Five places for sweets
These are places to relieve sugar cravings and satisfy your sweet tooth around Penang. Su Aziz happily bounces off the walls due to a major sugar rush after trying them out before recommending them to you.
This café is truly one that you shouldn’t blink or else you’d miss it. Although small in size and in sweets choices, but what they have is rather large in taste and satisfaction. The creator of their cakes and macaroons had studied how to make them for two years in France. So, it’s safe to say that there’s a touch of elegance to the flavours of the cakes as well as a dash of fashionable eccentricity to the ambience of the place. For those wanting a nice balance of fruit and cream, try their eté love that has layers of mango, passionfruit and cream layers. While a really creamy treat will be their rich Alhambra of hazelnut chocolate and a real surprise can be had with their apple tart topped with a curious bruleé concoction. Then wash it all down with their cup of single-origin coffee, carefully brewed before serving.
Sweet tip: The delicately salty sea-salted caramel tiered with white chocolate balances well with a cup of black coffee. If you have RM80 to spare, try a cup of the Esmerelda – very possibly the most expensive cup of coffee in town! While their cakes are from RM6.50 and macaroons at RM4 each.
La Vanille's cheesecake
The ambience of this place will wash you over with youth, fun and perkiness. Not unlike its two young, pretty proprietors who make all the sweets themselves daily. They specialise in cupcakes and cakes made to order, also colourful macaroons – they’ll need four days notice for each of these bespoke order. Daily, their little café offers around six flavours of cupcakes from vanilla, coffee, coconut to strawberry. Despite that, it’s their chocolate cheesecake that’s quite a crowd pleaser. Dense and not too sweet, the cake has a chocolate cookie crumble that’s simply comforting.
Sweet tip: Their house specialty is the sinful and decadent honey toast where half a small loaf of buttery bread (a bit like a brioche) is topped with fruits, nuts, cream, ice cream and fudge. Their honey toast is from RM9.90 while cakes are around RM8.90 and macaroons are RM4 each.
Sunflower Homemade Cakes
Five steps away from their front door, the smell of buttery baked good calls out to you like a siren song. Although there’s another branch of this cake house in George Town but the one on Jalan Tanjung Bungah has been standing for two decades. This place still has the traditional cream cakes such as blackforest, lemon cheese and chocolate torte, also blocks of plain butter or banana cakes, normally sold as a whole cake for takeaway. There’s a small selection of cream cakes available for eat-in at this branch. Although, their specialty is the fine layer cakes that’s moist and delicate in both flavour and texture. There are normally four varieties of layer cake – almond, prune, chocolate chip and normal – available daily and sold in three sizes of 250gm, 500gm and ikg.
Sweet tip: A fun twist to the conventional, regular layer cake is the chocolate chip layer cake. Since their layer cakes are moderate in sweetness, the additional sugar-punch from the chocolate chips makes it a real sweet treat. The 250gm is RM13.50 while the 1kg is RM50.
Pastries from La Boheme
42 La Boheme
Flanked by families as neighbours in a stretch of old link houses on Jalan Sri Bahari, this café is rustic and quaint. And it’s also known for their French pastries, thanks to its French proprietor and his wife. An afternoon of indulgence here means a walnut tart thickly coated in caramel, custard and chocolate layered lunette and a sugary sweet hazelnut or almond filled croissant. While the caramel in the walnut tart is addictive, the walnut itself can do with a bit of roasting to coax out its pleasant bitterness but the base of the tart is buttery and makes up for it.
Sweet tip: The real winner here is the lunette which is layered croissant pastry and theirs is around six inches long and two inches wide and filled with custard and chocolate chips. Wash it down with a glass of their freshly blended apple and ginger juice to balance out the sugar rush. Pastries start at RM8 while tarts at RM10 here.
Eye-catching green tea cake from Ritz
Brix and Baume
Right at the corner of busy Jalan Burma and Jalan Nagor is this charming cake house. They also have a branch in Tanjung Tokong. The place offers mainly traditional cream cakes, cupcakes and meringue. While their clientele mainly prefer to takeaway whole cakes suitable for birthdays or anniversaries, there are also individual slices of old favourites such as cheesecake and hazelnut praline cake. There are a couple of tables here where you can sit and simply enjoy the piece you’ve ordered.
Sweet tip: Their bestseller is the green tea cake that has a delicate but distinct flavour of the tea with a pleasant sweetness. A 500gm whole cake is RM35 and readily available for spontaneous order. While individual slices are at RM6.80 each.