Home bakers in Singapore are turning their hobby into full-time businesses. They offer specialty cakes, bread and pastries that consumers can’t find in chain stores – with some bakers even catering to specific dietary requirements.
Running a baking business out of your own kitchen also means low-to-no overheads when compared with using an industrial shared kitchen or operating a bakery out of a shop space. With an eye for detail, innovative yet decadent creations, these home bakers leverage social media and word-of-mouth to market their products.
The only drawback is that home bakers take orders in advance, so it isn’t as convenient as buying a cake off the shelf.
So if you have a sweet-tooth, and you love supporting small businesses, here are six Singapore-based home bakers you could try.
Vegan home baker Gratus is out to debunk myths that vegan desserts can’t match up to their butter-and-cream laden counterparts. Run by home baker Levine Thio, Gratus offers cakes and pastries without any animal products, including honey.
Made with dark chocolate, coconut cream with a little salt, her Chocolate Hazelnut Tartlets are one of her most popular offerings. She also makes layered cakes filled with vegan cream and frosting, such as Earl Grey Mango and Coffee Hazelnut.
Thio’s cakes and tarts are a hit with Singapore’s vegan community, despite its somewhat high price tag. It may cost S$25 for a box of three Chocolate Hazelnut Tartlets, but to vegans, this is a small price to pay if you want a luxurious yet totally cruelty-free dessert.
New onto the scene, @idohighteas is a relative unknown when it comes to home bakers. But one thing is for sure – the bread artist behind the Carousell shop of the same name specialises in artisan sourdough breads.
Pandan Coconut and Cinnamon Apple with Chinese Rice Wine are just some of the unique flavours you won’t find in most sourdough bakeries. The bread is also fermented for 20 hours, so you can expect a complex and slightly tart taste.
Sourdough home bakers have a small yet significant online presence in the home baking community – a quick search on Google reveals that there are considerably more specialty cake bakers than those who bake artisan breads.
Perhaps it is due to the fact that there the artisan bread scene has exploded. Or that hobbyists can bake bread at home without fancy equipment and with just four ingredients of flour, salt, water and sourdough starter.
Missing your down-to-earth nonya kuehs after indulging in rich cheesecakes and double chocolate cakes? Bluepea.sg offers handmade kueh salat. The traditional Peranakan kueh salat is made of a coconut cream custard layered on a bed of flavoured glutinous rice.
What sets Bluepea.sg apart from other kueh salat is its blue-tinged rice, coloured by the blue pea flower, and its coconut cream custard, tinged green from homegrown pandan leaves. The typical kueh salat’s bed of rice is white, without any food colouring.
Kueh salat is usually sold in small bite-sized servings. Bluepea.sg sells its kueh salat in larger variations 8-by-4 inch half-square, 8-inch squares and 9-inch rounds. Prices range from S$28 for a half-square, to S$49 for the full-sized square and 9-inch rounds.
Due to the freshness of its ingredients, kueh salat is best consumed within two days.
A cute play on words, Baking Soba is a Muslim-owned bakery that specialises in bite-sized treats, such as Swiss rolls cinnamon rolls and brownies. Its baked goods are also very affordable – at S$10 to S$12 for a box of five cinnamon rolls, depending on their flavour or frosting, prices are hard to beat.
Run by Vietnam-born, Paris-raised “mumpreneur” Azizah Mohamed, Zizou Cake Boutique is known for its intricately decorated cakes. She makes customised designs too, so if your daughter is begging for a Frozen-themed cake for her fifth birthday, Zizou Cake Boutique could be the one making her birthday wish come true.
Bakes by Yan is an up-and-coming bakery offering macarons, tartlets, brownies, boutique cakes and the new in-thing among dessert lovers – the Basque Burnt Cheesecake.
This cheesecake boasts a burnt top and a soft and creamy middle. Judging by its popularity and its sold-out status in cafes and bakeries island-wide, looks like this food trend is here to stay. Bakes by Yan offers a Thai Tea burnt cheesecake, as well as customised cakes for special occasions.