A record-breaking cake effort at BAPS Temple Sydney

A temple cake for Pramukh Swami Maharaj - the man who built 1100 temples. SUHAYLA SHARIF reports.

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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Sydney proved it was a piece of cake to make an impact for Diwali 2022, setting a new record for world’s largest eggless cake.

Created by a team of over 60 volunteers from the organisation, the cake scaled in at 3 metres wide and 2.4 metres tall and weighed over a tonne.

The temple-shaped culinary masterpiece, now certified as a world record by The Australian Book of Records, was three months in the making.

315kg of flour, 162kg of icing sugar, 140kg of fondant, 81kg of butter and 60kg of ganache were used to make the 3,850 different pieces on the colossal cake, a venture not possible without volunteers like Mira Savania.

Mira Savania with BAPS 'record-making eggless cake
Mira Savania (Source: Supplied)

“It was the dedication from the all the volunteers involved in this project, who not only with the normal home, family and work life dedicated an equal amount of time to this project to ensure that it was delivered.”

BAPS Diwali cake record
Source: supplied

Baked in bits at volunteers’ homes, it was assembled together at the site of the BAPS Mandir in Rosehill, Sydney.

With its domes and pillars, wall carvings and decorations, and with that white façade, it is a pretty close replica of the grand marble mandir which is set to open in Sarangpur in Gujarat, India in 2023. This is where His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj spent the last years of his life. This is also where he was ordained, just like all other swamis, after eight years of initial training. It is quite a significant pilgrimage spot for the BAPS community.

41 intricate designs were incorporated into the cake, including elements replicated from the original Mandir.

“The elephant motifs – and the peacocks and swans and flowers and kalash (pots) – are all inspired by the temple at Sarangpur,” Mira revealed.

“We used moulds similar to the ones used for the temple construction to make ours out of fondant.”

Eggless cake record
Sourced: supplied

Fellow volunteer Praful Jethwa observed, “The beauty of the intricate designs, and the sheer effort, show the devotion of all involved.”

Of course the process was not without challenges.  “The weather did not exactly help – with the rain and the heat presenting their challenges!”

And yet when the final jigsaw came together, it was a moment of sheer joy for the volunteers.

As the congregation arrived for prayers, they seemed sceptical about whether the cake was real.

“They couldn’t believe that it was edible – some even asking if it was built of styrofoam,” Mira laughed.

It became part of 850 Annakut food items that were prepared as bhog (offering) and shared after Diwali prayers at the Rosehill Gardens, in the presence of senior BAPS sadhu, Pujya Doctor Swamiji.

The 100th birth anniversary of Pramukh Swami Maharaj is currently seeing year-long celebrations, and Mira described the cake effort as a special tribute.

“Pramukh Swami Maharaj has built over 1100 Mandirs across the world, and as a token of our appreciation, we decided to build a Mandir for him.”

World record cake certificate
Source: supplied

The effort that went into creating the record-breaking cake also embodies that primary lesson in Swamiji’s teaching: ‘In the joy of other’s lies our own.’

Later, that joy was spread to other centres at Canberra and Newcastle, and outside the congregation to those that need care and attention. 700 cake packs were distributed to partnered charity organisations, Parramatta Mission and Hawkesbury Helping Hands.

Mira spoke with pride on how the endeavour united the community.

“Whether it was children, to elderly people, those who have dedicated their time throughout this project, throughout this Diwali, have come together and shown the spirit of unity in diversity, and what can be achieved through harmony.”

mira Savania with her family at BAPS eggless cake record event

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