W M Hansika Piumali Rodrigo is on a mission to excite, tease and invite eyes, tongues and lips of foodie enthusiasts, party goers and connoisseurs to the magical world of cake art. I am proud to be aligned with the prestigious event of Asia’s Outstanding Cake Maker Award as it is the original token for appreciation and recognition of excellence in craftsmanship.
Have you ever given a thought about the myriad of delicious scents and aromas that surround you as you prepare your baking ingredients? The citrus scent of zested oranges, the woody fragrance of freshly grated nutmeg, the floral sweetness of honey….! Once combined and baked these ultimately culminate in the gorgeous stomach churning aromas of freshly baked cakes.
Have you ever wondered why it feels so satisfying to use our hands? Research has shown that half of our brain’s cortex is mapped to our hands. Unsurprisingly, this means that to keep our brains healthy we need to use our hands. Mixing cake batter, icing cakes and then adding decorations, certainly fills this brief. It also keeps our hands physically flexible.
People often say to me, “hansi, I can’t do what you do because I’m not creative!” I would encourage you to think again; we are all innately creative. Creativity is like a muscle in our bodies – if we don’t use it, it will wither and become redundant, but if we do use creativity and keep using it, it will become stronger, more powerful and more satisfying.
Using your creativity, challenging yourself and pushing your skills to the limit will allow you to forget your worries. Creativity is all about being in the present moment, completely immersed in what you do. I find that when I am deeply involved in a cake design project time seems to disappear. I am so immersed in the moment that I simply don’t want to stop.
Prior to embarking on a professional carrier as a Cake Designer, I worked as a Marketing Executive in a leading insurance company in Sri Lanka. After two years, I felt the time was ripe for me to venture out on my own. I first started canvassing cake orders full time and before long the maiden venture turned out to be a big hit.
I launched Panda Cake Bar & Academy (Private) Limited in 2019 and while conducting cake decoration classes I also undertook cake designing orders. Business started to grow exponentially while I qualified myself further academically and professionally.
My first class was held in my ancestral home at Kelaniya. My classes in the meantime were swelling in numbers and I was compelled to move out to better and bigger environs and the second batch learnt their trade in a spacious classroom in Kiribathgoda. The third batch were luckier than their predecessors as they attended classes in Nugegoda a suburb close to Colombo. Now my cake designing classes are held in Kelaniya, Kribathgoda, Nugegoda and one day cake designing seminars are held in Kandy, Matara and Galle.
I and my academy had come a long way in a short time and in 2022 we managed to be amongst the TOP 100. We were so famous by now, TV and Radio channels were after us incessantly. We now feature our expertise in highly popular TV programs such as Nuga Sevana and Rasin Rasa.
24 batches have successfully completed their cake designing courses so far and their Diploma Certificates have been awarded to them in gala awarding ceremonies. Thousands of my past students are doing well having their own cake designing classes and most of my new cake designing orders are handled by them.
In addition to conducting classes, I offer my expertise as a judge in cake exhibitions.