No storefront? No problem. It’s a small issue that’s barely hindered the rise of home-based operations such as private restaurants run by aspiring and professional chefs alike. On the other end of the dining circuit, bakers are getting in on similar operations as well.
Beautiful creations by these pâtissiers are catching attention across social media. Armed with an oven and tons of ideas, these home bakeries are churning cakes that are more than just rainbow-coloured sponges wrapped thick in fondant. These are serious bakers, packed with impressive qualifications and experiences, sharing a taste of their craft beyond the confines of a restaurant.
Here’s a slice of the action.
Homebaker Eliza Liaw started Sugarwhim three years ago for the ‘gram just to document her baking hobby and food photography. As her creations started to catch on, on social media, Sugarwhim transformed into a business. Her cakes also evolved from just buttercream frosting to more sculptural designs with sugar, fondant and flowers. While Liaw is now working full-time in advertising, she’s still baking when possible.
Patisserie Cle (@patisserie.cle)
Behind this French-inspired patisserie is a star-studded duo: pastry chefs Elizabeth Chiam and Germaine Li, formerly of Joel Robuchon and Les Amis restaurants respectively. After Joel Robuchon’s closure in 2018, Chiam decided that it was time to start her own bakery and roped Li in on the project. Both bakers are now based at home but continue to uphold high standards in their creations by using only premium seasonal ingredients. While only a few months in, Patisserie Cle has managed to come up with a whole collection of cakes and tarts weaving in Asian and Western flavours.
After spending some time in the local restaurant circuit, Natalie Eng has been a dedicated private pastry chef creating customised desserts for luxury brands such as Chanel, BMW and Van Cleef & Arpels for events. She features many of her intricate cakes and dessert creations on her Instagram, though most of them are not readily for sale. However, she does sometimes open up pre-orders for certain creations (tip: keep a look-out on her Insta-stories).
Cakes by HGY
Today’s Instagram bakers go for a wide variety of hues and decorations. Cakes by HGY goes for a blanket of white with occasional spots of colour. Patissier Huang Guiyu (or HGY, for short) insists on keeping her creations simple, preferring to focus in on taste and quality of her cakes. The cakes are devoid of exaggerated embellishments, but Huang takes design cues from abstract paintings and pottery when decorating her creations.
Zizou Cake Boutique
Zizou Cake Boutique started when founder Azizah Mohamed wanted to bake from home while taking care of her children. Mohamed goes for impressive tiered birthday cakes dressed in swirls of buttercream, gold leaf and roses. Equally gorgeous are her birthday cupcakes, available individually decorated or as a pull-apart creation.
Vegan bakery Lalacakeland was started in 2016 by full-time marketers Colieen and Summer as a way to satisfy their craving to bake. While the home bakery was meant to fill up a lack of vegan choices, Lalacakeland eventually became popular for being able to acquiesce other dietary requests such as creating diabetes-friendly cakes, or going gluten-free and oil-less.
Of Feast and Field
While homemaker Shijie doesn’t go for the usual cakes, he’s adept at whipping up a series of cookies, tarts and choux pastries. Instead of the usual cookie cutter creations, he brings in a range of premium ingredients such as French butter, smoked sea salt and matcha. We can’t eat with our eyes, but his rustic pictures are leaving us craving for languid afternoon tea. Of Feast and Field doesn’t have a dedicated website for orders, but Shijie has the habit of opening up bake sales on the last weekend of every month.