Bethany Clough

Fresno gets an Indian bakery, and it's selling mango cake and cookies as big as your head

Passage to India Bakery brings colorful eggless cakes and cookies to Fresno

Jyoti Badhan opens Passage To India Bakery, with her brother Sunny Badhan, featuring traditional and eggless cakes, cookies and other Indian-inspired desserts to Fresno
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Jyoti Badhan opens Passage To India Bakery, with her brother Sunny Badhan, featuring traditional and eggless cakes, cookies and other Indian-inspired desserts to Fresno

Ever had mango cake? How about a teacup made of chocolate with strawberry mousse inside?

Both are available at the newly opened Passage to India Bakery in southeast Fresno, along with many other desserts.

The bakery, at 5562 E. Kings Canyon Road near Clovis Avenue, opened about a month and a half ago. It sells cakes, including eggless ones. There is also an array of traditional Indian sweets and American goodies like cookies.

The bakery is the first franchise outside the Passage to India locations in Mountain View and Fremont. For now, the cakes and other baked goods are shipped from the Bay Area as the Fresno location's kitchen isn't finished.

The layer cakes are assembled and decorated here, and the location will start baking locally when its kitchen is finished in two or three months.

Passage to India is owned by the sister-brother team of Jyoti and Sunny Badhan. They're partners, though you'll find her running the bakery and her brother running the Chicago's Pizza With a Twist next door.

The bakery is in the same shopping center as the Sunnyside Regional Library and often gets customers – both Indian and non-Indian – dropping by with kids after a visit to the library.

At the bakery, cakes come in 16 flavors ranging from the top-selling mango cake to German Black Forest cake. They can be made with eggs or eggless for $1 more.

"There are a lot of people in Fresno that don't eat eggs, a lot of people in the Indian community," explained Sunny Badhan.

People don't want to take away a potential animal's life, added his sister.

The eggless cakes and cookies aren't vegan, however. Jyoti Badhan declined to say what they use as a binder in the cakes instead of eggs.

"That's the secret," she said with a smile, adding that the ingredient is vegetarian.

Customers can buy small slices of cake, along with other individual pastries.

A case full of cookies, which are not Indian, includes a cinnamon crisp cookie that is bigger than most people's heads.

There are boxes of Indian sweets in the cooler cases and flavored nuts for snacking.

Passage to India also sells boxes of Indian cookies, which are similar to British biscuits as they are less sweet and less moist. A top seller is the tutti-frutti cookie made with candied fruit. The shop also carries Indian sweets that need to be refrigerated.

The bakery is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough
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