The joy of jelly cakes

Wani Roslan

A stay-at-home wife Dayangku Maslina binti Pengiran Idrus has been passionate about making jelly cakes since December 2017, and has gone on to craft many imaginative creations.

Naming her business Dapur Asfa, she learnt to make jelly years ago from her mother who sells jelly in trays, and the recipe is originally from her grandmother.

From jelly in trays to jelly cake, Dayangku Maslina recalled how she started her business, sharing that it was inspired by a Romanian lady who she worked with when she was 20.

“She made me realise how great it is to have our own business that we work really hard on. I took the initiative to learn more, so I decided to spend two years to study in business,” she said.

After graduating with a Diploma in Business Accountancy from Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) Business Campus, she planned to set up a food business and came up with the idea of selling jelly cakes. “Despite knowing there are other sellers, I still wanted to try and create jelly cakes with my own creativity and make them different. I believe on the coming of rezeki from Allah the Almighty,” she shared.

ABOVE & BELOW: Dayangku Maslina binti Pengiran Idrus with her creations; and one of Dayangku Maslina’s jelly cakes. PHOTOS: DK MASLINA

‘I love doing experiments with colours, creating different shades and hues, and sometimes impromptu designs,’ said Dayangku Maslina

Going beyond her expectations, her jelly cakes were a success as she received dozens of customers.

They found her jelly cakes to be unique and suitable for all ages, with several flavours ranging from original to pandan, gula anau, Oreo and Milo, as well as fruit cocktail, peach or grass jelly topping.

She said her husband, family and in-laws supported her venture.

Dayangku Maslina also helps her mother take orders for other cakes such as Kek Sarang Semut and Kek Batik as well as jelly in trays. She said this is the reason behind the name of her business.

Making jelly cakes requires extra work, especially in the designs and colouring which are fully based on her creativity. Applying a high level of patience is one of the main challenges she faces.

“I love experimenting with colours, creating different shades and hues, and sometimes impromptu designs that mostly look good after,” she said.

As a business run full-time online, she said she posts photos of her jelly cakes on social media and takes orders through WhatsApp or over the phone.

“In a day, I can make a maximum of 15 jelly cakes. One jelly cake can be done within half an hour, depending on the designs and decoration,” she said.

She said her customers mostly love her jelly cakes. She believes the key to attracting customers is having a good quality product and providing excellent customer service. “I will work hard to improve my jelly cakes, including packaging, quality and continue to create several new designs and decorations,” she said.

Dayangku Maslina said that starting a business is not easy.

Patience, a positive mind, courage to learn from mistakes, focus and providing great customer service can help youth achieve what they desire in setting up a business.