Been hearing and reading positive things about Plain Vanilla Bakery since it started operations from a tiny second floor shophouse unit in Holland Village back in 2011. Specializing in cupcakes, many fans lauded their rendition as one of the best, if not the very best in Singapore. The reputation, great as it may be, did not send me scurrying off to try their cupcakes immediately. It was only when Plain Vanilla opened the doors of their cafe in Tiong Bahru's Yong Siak Street that I finally made my way over. Ooh... and I fell in love with the ambience.
A row of rustic Tiffany-blue bicycles charmingly front the entrance which leads into an inviting, semi-alfresco space. I was surprised to see that seating capacity is not packed tightly to maximize business profit, making Plain Vanilla very different from the other cafes in the vicinity.
It was relatively quiet on the weekday afternoon, patrons were mostly seen spending time with their laptop or enjoying a tête-à-tête around the large wooden communal table. Laidback and relaxed, it's exactly my kind of place to laze a couple of hours away with good company, and a cuppa latte.
The bakery itself is hosted in an air-conditioned area beyond the glass wall and door. This is where cupcakes, as well as tarts, tea cakes and cookies are being churned out freshly everyday.
It doesn't take a veteran baker to tell you that basic ingredients for cupcakes are really simple, but Plain Vanilla prided itself in using quality ingredients like French butter and pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla.
Regular flavors include Carrot, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, Cookies and Cream, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Milk Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, Chocolate Hazelnut, Milk Chocolate Banana, Strawberry White Chocolate, Salted Caramel. At $3.50 each or $19 for every six pieces, I would say the cupcakes are reasonable priced.
The rows of petite visual delights certainly looked attractive, but good sense predominated over the impulse to over-order. We went with the classic Red Velvet (crimson-colored light Valrhona coca cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting), Carrot (spiced carrot-streaked cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting) and Milk Chocolate Banana (chocolate chip-studded banana cake with milk chocolate frosting).
Flavors were pleasant enough, but the cake base could do with more moisture. The frosting was smooth but a tad sweet for my liking. Overall, I would describe the Plain Vanilla's cupcakes to be average at best. Yes, it was rather disappointing, perhaps our expectations were set too high after all the hype.
Plain Vanilla Bakery
Address: 1D Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168641
Contact: +65 64655942
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 12pm-6pm / Closed on Mon