Homemade baked goods have been rising in popularity (along with buying plants and exercising at home) since the start of the pandemic, which has in turn led to a surge in home bakers. In fact, a couple of businesses on our list were started during the Circuit Breaker period, while others began years ago out of their founders’ sheer passion for baking.
Armed with spatulas in hand, these guys whip up outstanding small-batch cakes, cookies and bread that have garnered legions of fans across the island.
The BBC Sg
Playfully named after its speciality, the Basque burnt cheesecake, The BBC Sg was founded by Daniel Tan, 30. Unfortunately retrenched a month into his new job amidst the pandemic, he found a new endeavour in baking, which coincidentally started as a hobby during the Covid-19 period. He started operating in May 2020, first offering the signature Original 8 inch BBC. Since then, he’s expanded his repertoire with a series of interesting cheesecake flavours for different occasions, like Pandan Kaya Cheesecake for National Day, and Daddy’s BBC, a layered chocolate cheesecake for Father’s Day, a cheese butter cookie for Chinese New Year as well as chocolate brownies.
What To Try:
Obviously, the Basque burnt cheesecake is a must-order. But you’ll also want to go for its Blackout Brownies (six in a box) that come in an array of flavours – think Sea Salt, Biscoff Speculoos, and Nutella & Hazelnut. We’ve personally tried them and they’re dark, decadent and seriously sinful.
How to order: Send a direct message (DM) via their Instagram page.
Chances are you may have spotted their artisanal dessert pies on your social media feed. Started in 2014, Elijah Pies was quite literally born out of love – founder Elijah Lim first rolled up his sleeves and delved into baking to satisfy his girlfriend’s sweet tooth. His first attempt? A Nutella pie, which subsequently culminated in the inception of Elijah Pies.
What To Try: The best-seller is, of course, the Nutella Pie (from $45). But he’s also dreamt up other gorgeous, droolworthy confections, including an aesthetically-pleasing Wild Berry Lavender Pie (from $52) that’s delicately perfumed with lavender and boasts a buttery crust topped with fresh yoghurt and real berries.
How to order: Via this order form
Baking sourdough bread reached a fever pitch during the stay-home period, but Vincent of Witty Wheat took it up a notch and turned it into a home-based business. This home-based business bills itself as a specialist in sourdough bread and other natural leavened bakes that have gone through long hours of fermentation for a distinct flavour. It also prides itself on fresh loaves with no commercial yeast, additives, colouring or preservatives added.
Here, you’ll find a slew of sourdough confections with flavours like Cheese Garlic, Sweet Potato, Everyday Rye, Just Chocolate and Just Olive. There are even hand-shaped sourdough cookies for those of you who prefer a bit of crunch, and these are baked to order as well.
What To Try: Cheese Garlic Sourdough ($12.80), which marries cheddar cheese cubes from New Zealand and garlic for an aromatic and savoury loaf. Also check out its sourdough cookies ($13.80 for a box of three), available in four flavours; Classic Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Chip, Cranberry White Chocolate and Oatmeal Raisin.
How to order: Via its website
Once Upon an Apple Cake
As you probably can tell from its name, this bakery specialises in apple cake. It was founded by Mark Lim, who’s also a former RSAF pilot. After leaving the Singapore Air Force, he started his own interior design company. But when Circuit Breaker restrictions halted his projects, he decided to give baking a whirl, focusing on a family recipe for apple cakes. He sold his first cake through his new home bakery, Once Upon An Apple Cake, which he set up in June 2020. In two months, he had already sold 300 cakes.
What To Try: There are two menu mainstays — Apple Cake ($45 for an 8-inch cake), which is generously filled with fresh apple chunks, as well as Apple Cheese Cake ($38 for a 7-inch cake). Fans of the Basque burnt cheesecake will want to go for this one, which gets a fruity spin thanks to crunchy apple bits.
How to order: WhatsApp Mark at 9459-3118 or Eileen at 8127-2561. Pre-order at least three days in advance.
Of Feast & Field
Baker Sim Shi Jie runs the (home) kitchen at Of Feast & Field, and draws inspiration from the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi; a world view that’s centred around the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Also drawing on nature, the rusticity of simple living and everyday life, he churns out bakes using the best ingredients, whipping up simple yet toothsome confections that place the focus on taste and texture.
And in the spirit of sharing, he’s even got recipes for all his cookies available on his website.
What To Try: You can only order through its monthly bake sale, and Of Feast & Field’s ever-changing offerings depend on the availability of ingredients and seasonality. So far, we’ve seen bake sales with caneles, Meyer lemon meringue tarts, pistachio shortbread and chocolate chip cookies.
The Homme Baker
The creative whiz behind The Homme Baker is pastry chef Pond Lim, who started baking at the age of 18, and majored in culinary arts at a university in Thailand. While his full-time gig is at a production house, his home business is a means of chasing his baking dreams.
The menu is ever-evolving, including seasonal bakes like a rum fruit cake for Christmas and Burnt Custard Cake with Mandarin Orange Sauce for Chinese New Year, so keep your eye on his page.
What To Try: It doesn’t get more Instagrammable than his Tom & Jerry series (a box of six for $36 or half a box of four for $24) – Swiss cheese-like exteriors hide moreish sweet treats like Raspberry panna cotta, cheesecake and dark chocolate banoffee.
Alan Travelling Foodie
Food and travel blogger as well as recipe author Alan Goh aka The Chubby Chef is also a self-proclaimed kueh slave, who offers a range of traditional Peranakan, Malay, and Chinese kueh, some of which are fast disappearing in modern times. In a bid to make them more appealing to younger folks, he creates some of them in various eye-catching hues like the lapis sagu rainbow, while sticking to traditional preparation methods.
He’s not taking personal orders at the moment, holding only flash sales during the Covid-19 period so you’ll have to follow his Instagram page to be able to get your hands on his covetable kuehs.
What to Try: For now, there’s only pretty much one thing to order from his flash sales: A tray with an assortment of kueh ($35, minimum order of two trays per person), which includes lapis sagu rainbow, kueh ko swee gula melaka, kueh salat pandan and abok abok sagu with gula melaka syrup. It’s on a “first to comment, first serve” basis, so fastest fingers first!
How to order: Leave a comment on his Flash Sale posts on Instagram.
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