[Review] Swirls Bake Shop

Saturday, July 28, 2012

When people talk about cupcakes, the first shop that always pops into Singaporeans' minds is the one that's manned by a celebrity couple.


But not to Nian and I. In fact, we have been on the quest to look for our favourite cupcakes - we've bought so many flavours from so many bakeries, we've lost count of it all. But yesterday, Nian and I tried the cupcakes from Swirls Bake Shop and I thought they deserve a mention!


Swirls Bake Shop is an unassuming little bakery-cum-cafe along the lane of Robertson Quay. While the nearest carpark is about 10 minutes walk away at The Gallery Hotel, Nian and I really enjoyed the quiet stroll along the river, before turning right into this little lane at 8 Rodyk Street.

Run by a husband-and-wife team, Nian and I spoke to Alia, the lady-boss of Swirls. It was very interesting how both Alia and Danish end up running this little bake shop. It all started from a road trip in California, where the two of them travelled everywhere, sampling almost every popular cupcakes store that was available.... and then suddenly, we are tasting one of the best cupcakes we've ever tried.

When we visited yesterday, there were 9 different flavours available - 8 standard ones and 1 Special for each day. This is one of their best sellers and also my favourite - the red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. :D

It makes me feel happy by just talking about it!

We tried taking the inner portion of the red velvet cupcake but this photo does no justice to how wonderful it tastes. Unlike most red velvet cupcakes you taste in Singapore where it is more crumbly and dry, this one is made entirely from a Californian recipe and it tastes the exact opposite - it was moist and soft.

And it has this burst of beetroot or something. Something that both Nian and I can't put a finger to, but it engulfs your tastebuds entirely. It was a really great experience eating this particular cupcake.

Talking about specials, Alia mentioned that because they have 102 flavours of cupcakes, they will rotate their specials every month! Here's their specials for July:

We're kinda excited to find out what would be the specials for August! Afterall, August is like, our month.

Our birthdays, Dylan's birthday, our wedding anniversary... lots of things happening in August and every of these occasions kinda call for a cupcake or two!

Apart from the Red Velvet, other flavours we tried were Nutella, Strawberry Burst, What's Up Doc? (carrot cake), Chocolate Vanilla, Very Vanilla and Lemon Meringue, which is their special for the day.

We were pleasantly surprised with the Lemon Meringue cupcake because at the first bite, we realized that the cupcake was actually filled with a bout of lemon curd in the middle! I'm not sure if you can see it from the picture, but it tastes a little like.... our pineapple tarts.

Overall, I find that the Lemon Meringue is a little sour for me, but nevertheless delicious because it was so flavourful. The lemony taste was also very fresh - definitely not the kind you can achieve using off-the-shelf lemon essence.

The Nutella is also a big hit among Swirls' customers. Apart from using Nutella, Alia and Danish also derieved their own concoction for their topping and the inner filling.

This whole cupcake just oozes chocolate and hazelnuts - it is difficult to just stop at one. This cupcake easily made it to Nian's #1 among all that we've tried. :D

By the way, do you know that all the toppings on the cupcakes are not piped by piping bags? They are manually frosted in the traditional way using just a palette knife and well... lots of skills. That is also why the cupcakes at Swirls don't have the usual twirly cupcake frosting.

This one above is the Chocolate Vanilla - something that I wouldn't miss if I were a chocolate lover! Even though it looks really ordinary, the chocolate frosting was a decadence.

The vanilla flavour was kinda muted in this cupcake, and that was perfect because it allowed the chocolate to shine. Do take a sniff before eating this cuppie, I think it smells really heavenly and the chocolate tastes SO SMOOTH. 

Do you know that the vanilla in each of these cupcakes are not from the usual vanilla essence? Instead, Danish took pride in extracting the vanilla essence himself, from the Madagascar vanilla pods.

Alia very graciously let us take a whiff from the bottle of vanilla goodness. Oh dear, vanilla has never smelled better. But that being said, while the scent of vanilla is very strong, the flavour is rather muted in both the Chocolate Vanilla and the Very Vanilla.
Very Vanilla

The muted vanilla flavour enabled the chocolate frosting to exhibit its best taste, however, the Very Vanilla couldn't shine as much because there wasn't anything else to make up for the muted taste. Wish the vanilla taste is a little stronger!

The last one we tried for the day was the What's Up Doc?. This carrot cake is generously made with loads of shredded carrots that gave the cake a dense and soft texture, it is also very fragrant.

We could smell the infusion of nuts and carrots... and they are baked to such perfection, it was absolutely delicious! Carrot cakes should always taste this way! Slightly wet and dense. Never crumbly and flakey.

If you'd like to give Swirls Bake Shop a try, they are located at

8 Rodyk Street
#01-08 (Off Robertson Quay)
Singapore 238216
Tel: 6634 4765

Opening hours: 11am to 7pm everyday.

You can also choose to order your favourite cupcake for your special occasion from their website or Like their Facebook page to get exciting updates.

Many thanks to Danish and Alia for having us over, we really enjoyed ourselves! :)

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  1. wow you ate so many cupcakes at one go :P haha I heard their cupcakes are on the sweeter side?

    1. We attacked all the tiny ones so that we could taste almost all the flavours that were available! :P

      I don't think they are overly sweet, most of them have 'bigger' flavours apart from being sweet. Like Nutella right, the taste of hazelnuts are much stronger and fragrant as compared to the sweetness.

      Can try!!

  2. It's traditional red velvet!! Traditional red velvet cakes are red becoz they add beetroot juice but these days cut cost and for convenience it's replaced with red colouring. so the "fake" red velvet are just choco vanilla cupcakes with red colouring :/

    1. Oh!! No wonder the Red Velvet tastes so nice!! I tried the Red Velvet at Food For Thoughts a few months back, wa lao it was so crumbly I couldn't even finish it. -__-


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