Conventionally popular for birthdays and other special occasions, you don’t really need a reason to have cake (and eat it too). We find the best cake shops in KL that rise to the occasion.
Bangsar hipsters, fawning foodies and sugar addicts alike have all fallen in love with Jaslyn Cakes – in fact, let us count the ways: the black and white tiled entrance, the finely-painted china cups and saucers, the smell of freshly baked goods. It’s a small space – considering it’s a triple threat of bakery, café and cake shop. Jaslyn Rangson, who honed her craft at Le Cordon Bleu London, uses only kampung eggs and organic flour in her foodstuff, with no artificial essences and flavourings; pastries are also baked with buckwheat and rye grains. The cakes sell like [wink] hotcakes, but don’t miss the butterscotch blondies, carrot cake and vanilla bean cheesecake. On display at the counter, you’ll also find a spread heavy with banana yoghurt loaves, canelés, financiers, lemon bars, madeleines, onion and herb quiches, sourdough croissants and a myriad of other biscuits, loaves and pastries.
No café has surpassed owner Cheng’s perfect grasp of using local fruits in desserts. She’s constantly outdoing herself, churning out the fluffiest cempedak cake we’ve tasted so far as well as the elusive, seasonal mangosteen cake. If you think the much-imitated Valrhona chocolate cake cannot be improved upon, Swich’s version is a thing of dark beauty: indulgent and moist in a single bite. The cakes may have gone down in size but we’d still order a whole cake from Swich whenever the occasion calls for it.
Three cakes to try: cempedak cake, Aphrodite, Valrhona chocolate cake.
Tray Café’s pavlova, crowned with some incredibly luscious-looking berries, is the very personification of #foodporn. Oh, but we’re not done yet – wait till you hear about the cakes. Chocolate, red velvet and carrot cakes are bestsellers here, but owners Victor, Dinesh and Allison like to add their own twist by incorporating salted caramel, Nutella or peanut butter – and that’s when it gets really interesting. They make the best cakes when they layer up: hazelnut meringue layered with wheat-free brownie and slathered with Nutella, or dark chocolate and coffee walnut layers sandwiched with rich ganache and topped with coffee cream cheese frosting. The cakes on offer might vary from day to day as the owners are very particular about using fresh ingredients that are in season. So for whole cakes, you have to pre-order three days in advance. And yes, they do gluten-free versions too.
Three cakes to try: pavlova, carrot cake, banana walnut cake.
This is the place to buy cakes for people who don’t like cakes. Which isn’t to say the cakes at Patisserie Rui are bad – far from it. Instead, they take after the concept of Japanese cakes – light and delicate in design, taste and texture. The strawberry shortcake here is one of the best in KL: The sponge cake is pillowy soft, the cream is fresh, and everything is just so beautifully light and fluffy. The cupcakes are good too; covered in cake crumbs, they look like coloured snowballs.
Three cakes to try: strawberry shortcake, red velvet cupcakes, Princess Torte.
Alexis is the only bistro café and restaurant that made it onto this list, but we promise it’s with good reason. One of the best in the city, the tiramisu at Alexis is a slice of temptation – sponge cake soaked in coffee and Cognac, cushioned with mascarpone cheese and topped off with crunchy candied almonds and nuts. It’s all well and good on its own, but in a stroke of genius, they serve it up with a dreamy drizzle of strawberry sauce. Yes, the tiramisu takes the cake here, but we also have a soft spot for the pavlova; with its chewy centre, crisp crust and fresh berries, the cake is a consistent crowd-pleaser.
Three cakes to try: tiramisu, pavlova, chocolate mousse cake.
The keyword here is ‘Delectable’. Huen Su-Yin’s cakes are almost too pretty to eat, but eat you will. What began as an online business paving the way for designer cakes is now a thriving retail store with sweet, sweet success. There are brownies, cookies and tarts aplenty, but we’re rooting for the Delectable Floral cakes – gorgeously flavoured, the butter or chocolate cakes are decorated with Italian meringue buttercream florals using oldschool piping techniques. For the cakes, choose from dark chocolate ganache, lemon curd or raspberry fillings.
Three cakes to try: delectable floral cakes, banana salted caramel, hummingbird.
The average marble cake is overly dense, with only a thin swirl of chocolate to relieve the monotony of a pure butter cake – unless it’s made by this mom-and-pop institution in PJ. While others attempt to excite us with desserts well outside the standard repertoire of a café-bakery (Sweet potato cream cake? No, thank you), Bakeri Joy sticks to traditional confection and perfects them. Get a classic orange cake for your birthday if you hate embellishments, but this neighbourhood favourite also whips up a convincing red velvet nonetheless.
Three cakes to try: marble cake, orange cake, red velvet.
One of the original purveyors of the cupcake craze in KL, Wondermilk is number one in our books for bite-sized treats. Circumvent the messy process of cake cutting and let your guests help themselves to individual cupcakes instead.
Named after different types of birds, Wodnermilk's three cupcake collections cater to different occasions: the Robin Collection is simple and classic, the Goldfinch Collection features elegant and intricate designs, and the Bluejay Collection keeps popular celebrations and holidays in mind.
Three cakes to try: coffee circus, mint choc chip, amazin raisin.
Available in a riot of colours, themes and designs, the jelly cakes here liven up any party or special occasion. Besides cakes, Jelly Cake House also makes jelly cupcakes and jelly bites. Those with food allergies can happily tuck into the gluten and dairy-free treats from here sans fear of reacting badly. Collecitng your order is quite convenient, as Jelly Cake House has five pick-up locations spread throughout Cheras, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya and Kepong.
Best customised cakes
This online cake shop by Juliana Omar offers unconventional-looking sugary creations, the most striking of which are the cakes topped with a pyramid stack of Valrhona brownies circled by Oreo cookies or caramelised almond flakes.
(03 7496 5608/www.bisque.com.my)
From personalised mini cupcakes to tiered wedding cakes and themed dessert spreads, the delicate creations by this Instagrammer have no trouble grabbing the attention of potential buyers, who can make their enquiries and orders via whatsapp.
(016 718 8291)
Edwin Chan runs this online bake shop that churns out eye-catching cakes and desserts, whether it’s a towering structure of assorted macarons or the decadent salted caramel butter cake topped with salted caramel popcorns.
(018 326 2770/www.facebook.com/Elevete)