Sweet dreams are made of butter, eggs and cream
1. Jaslyn Cakes
When Jaslyn Rangson graduated with an Economics degree in the UK, the finance job market was depressed. She took it as a sign to embark on a life-long passion – baking cakes – and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu London to learn the craft. “I learnt the importance of getting the basics right at the school. Once you master that, the world is your oyster. Everything is open to improvisation and you can create and tweak as you please. So while our cakes are classics like butter cakes and chocolate chip cookies, we try to make them really well and hopefully, the best versions of themselves!” says Jaslyn, who uses organic eggs and flour in her cakes.
She started supplying cakes from home before opening a pop-up cake stand in a local café, Wondermama. The reception was good, and she eventually opened a tiny little shop in Bangsar with partners to sell her sweet and tasty wares. From this little shop of delights, you can expect melt-in-your-mouth cheesecakes, luscious butterscotch blondies and airy madeleines along with sweet essentials such as chocolate peanut butter and chocolate ganache cakes. Today, you can also shop. her freshly-baked cakes at the new outpost in Mont Kiara.
We have a predilection for family-run, hole-in-the-wall shops such as Whisk Espresso Bar & Bake Shop. With its homespun cakes and appearance, it is a cosy and mandatory pitstop for cake and coffee.
“Mom has been baking for the family since we were kids. Her specialty was our grandma’s marble cake and her special butter cakes. She would do all the cakes by hand without the help of any mixers or machines,” says Emma Khalid. She recounts that when she and her siblings, Nora and Azlan, bought her a Kitchen Aid mixer, it remained untouched for a year. “She refused to change her techniques as she felt it would alter the cakes. But once the box was opened, we started cranking out baked goods and experimenting with all sorts of cake recipes in the kitchen.”
Among the baked delights to grace their dessert table are luscious tiered cakes (ranging from granny cakes to cream red velvet creations), chocolate tarts, colourful macarons – all of which you can enjoy along with their impressive selection of coffee and beverages. The cakes are baked fresh daily, usually fully sold out by day’s end.
Cake Jalan Tiung grew from a part-time hobby to a full-time business for former bankers and husband-and-wife founders Nur Shafinaz Abdul Rahman and Hidzad Lahuree. What sets their craft apart is the use of quality ingredients such as Belgian Callebaut chocolate and a daily supply of fresh fruits, as well as memorable flavours that last long after the last bite.
In their bright and cheery space in Shah Alam’s Seksyen 9, head to the dessert counter (located under right a flock of origami birds) and spy the smorgasbord of delightful sweet treats from salted caramel and chocolate cakes and Valrhona chocolate tarts to their bestselling berry pavlovas, all dressed up to food magazine-worthy standards.
4. Gula Cakery
Founded by self-taught baker Arieni Ritzal in 2015, Gula Bakery originally started out as a home-based business offering both cakes and baking classes. Today, Gula Cakery’s delightful goodies are sold five outlets scattered across Klang Valley, and has become somewhat of a local household name for sweets, treats and everything in between. With over 100 flavours to choose from, ranging from classics like a chocolate truffle cake to local iterations like a durian cheesecake, you’ll definitely be spoiled for choice.
Lim Cheng Cheng of Swich has a passion for cakes. “I would have cakes before a meal. I had cakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And as a snack in between,” she says. So perhaps it was inevitable that she should put aside a thriving career as a lawyer to make the life switch of opening a cake shop. “I wanted to spend more quality time with my kids, and F&B was the only thing I could do that didn’t require me to go back to university,” says the self-taught baker.
Swich cakes uses both local ingredients and seasonal fruits, resulting in unusual but delicious flavours like an apam balik cake, gula melaka mascarpone almond praline, and even a tiered cempedak cake. “We try to create cakes that incorporate local fruits and flavours that Malaysians are used to but seldom encounter as cakes,” says Cheng Cheng. All the cakes start with a good base of quality ingredients like Valrhona chocolate, Callebaut chocolate and French butter.
Read more: The best fresh bread in Klang Valley
This article was originally published in August 2015.