Last Updated: October 14, 2020
With all that’s happened in 2020, we’re definitely in a new normal now. Most of us have turned to baking and cooking to stay sane amidst the pandemic, and there’s no shortage of home-based businesses that have sprung up as a result.
We’ve rounded up 15 home bakers who have impressed us, and hopefully, this list helps you decide who to order from as well. It’s not an exhaustive list, so do feel free to let us know if there are any bakers you believe deserve a spot here.
Previously a primary school teacher for seven years, 2020 was the year that Amrita plucked up the courage to pursue her passion for baking full-time, with Amrita’s Artisan Bakeology.
She specialises in burnt cheesecake, and these cakes are downright stunning. I’d definitely recommend getting one for the next birthday celebration, anniversary, or any special occasion.
Choose from 5” cakes (S$48 for Naked Burnt Cheesecake, S$58 for Berried Burnt Cheesecake) which are suitable for four to six pax, or the 7” cakes (S$78 for Naked Burnt Cheesecake, S$88 for Berried Burnt Cheesecake) which feed eight to 12 pax.
Note that there’s a S$15 delivery fee.
Binding Bits founder J is an airline pilot, but the unfortunate COVID-19 situation grounded the industry. Undeterred, he decided to share his Granny’s recipes through Binding Bits, serving up ‘belly belicious food that binds us together’.
What caught my eye were the colourful fruit pancake wraps. Available in Mango, Durian, Strawberry and Nutella Banana (S$1.90 for one, S$5.40 for three, S$8.50 for five), these little packages of happiness are filled with fluffy whipped cream and chunks of the respective fruits.
Looking for something a little more exotic? Don’t miss the Pulut Durian (S$5.80) or the Durian Green Bean Soup (S$3.80). Binding Bits has taken our favourite local desserts and added the King of Fruits, for something that’s much more decadent.
For purchases above S$40, delivery is free. Delivery fees for orders under S$40 start from S$4, depending on the delivery location.
They may say ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, but I’ll counter with ‘a cookie a day keeps the blues at bay’. Baking and enjoying cookies are a sure-fire way to perk me up, and Beatrice from Bakes by Bush finds baking just as helpful to relieve stress.
Bakes by Bush boasts a lovely selection of New York-style cookies, brownies and granolas, perfect for that afternoon tea break after a morning of dreary meetings. You haven’t seen fudgey cookies until you’ve tried the ones Beatrice bakes.
Going for S$4.50 each, you can also get a box of six cookies for S$24 (one flavour) or S$26 (three flavours). My absolute favourite had to be the Blackout S’mores, a decadent creation with graham crackers, dark chocolate chunks and caramelised, gooey marshmallow.
The Original Fudge Walnut brownies were no slouch, either. Get a Regular (S$25) portion or splurge for a Large (S$33) portion, because these 2” snacks will disappear faster than you can say “Yum!”
Bakes by Bush: Instagram
Fudgey brownies? Yes, please. ButterCube SG, founded by Terence, focuses on three tasty sweet treats, and he does it so well.
If you have a soft spot for chocolate, the Triple Chocolate Brownie (S$12 for eight pieces, S$20 for 16 pieces, S$26 for 25 pieces) will blow your mind. Luscious, gooey and oh-so chocolatey, I couldn’t stop at just one piece.
Even The Classic Cookie (S$9 for three pieces, S$17 for six pieces, S$25 for nine pieces) was addictive. Chewy, fudgy and topped with a sprinkle of sea salt, these chunky cookies are super indulgent.
I loved the Butter Cookies (24 pieces in a pack) too, which came in three different flavours:
Home bakers aren’t only serving up brownies—Carina’s Kueh Kueh can attest to that.
Part of the pastry team at Swissotel The Stamford, Carina started creating pastry boxes which go on sale every month during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period. Her expertise in the pastry kitchen serves her well, and she whips up whimsical creations that haven’t even been seen at the hotel.
I tried the Beginnings pastry box and Traveller’s Box, which showcases a lovely selection of carefully-crafted bakes.
Beginnings consists of two pastries and two kuehs that Carina has the fondest memories of. The Kueh Salat and Kueh Kosui are as authentic as you can get, while the Blueberry Cheesecake and Carrot Cake are quite possibly too cute to eat.
The Traveller’s Box is a little more indulgent, with two “monster cookies” and three-pound cakes. I loved both the Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookie and 70% Dark Chocolate Cookie, though the former stood out more because of how unique it was. The pound cakes included Matcha Pound Cake, Citrus Pound Cake and 100% Chocolate Pound Cake, which I polished off happily.
Her upcoming pastry box is fast food-themed, priced at S$29. Orders open on 29 September, so you’ll have to be quick if you want a taste.
Vegan friends, you haven’t been forgotten. Gratus specialises in vegan desserts and pastries, so you can enjoy elegant bakes too.
The main philosophy is that of gratitude (hence the name ‘gratus’, from Latin), and they offer decadent vegan pastries while leaving a smaller carbon footprint on the planet.
Delight in wonderfully tangy, creamy Lemon Tarts (S$25 for three pieces), consisting of vegan lemon curd and crumbly tart crust. If you need a cake for a celebration, consider the Pistachio Lychee Rose (S$70). Fluffy pistachio layers with juicy lychees and light rose buttercream—each bite is just perfectly balanced.
For a quick treat, Gratus does pretty amazing cupcakes, in four different flavours:
You can get them in a single flavour or mix-and-match two flavours (S$18 for six pieces), or even go for a variety with three flavours in a box (S$20 for six pieces).
When you think of cornflakes, you’d probably just think of it as a breakfast food. But Hani Specials has turned this breakfast staple into delightfully crunchy treats.
Get a taste of nostalgia with the Classic Honey Cornflakes (S$17 for one bottle, S$80 for five bottles). I remember bottles of these would turn up during festive periods, and even though it’s a pretty simple snack, it’s just so darn addictive.
For something a little more indulgent, try the Seasalt Dark Choco Almond Flakes, Butterscotch Heaven, or Hazelnut Milkyway. If you thought the honey cornflakes were good, these chocolatey cornflake treats will kick things up a notch. And at S$15 for a container and S$70 for five, you just might want to sweep up the lot.
A spoonful of sugar can make a bad day much more bearable, which is why you’ll want to get some sugar from Meringue Madness.
Specialising in custom flavoured and coloured meringues and meringue lollipops, Meringue Madness offers both individual orders and orders for events and parties. If you’re that kid who always broke off the sugary tops of icing gem biscuits, you’ll love this.
Stock up with the Vanilla Meringues (S$17 for a bag of 55 to 65 pieces), or get adventurous with Mystery Meringues (S$25 for a bag of 55 to 65 pieces).
You can also get Meringue Lollipops with different designs and sizes, ranging from simple Blossom (S$1.50 per stick) to Bubbles (S$2.50 per stick) and finally intricate, huge Buttercup meringues (S$4 per stick).
The best part has to be the custom meringues, going for S$20 per bag (55 to 65 in each bag, +S$5 for premium flavours). There’s up to 13 different flavours to choose from!
The one thing about home bakes that set them apart from commercially-produced ones? The love, the thought and labour that goes into each baked good, and the story behind it.
Slow Bakes by Seep is Cecilia’s one-woman bakery, inspired by her late loving father—a baker in his own league. And there’s something heartwarming about the thought that goes into each brownie, flavouring it with more than its ingredients.
Choose from Sea Salt Valrhona (S$5 per piece), Black & Bold (S$6.50 per piece, S$39 per slab per six pieces), and Negra Marrón Brownie (S$6.50 per piece). These are the gooey, fudgy kind of brownies. I liked the Sea Salt Valrhona for its seeming simplicity, though the sprinkle of sea salt deepens the chocolatey flavours.
Miso makes an appearance in Black & Bold, a confection with gula melaka, pecan and lime zest. The Negra Marrón Brownie is for those who love peanut butter, and sweets with a surprise centre.
Whatever your preference, these brownies are sure to be an indulgent perk-me-up.
Not a fan of brownies? Check out this unique home baker then. SU Nougat serves up—you guessed it—nougats, but not those rock-hard ones you get pre-packaged.
At SU Nougat, everything’s made by hand, and each piece of nougat is soft, chewy and absolutely delicious. A bag of Plain Nougat weighs in at S$6, as does the savoury Scallion Nougat.
Inspired by Taiwanese sandwich biscuits which come with a scallion nougat centre, this savoury flavour is intriguing, to say the least. Almonds, cashews and cranberries are scattered throughout each piece, with scallion bits too.
Seasonal, limited-time flavours like Rose Lychee and Sea Salt Hazelnut Chocolate cost a little more, at S$10 per bag. The Rose Lychee is pretty for the ‘gram, but a little light on flavours. But take a bite of the Sea Salt Hazelnut Chocolate, and you’ll fall in love with its nutty, chocolatey notes, complemented by sea salt.
Islandwide delivery costs S$8, but you’ll get free delivery for orders S$60 and above.
Gone are the days when tang shui (or traditional desserts) are just for the seniors. The Chinese Potion is determined to bring these nourishing desserts back in the limelight.
Founded by Apple, a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM), The Chinese Potion focuses on homemade Chinese desserts with nourishing, beauty-enhancing properties. She makes each bowl of dessert with premium ingredients and the best part? It’s only lightly sweetened so it’s healthy and guilt-free.
At S$6 per bowl, it’s not the cheapest. But when you consider the effort that Apple takes to mix and match traditional Chinese ingredients, preparing and brewing the desserts, you begin to see the value.
Choose from four different brews: Snow Lotus Seed + Papaya, Snow Fungus + Pear, Peach Gum + Apple + Osmanthus and Tragacanth Gum + Dried Longan + Dried Lily Bulb. Each has unique health benefits, and you can even opt for 0% sugar.
Delivery fees start from S$7, and you need a minimum order of five bowls, two days in advance.
You don’t often see home bakers offering more local inspired treats—it’s usually the same parade of brownies, cookies, and cakes. But at The Honey Comb Cake, bika ambon takes centre stage.
This Indonesian dessert is made with tapioca flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and coconut milk, but the hard part is achieving that perfect spongy, springy texture. At The Honey Comb Cake, you can opt for the Original Ambon, or get the zesty Orange Ambon.
Both cakes go for S$35 for a whole cake, which you can easily share with your family (or keep it all for yourself). I found myself sneaking bites of it for breakfast, tea break, and even supper—it’s light, bouncy, and just that tasty.
Another home baker with something unique to offer, Two Bake Boys is founded by Kitty, who works in the aviation industry. COVID-19 hit hard, and the mother of two found herself facing a pay cut—and decided to supplement the family’s income by setting up Two Bake Boys, selling Thai milk tea crepe cakes from home.
While we Singaporeans love our Thai food, Thai milk tea crepe cake is something we don’t often encounter. This deceptively complex cake has 18 to 20 crepe layers, all infused with tea, which takes Kitty about an hour to complete. And at S$35 per cake, I’d say it’s a steal.
Each cake comes with a serving of homemade Thai milk tea sauce, perfect for drizzling over the slices before digging in. Take a bite, and the cake will practically melt in your mouth—it’s that soft.
Make sure you order a day or two ahead, because Kitty makes the cakes fresh, without freezing them.
Sometimes it takes a jolt like COVID-19 to put your plans in action. That’s what happened with Joanne, founder of Unsalted Butter. After retrenchment, it seemed like her dreams of opening her own café were but a distant speck. Undeterred, she took the business online.
As the name suggests, Joanne makes all the bakes with only unsalted butter (‘muyeom‘ in Korean). And what tasty bakes these are!
The Walnut Banana Gugelhupf is a must-try, a delightful European cake with the distinct bundt shape. It’s lovely with coffee or tea, and if you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself enjoying the cake in a quiet Viennese coffeehouse.
Or pick up a Black Tea Scone or two, and savour the tea fragrance with the buttery, crumbly pastry. The Sea Salt Chocolate Cookies are sinfully good too, and I sure won’t be sharing them. Get all three in the Unsalted Butter Pack for S$34.50.
Unsalted Butter also offers the Afternoon Tea Pack (S$31), which comes with Buttery Plain Scones, Matcha Ummbutter Scones, and Earl Grey Lemon Tea Cakes. Be quick with the tea cakes, because they’ll vanish if you give your family the chance.
There are a few big names when it comes to pies and tarts, but take several seats, because Wunder Folks is coming through.
Serving up tarts and pies, they may be a home-based start-up but the appeal of their handmade, freshly-prepared tarts is undeniable.
If you love the lip-puckering sourness from lemons, the Lemony Meringue (S$42 for a whole tart) will be right up your alley. A bed of buttery crust, mouthwatering lemon curd filling, and sweet meringue swirls on top—it’s surprisingly light on the palate.
Chocolate lovers, dig into the Valrhona Dark Chocolate (S$42 for a whole tart). The chocolate crust is filled with velvety dark chocolate ganache made from Valrhona Guanoja and Callebaut No 811 ganache, then finished off with a dark chocolate glaze. Talk about chocolate indulgence!
The Rustic Apple Pie (S$38 for a whole tart) will warm your heart and fill your belly. This classic Granny Smith apple pie has a twist—the crumbly crust is filled with almond bits, and the cinnamon custard is studded with Biscoff bits for extra flavour.
We haven’t even scratched the surface of all the talented home bakers out there. If you’ve tried bakes from other home-based businesses that we didn’t include, let us know in the comments who they are!