Plain Vanilla is a small bakery that has recently been gaining popularity for their exquisite homemade cupcakes. It may be just me, but it took me a long time to get hold of some due to their limited opening hours. They are closed Mondays and Thursdays (mentioned on their window and website but not on the door above) and I can never get to Holland V before the baked morsels are gone on weekends. So on a determined Sunday, I headed down early to get these elusive cupcakes.
Got there at 12.20pm but they weren’t ready yet, though they were nice enough to let me know they will be done in another 15 minutes. I heard PV is helmed by a couple, so I was a little surprised to see a pair of young ladies bustling around the small shop space they share with a salon on the second level of a shophouse. Turns out the lady boss is just really young!
Apple Caramel Loaf and Muffins that I didn’t get to try this visit. The flavors for the loaf changes everyday I think!
Pretty display of sprinkles and sweets.
Fresh cupcakes just out of the oven that smelled heavenly! I think I was their first customer that day oops.
Got half a dozen packed in a sturdy cardboard box to go. Please note that they do not provide bags, but will tie the box into a parcel with twine at your request. So remember to bring a bag yourself if you need!
First row: Strawberry White Chocolate, Chocolate Hazelnut
Second row: Cinnamon Brown Sugar, Maple Pecan (special)
Third row: Red Velvet, Earl Grey Lavender (special)
$3.20 each, $18 for six. They have a list of about 9 regular flavors and introduce specials that will only be available for a period of time.
First up is my favorite, Strawberry White Chocolate. You can smell the faint strawberry scent as you lift it out of the box, coming from the column of fresh strawberry compote in the middle of the cupcake. Lovely surprise, especially for people who like more bite in their cupcakes. The moist base tasted light, has a very fine crumb, and was truly delectable. Most of the other flavors I tried had a good moist base too. The cupcake has a dainty natural sweetness to it, while the white chocolate icing is slightly sweeter. Classic combination, excellent execution, I can get a half dozen just for this flavor!
Cinnamon Brown Sugar was a close second favorite, but is revealed to be the baker’s favorite, while we were chatting. The only one without a swirl of icing, looking all honest and down to earth with it’s smooth brown cinnamon sugar top and cinnamon cake base. This is pleasantly fragrant, and the overall taste wasn’t too sweet despite the sugar top. With a simple outlook, this looks like something I can convince guys to eat and accept as a gift too!
While the smell of earl grey is quite evident, the taste of it is not as strong in the cake base for Earl Grey Lavender. To me the flavors are a little more complex, I’m struggling to describe it. The taste is somewhat sharper, pronounced by it’s lavender icing that also felt a little lemony. Nothing like the familiar mellow flavors we know, a rather interesting experience.
I expected a plain vanilla base for their Maple Pecan, but was delighted to find finely chopped pecans mixed in, creating a pecan cake like walnut cakes. I also assumed that it will be a maple infused icing but the taste was very subtle, and somehow tasting a little like butterscotch. I think they made the maple glazed pecan topping the cupcake themselves too. Overall, this is one of the sweeter cupcakes.
At this point, I really want to say that so far PV have proven themselves to be very hardworking bakers, with a different frosting and base for each of their cupcakes. Some places simply make do with a chocolate base and a vanilla base as it is faster and easier. I understand the demands of mass production, it’s just not as fun to try different flavors from the establishment when the only difference between flavors are the toppings on the surface.
Found both Red Velvet and Chocolate Hazelnut pretty normal, the cake bases for these two are denser and not as moist.
Dear PV Bakery, please stay open for longer hours! I will definitely be back for more, and check back periodically for their specials. Good thing that my faves are their regular items, other regular flavors include Cookies&Cream, Dark Choc Ganache and Carrot. Their Twitter account (@pvbakery) is a good source of real-time information on specials and updates on cupcake count for the day. While I am there I want to try some of their muffins, hope they are as good as their cupcakes! Muffins will always be my first love.
*Just got information that Maple Pecan and Earl Grey Lavender specials will only be available till 1 June. Specials starting 2 June are Peanut Butter Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Raspberry!
Plain Vanilla Bakery
34A Lorong Mambong, Holland Village
(Second floor opposite Harry’s Bar and above El Patio Mexican Restaurant & Wine Bar.)
6465 5942 / 8332 0461
Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1pm to 7pm, and Sundays from 1pm to 6pm.