head. The look of the cupcakes is just as important as the taste. In fact, a pretty cupcake, has to work harder to prove itself.
“When a cupcake looks beautiful and enticing on the outside, the taste and flavor on the inside has to be equally good, if not better! You want someone to be wowed when they first look at the cupcake and you want them to be blown away when they get to eat it. There is nothing worse than taking that first bite and finding out that it looks way better than it tastes!”
This is my list, add to it the Classic carrot and Lime and coconut you’ll be in cupcake heaven. Or don’t take my word for it and make your own list by visiting their website and ordering yourself a dozen cupcakes, or more. A half a dozen costs from 50k. Thank me later.
All photos from The Infield Cakery.