Last Updated: August 23, 2021
Bomboloni is the word on the street these days. Technically, a bomboloni is not a doughnut, because doughnuts by definition, are those fried things with a hole in the middle. Bombolonis are doughnut’s Italian cousin who is way more fun. Simply put, it’s a cloud-like fried pillow that is worth every single calorie.
It seems like word has caught on as well, and everyone is making these lovelies. So, you know me, this calls for a showdown to decide which one is the best. For this showdown, we have narrowed it down to three distinguished bomboloni makers in towns to suss out who makes the fluffiest and tastiest bomboloni. We have Fat Kid Bakery, Sourbombe Bakery, and Puff and Peaks Bakery as the contenders for this round.
Now, how does one judge a bomboloni, one asks? Well, to keep things fair and relatively simple, I picked four main types of bombolonis you can have. We have the plain that is often labelled cinnamon, the citrus-flavoured bomboloni, a tea-flavoured one, and finally, as the ultimate test, a wild card kind of bomboloni.
It’s not the most precise test seeing as the flavours vary from bakery to bakery, but I think these are the main flavour profiles that most people gravitate towards.
We’ll start with the basics, the plain bomboloni, the only one on the list that is not filled.
The Classic (S$3.50) from Fat Kid Bakery is a hefty, rotund bomboloni that comes lightly dusted with sugar. It’s a fluffy, springy bomboloni for sure but ultimately quite forgettable. While I appreciated the lightness of the bomboloni, it did it a little too well and lacked some depth.
A bakery that comes with a huge fan base and accolades, Sourbombe Bakery is helmed by Genevieve Lee, the 2018 MasterChef Singapore runner-up. With such acclaim, you can bet that expectations were high for this one.
Here, we have the Cinnabombe (S$3.60), a cute-as-a-button bomboloni that comes dusted with cinnamon sugar. Right off the bat, this bomboloni is a lot softer and more delicate. There is a distinct tang from the sourdough fermentation to remind you this is all naturally leavened. The tang certainly played well with the cinnamon, and I was pretty satisfied with it.
Your friendly neighbourhood bakery that inspires insanely long queues, Puffs and Peaks Bakery, are a force to be reckoned with. A small, hole-in-the-wall bakery that runs at 100 miles an hour slinging out bakes, here was their Cinnamon Donut (S$2.90) sitting nicely in the middle of the two.
Dusted with a liberal amount of sugar and cinnamon, these were marshmallowy and held their shape like expensive memory foam.
Aaah, citrus-flavoured bomboloni, you’ll want this to be a fresh burst of flavour that is equal parts acidic, zesty and tart.
Instead of the usual host of citrus fruits, Fat Kid Bakery changes things up with their Calamansi (S$1.30) bomboloni, you know, the little green fruit with a Sunkist interior. I was intrigued and rather impressed with the choice of the local citrus fruit. These little limes are known for packing huge flavours and their intense sourness, so I wondered how Fat Kid Bakery would balance those flavours.
As ready as I was to love this, the filling landed sweeter than I would have liked. Plus, the filling was a little scant, so I got more dough than there was filling.
As with anything from Sourbombe Bakery, creativity is the name of the game here, and I went with the Lavender Lime Mascarpone (S$4.80). Just the name alone sounds like it’s going to be scrumptious already. With a couple of sprigs of lavender and lime zest, this seemed like the perfect pairing.
Here, there is a generous serving of smooth velvety cream that was rich and smooth. The lavender and lime were a little more subtle than I would have liked, but it still made for quite the tasty treat.
Here, we have the textbook classic Lemon Curd Donut (S$3.80). Right off the bat, you can have a lavish amount of filling that threatens to spill over as you bite down. As far as lemon curd goes, this hits the nail on the head. It’s sweet, tart, and wonderfully citrusy. Lemon curd might sound a little typical and boring, but the rewards are manifold indeed when it’s done right.
This has to be one of the hot favourites because clearly, we go ga-ga over tea-flavoured anything. The rewards are manifold indeed. Be it matcha, oolong, hojicha, you know we’re there.
As a flavour, I think most people prefer hojicha for the roasted and earthy quality it possesses. Here, we have the Roasted Oolong (S$1.50), which comes with a pan-roasted oolong tea milk custard. It’s a rather creamy milk custard, so that’s always a plus. While the oolong was fragrant, there was just the slightest astringent quality towards the end.
The Hojicha Caramel Crunch (S$4.80) seemed to have all my favourite kinds of flavours all rolled into one. Like all of Sourbombe’s goodies, flavours are always elevated or given a little twist. The hojicha is cold steeped with milk with crunchy caramel pearls scattered in between.
Just like the Lavender Lime Mascarpone, the fillings are incredibly creamy and light. The hojicha comes across quite well without being too overpowering. I would certainly love to have this on a Sunday afternoon with a good book.
It seems that Puffs and Peaks are the Goldilocks of the bunch with their Hojicha (S$3.80). Just like the rest of their bombolonis, they are not shy with their fillings and you bomboloni that’s almost bursting with cream. With a pronounced hojicha flavour, you get that intense earthiness that is well-balanced with the sweetness of the cream sans the unpleasant tannic aftertaste.
This is an opportunity for all our three contenders to shine, so I picked the most outlandish bomboloni they had on their menu. Let the games begin!
For Fat Kid Bakery, I knew it the moment I saw the Sea Salt Maple (S$1.50). I mean, salty, sweet goodness is always a win, right? As much as I had high hopes for this bomboloni, it quickly evaporated when I cut open the sweet treat.
Besides the measly filling, there was no sea salt or maple in sight. In fact, the filling resembled something closer to cream cheese instead.
This is truly where Sourbombe shines; Sourbombe Bakery has it in spades when it comes to unexpected flavours. The only thing is that this section is too small to accommodate all the flavours that Sourbombe has to offer.
As much as I would like to include all their flavours, one that is pretty uncommon was the Basil Rhubarb (S$5.60). Described as an edible Eden, I hoped this was a garden that you’ll want to stay in forever, God willing. It’s a herbaceous custard with basil, lemon balm, and lime before it’s topped off with a rhubarb compote.
It seems like Sourbombe Bakery understood the assignment a little too well. I can appreciate how basil might be still regarded as an unconventional ingredient in dessert, but this tasted a little too vegetal for my liking. The texture of the custard is always spot on, but perhaps the flavours need a little fine-tuning.
What Puffs and Peaks Bakey does so well is as the reliable neighbourhood bakery that you can always count on. Still, it doesn’t mean they don’t have any tricks up their sleeves. The bustling bakery has a couple of rotating flavours every week, and this week it’s their Black Forest Donut (S$3.80).
This bomboloni is like having the best parts of Black Forest cake in a single bite. With a house-made sour cherry jam with whipped creamy mascarpone and scattered shards of chocolate, this was a pretty pleasant bomboloni. They could have pushed that envelope a little more, but this would do given their attention to detail.
Alright, as I type this with sticky fingers and battling a sugar haze, I’m still figuring out who deserves the accolade of best bomboloni. In the end, I think Puff and Peaks Bakery is one who edged out the competition, with Sourbombe Bakery following very closely behind.
Puff and Peaks Bakery does the tried and true flavours, and they do it exceptionally well. It’s good enough that it will warrant you a second bite. Of course, Sourbombe Bakery doesn’t falter too far from this either, but perhaps it’s about comfort and familiarity—something you can find at Puff and Peaks.
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