From Sourbombe to Puffs and Peaks, brave the queues—both physical and virtual—at the best-loved spots in town to sink your teeth into these pillowy-soft treats
Additional reporting by Amanda Goh.
National Doughnut Day falls on June 3, and there is nothing like celebrating with an indulgent Italian doughnut. Like Basque cheesecakes and home-based bakeries, 2020 saw the rise of the bomboloni: the soft, ethereally light Italian doughnut sans hole and piped full with a fabulous variety of fillings. Two years on, the trend is still in full swing, with the brioche-like bake now a cult favourite. A new generation of bakeries specialising in the snack have emerged, each promising fluffy dough spheres bursting with a litany of flavours, from the classics like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry to modern takes like lavender lime mascarpone, durian pengat, and taro coconut.
1. Sourbombe Artisanal Bakery
This bakery on Penang Road, which began as an online store, sells the eponymous sourbombe: bombolonis made of sourdough starter and fried in coconut oil for fluffy results with a slight tang. Crafted by MasterChef Singapore 2018 runner up Genevieve Lee, each of the artisanal “bombes” here boasts gourmet flavour pairings a cut above the typical options, with such temptations as lavender lime mascarpone—a lavender-scented citrusy cheese filling—or Basque cheesecake, a molten, umami melding of cream cheese and blue cheese.
The standard roster of six flavours also includes the plain cinnabombe, blueberry and lemon thyme, hojicha caramel crunch, and passionfruit and caramelised banana, sold in boxes of three, six or nine. Then there’s the selection of three ever-changing flavours: October’s autumn-themed offerings are dark chocolate hazelnut, spiced apple chai, and vanilla custard and blackberry jam with almond butter.
Tatler Tip: Grab Sourbombe’s latest offering: sourdough croissants, again stuffed with innovative fillings: passionfruit meringue, kaya with soy caramel, black sesame mochi, pistachio mango, and ispahan.
Sourbombe, 9 Penang Road, 02-03 S(238459), +65 9847 0203
In case you missed it: Tiong Bahru Bakery Opens its 7th Outlet at Fort Canning Park
2. Burnt Ends Bakery
With a spot among the World's 50 Best Restaurants, the bakery arm of Michelin-starred chef David Pynt’s Australian-style BBQ concept is famous by association. The restaurant’s notoriously long waitlist extends to its bakery’s bombolonis, which are practically impossible to obtain on the same day of ordering. Flavours change seasonally—the beloved Milo flavour, which made its debut at the Singapore Food Festival 2020, is now off the menu, which currently features vanilla cream, Nutella, pandan, coffee, and lemon meringue options. Available in boxes of five, six, 12 and 13. Those hankering for a more savoury bite can pick up sanger buns, another pillowy-soft brioche style bake, used by the restaurant to make its beloved pulled pork burgers.
Tatler Tip: Beyond bombolonis, the bakery produces cinnamon knots, salted caramelised white chocolate and macadamia cookies, gruyère cheese and scallion scones, and its signature dessert, whole berry tart.
Burnt Ends Bakery, Level 3, 20 Teck Lim Road S(088391), +65 6224 3933
3. Puffs And Peaks
Evolved from a popular home-based business into a physical presence, this Tampines bakery is run by mother-daughter duo Linda Sng and Ong Jing Ting, and in true modern fashion only releases its weekly menus on Instagram.
The cosy outlet churns out an astonishing variety of homemade bomboloni so popular, queues form quickly on weekend mornings. Flavours rotate weekly, but the full lineup boasts cinnamon, chocolate (70 per cent Barry Callebaut), vanilla bean, matcha, hojicha, passionfruit curd, lemon curd, raspberry custard, caramelised banana, strawberry jam, and blackcurrant jam with peanut butter. Special picks include apple pie (apple jam, cinnamon spices, shortbread crumble), black forest (sour cherry jam, whipped mascarpone) and the Singapore-inspired taro coconut (yam paste, coconut milk) and kopi siew dai (Nescafe Gold coffee).
Tatler Tip: If buying more than you can finish in a sitting, these doughnuts keep for three days cling wrapped in the fridge, and taste best reheated till warm.
Puffs And Peaks, 03-03 Tampines Central Community Complex, 866A Tampines Street 83, S(521866), +65 8889 2466
Unlike its fellows on the list, Delish is an exclusively online outfit known for its cleverly marketed “hotel pillow doughnuts”, which claim to be as lusciously fluffy as—well, hotel pillows. Aside from visions of luscious relaxation, these Halal-certified “pillows”, much like their bedroom counterparts, are available in a menu of options, namely sugar, Nutella, lemon cream cheese, raspberry jam, strawberry jam, strawberry cream, chocolate ganache, matcha, passionfruit mango and durian. Delish boss Serene Tay is a former hotel sales manager, and fries up the treats in her family’s industrial factory in Woodlands Loop; the Tays supply classic doughnuts to bakeries, but Serene’s bombolonis employ a special recipe. Available in boxes of 10, 15 and 18.
Tatler Tip: The standout option is the D24 durian pengat bomboloni, sold in boxes of 10 or 15. Unlike the rest, it’s not included among the options for assorted flavour boxes.
Delish, +65 9029 8520
5. Doughnut Shack
Doughnut Shack claims to be the first purveyor of Singapore’s chilli crab bombolini. The crustacean-inspired bun has since scuttled off the menu at this Whampoa shop, but in its place is a respectable lineup of sweet fillings, whose flavours change monthly. On offer in October are Donutella (i.e. nutella), crème brûlée, pistachio ganache, peanut butter and jam, honey vanilla cream, New York cheesecake and Kit Kat cream.
Promising healthier, baked-not-fried goodies, the classic doughnuts and bombolinis at this joint are handmade in small batches and sold in boxes of two, six and 20. Note the bakes aren’t Halal-certified, but no pork, lard, gelatine or alcohol is used.
Tatler Tip: For something smaller in size but just as decadent, go for its mini donutellas. Available in boxes of 15, these dainty donuts are generously stuffed with rich Nutella filling.
Doughnut Shack, Blk 87 Whampoa Drive 01-887 S(320087), +65 9109 6287
6. The Fat Kid Bakery
The Fat Kid Bakery's bomboloni is made with a homegrown sourdough starter, giving off a fluffy and slightly tangy centre. Get to delight in classic and innovative flavours, including rich chocolate, and sea salt maple. The latter is a must try that sees its signature bomboloni doughnut generously stuffed with a sweet and savoury sea salt maple cream. Available in boxes of four, eight, 10 and 12.
Tatler Tip: Savoury lovers should not miss out on its savoury series, comprising its signature bomboloni stuffed with savoury fillings like fragrant roasted garlic and parmesan cream.
The Fat Kid Bakery, 7 Ang Mo Kio Street 66, 01-07, S(567708), +65 8836 4833