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As the chill creeps in and the fairy lights go up, we get out our fleece (navidad) and hunt for the city’s finest slices of creamy, chubby plum cake. Our top twelve:

Howard Johnson, Hebbal: You know it’s a party when Christmas festivities begin during Diwali. In October, Howard Johnson’s entire staff and all their guests got messy, putting in nearly 70 kilograms of dry fruit, plums and earthy spices to soak in booze. “We generously poured in the alcohol, including rum, whiskey and wine,” says Chef Chakradhar cheekily. The decadent results are glazed and can be bought at their café, as well as in a season’s special stall in the main lobby.

Behind Manyata Tech Park, Thanisandra. 1kg of plum cake costs approximately Rs 900.

Bengaluru Baking Company, JW Marriott: The intoxicating aromas of BBC’s Christmas specials wafts through Vittal Mallya Road -- just one more reason for its chaotic traffic. The beautiful tree in the corner of their café is adorned with plum cake, Florentine biscuits, ginger-bread cookies, pretzel sticks, yule logs, apple pies and cinnamon frosting. Please collect your first-Claus pass.

Ground floor, JW Marriot, Vittal Mallya Road, call 08067189999. 1kg Plum cakes costs approximately Rs 1700.

Healthy Bakes, JP Nagar: This is no time for clean eating, but if you must, get Priya Kamath on the line. Kamath runs Healthy Bakes runs out of her home kitchen, and makes cakes in which all-purpose flour is replaced with hole wheat, flax seeds, finger millet and organic jaggery. “Yes, it tastes a bit different, but I think of it as the taste of a healthy indulgence,” says Priya. Her bestsellers are the vanilla sponge with walnuts and the choco-orange, but she’s prepped for Christmas with cake full of figs, plums, apricots and nuts.

7th cross, 9th main, JP Nagar, Phase 1. To pre-order call 9845285003. 1kg costs Rs 700.

Thom’s Bakery and Supermarket, Fraser Town: On Bangalore’s pinboard, this is the loaf that goes on the Christmas poster: classic dark and sticky plum cake made with rum and studded, home-style, with raisins. As ardent fans of all snacks at Thom’s we’ll admit we reach out for the plum cake as an afterthought, but its simple goodness is a reminder of childhood Christmases. Who knows, maybe eating four slices straight will still give you a buzz?

½, Wheeler Road, Fraser Town, call 08025361076. 400 gram loaf costs Rs 149.

Koshy’s Bakery, Richmond Town: Hidden away on a quiet street, this bakery seems to shy away from attention, unlike its elder sibling, Koshy’s Parade Café. And yet its egg puffs and salt biscuits are sold out almost as soon as they hit the shelves. Can we be certain that their Christmas cakes carry the same punch, you ask? Well, check the bags of all your NRI neighbours, who diligently pack several pounds of this brown glistening cake to take back to colder climes every year. Cut a slice before those mixed nuts take it all.

No 1, Wellington Street, Richmond Town, call 0802221516. Rs 180 for a 400 gm loaf.

Albert Bakery, Fraser Town: The iconic Albert raises shutters only after 3 pm every day, ready to serve the tiny gems they’ve been toiling over all morning. Their perennial best sellers without doubt are the mini mutton kheema samosas, but this season’s big reason is their non-alcoholic plum cake. It only comes in after 6 pm, so queue up with a little pile of samosas for company.

93, Mosque Road, Fraser Town, call 9886165349. A slice of the plum cake costs Rs 25.

All Saints Bakery, Brigade Road: At All Saints, the staff are never the most approachable in the business, but you’ll barely look in their direction once you set your eyes on the display of baked goodies. This is everything a Bangalore bakery should be, every wall lined with masala rusk, salt biscuits, creamy pastries and smudgy tarts. This month, make room in the basket for a rummy plum cake topped with a thin frosting and packed with dried fruit, as crumbly as your resolve not to reach for another slice.

No 126/2, Brigade Road. Opposite Brigade Towers, call 08025572091. 1 kg Plum Cake costs Rs 545.

Fatima Bakery, Hosur Road: As you’d expect of a mom-and-pop bakery, at Fatima you’ll be served hunky almond rolls, chicken puffs and masala bread with a large dollop of nostalgia. Grab a meal while you shop for plum cake made with a family recipe and homemade rum. This cake comes without icing, but they will add a hard sugar coat if you insist. Be sure to buy early, because prices increase closer to Christmas.

1-2, Hosur Road, opp. Johnson Market, call 08025510378. 1 kg plum cake costs Rs 550.

OG Variar & Sons, Rajajinagar: It’s in the name: Variar is the OG and has been since the 1950s. They have plum cake on their menu all year, but this month, seeing as the carol says to be jolly, they’ll pour whole bottles of rum and wine into the cake mix. Stocks arrive on the 15th, and the manager paints a thrilling picture of loaves flying off the shelves when we call him to check the dates. On your (saint) marks! PS. Don’t forget to shop for OGV faves, milk biscuits, kara buns and crisp rusk, while here.

12th main, 2nd Block, Rajajinagar, call 08023324808. 1 kg costs approximately Rs 1000.

Glen’s Bakehouse: Glen’s relaxed vibe and airy bungalows has made them the city’s favourite new coffee shop chain. We’re putting their plum cake on the list because those cupcakes give us every reason to believe this will be the city’s big X’mas hit this year. Plum cake sales begin on December 20.

Lavelle Road, Indiranagar and Whitefield. Approximately Rs 1400 per kg.

Michelle Gafoor & Leela D’Souza, Cox Town: Mother-daughter duo Leela D’Souza and Michelle Gafoor have been making Christmas sweet together for fifteen years now. “My mother and I do a lot together, including making hand embroidered frocks, but this certainly is our biggest project every year,” says Michelle. Last year, Michelle and Leela made 300 kgs of plum cake -- a personal record -- and had to turn away a great many orders. This year, they’re planning to make 350 kilos. We’re already on a second order. Sorry!

To place an order call or WhatsApp Michelle at 9845092630. Rs 1200 per kg.

Excelsior Bakery: With four generations of bakers in the family, we would never make the mistake of ommitting Excelsior from our list, and neither should you. For Christmast, they’re selling plum cake by the slice -- for you to try as they wrap up your kilo orders, of course. There’s also a non-boozy version for those making last-ditch efforts to get their names on Santa’s “nice” list.

36, Quadrant Road, Shivaji Nagar, call 9448472366. Approximately Rs 600 per kg.

Photo Source: Edible Garden

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