Literally meaning “cake”, Kayka is a charming and quaint bakery located on the ground floor of Riyadat Mall known for its scrumptious brownies, blondies, cakes, various deliciously flavoured cupcakes, and more – all completely gluten-free. From curbing a sweet craving to being the ideal midday or evening delight, Kayka’s gluten-free baked goods are flavourful and healthy, and leave the customers always coming back for more. Owner and baker, Muneera Khalid Al Khalifa spoke to Perle Magazine about her decision to combine her passion for baking with the need to focus on good health in order to enjoy a tasty treat everyday.
Pursing her passion from just 10 years of age, Muneera started baking initially using the Betty Crocker mixes, and soon started to add her personal ingredients in the recipe to create a uniquely flavoured dessert. Soon, Muneera’s expertise allowed her to start using her own raw ingredients to create delicious tasting sweets based on recipes she would come across in cookbooks. Picking up a penchant for desserts from her mother, Muneera says it was also her who ultimately led her down her current path for it was her mother’s diagnosis of celiac disease that pushed her to explore the world of gluten-free baking. The disease, which causes hypersensitivity in the small intestine to gluten and causes difficulty in digestion, Muneera says, was an incredibly upsetting experience for her mother, who had to alter her entire diet. “In our house, we have cakes everyday; my mother eats them. And then she stopped eating the cake. It touched my heart and so I challenged myself to create gluten-free goods to make her happy!”, she explained. Educating herself for three years about gluten-free baking, Muneera studied various cookbooks and methods to create the perfect gluten-free desserts. Launching herself into the gluten-free baking world as a serious baker, Muneera’s brownies were an instant hit as she sent samples to her friends and other family members suffering from the same disease. “They didn’t believe my brownies were gluten-free!” With a natural gift of being an exceptional baker, a love for playing with different flavours, and support from her mother, Muneera decided it was time to set up her bakery, and thus Kayka was created.
Working from home initially, Muneera first displayed her baked goods at the Bab Market in 2014, which took place at Bab Al Bahrain in Manama souq on the last weekend of every month, and unsurprisingly throughout the 3-day event, all of Kayka’s goods were sold. Muneera explains, she partook in the event a couple of times, and each time her customers flocked to her stall and bought the sweets. Following her success at Bab Market, Muneera also participated in the Al Basta Market, at the Bahrain International Circuit, the same year. Once again, her gluten-free products were a hit and were immediately sold out. Continuing to build a fan-base through her delicious and healthy goods, Muneera was introduced to Riyadat Mall and after a year of planning and construction, she was able to do the soft opening for Kayka in October 2015.
Much like her own soft spoken but confident demeanour, Kayka’s aesthetic emulates that of its’ owners. Floral prints against a powder blue background wallpaper, minimalist yet comfortable furniture, and of course mouth-watering sweets and some coffee or tea, Kayka is designed to make its customers feel welcomed at all times. Baked in small batches, the bakery serves sophisticated yet simple treats, which can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Local natural ingredients, such as rice flour, cornstarch, sweet rice flour, chickpea flour, milled flour, buckwheat, and quinoa flour are used and Muneera explains that everything in her kitchen is entirely gluten-free, as if those with the disease come into contact with anything that has even minor traces of gluten, it can be very dangerous for them. Muneera says she, alongside her assistant baker, are the ones doing all the baking on a daily basis. Muneera says she also tries to accommodate people with other dietary preferences and makes goods that are vegan and sugar/yeast/dairy free. Creating her own recipes, or modifying recipes to make them gluten-free, Muneera says she likes to try to make different things and has even managed to make a gluten-free cheesecake and is now looking to serve gluten-free savoury bread. “The savoury bread is the hardest to make! I have tried every way to make it, but it needs to be perfect before I can serve it”, she says. Alongside that, Muneera says she soon aims to launch her own line of gluten-free flours for those who want to create their own versions of gluten-free goods to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.
Welcoming everyone, from those who suffer from celiac disease but have a sweet tooth to those who wish to enjoy a healthier version of their favourite dessert, Kayka is the perfect spot for a sweet treat guilt-free!
For more information:
(00973) 3912 2277
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