The Rise of the Artisan Bakery – Plain Vanilla Bakery

34A Lorong Mambong
Holland Village

Very pretty cupcakes.

Now, we realise we’ve been going on and on about about cupcakes, tea and coffee recently. That’s mostly been a coincidence so far, but perhaps it’s also been because of the veritable explosion in the artisan eating and baking scene in Singapore recently.

The Plain Vanilla Bakery at Holland Village is an outpost dedicated to the fine and delicate art of cupcakery. It’s run by a friend of my brother, Vanessa Tan, recently returned from a career in law in London to try her hand in the business of baking. Part of the fun of eating cupcakes is the aesthetic aspect of it, and PV has gotten that down pat, with a range of very pretty and delicate choices available. They have a mainstay of classic flavours like the red velvet and carrot cupcakes, but there are also seasonal options available depending on the availability of special ingredients.

(from top, clockwise) Oreo Chocolate, Strawberry White Chocolate, Carrot, Red VelvetThey come at $3.20 a pop, or $18 for half a dozen. From the four I selected, I most enjoyed the red velvet and the strawberry white chocolate cupcakes. The latter had a moist strawberry jam core that added a nice fruity tang to the cake. The cupcakes are substantial, with a lovely and (un)healthily large dollop of icing crowning each of them. Best enjoyed with a pot of tea.

What I appreciated about Plain Vanilla is the fact that this is not mass-production BreadTalk baking – the little helpers in the kitchen were fresh young faces who had just completed their A levels and waiting for university to begin. All of them were amateurs but possessed a grasp of baking fundamentals to put some seasoned bakers to shame. It’s nice to be able to eat stuff made by people who care for the food they hand to you from over the counter.

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