12 bakeries for old-school pastries and traditional bread in Singapore

By Phyllis Leong September 8, 2023
12 bakeries for old-school pastries and traditional bread in Singapore
Photos, clockwise from left: Happy Oven/Facebook, Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh/Facebook, The Pine Garden/Facebook, Leung Sang Hong Kong Pastries/Facebook

With the rise of modern, Instagrammable dessert parlours on our sunny shores, it’s no surprise that old-school bakeries with authentic traditional pastries and traditional bread in Singapore are far and few between. 

While gorgeous pastel-hued interiors and photogenic desserts are always welcome, sometimes all we’re craving is a good ol’ slice of nostalgia — easily found at time-honoured pastry shops scattered throughout our island. 

If you’re on the hunt for heritage eats — think traditional cakes in Singapore and other old-school bakes — with familiar flavours of yesteryear, this list is for you. 

We’ve compiled a slew of retro bakeries that have not only withstood the test of time, but also continue to dole out tantalising delicacies that will undoubtedly take you back to your childhood. 

1. Sweetlands Confectionery and Bakery

10 Kim Keat Lane
Open: Monday (5am to 8pm), Tuesday to Sunday (5am to 3am)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Sweetlands Confectionery and Bakery/Facebook

Why visit? Savour the taste of heritage at Sweetlands Confectionery and Bakery, one of the remaining traditional bakeries in Singapore that continue to prepare its bakes utilising old-school techniques. 

For instance, the bakers at the shop still rely on traditional machinery to churn out their confectioneries. They also retain the tradition of slicing their blackhead bread by hand — a dying art that has been quickly replaced by state-of-the-art equipment.

You’ll find the staff hard at work, assembling and distributing fresh loaves to grocers and cafes islandwide. the best time to pop by the outlet is in the early morning, for you’ll be treated to a wide selection of freshly baked buns.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: Some of the bestsellers include the old-school buns (from S$1.20), which come in fillings such as kaya, red bean and coconut. Another item on the menu would be its signature banana cake (S$6), a moist and pillowy indulgence that’s chock-full of banana flavour.

2. Jie Bakery

123 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Open: Monday to Saturday (7am to 10pm), Sunday (10am to 10pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Jie Bakery/Facebook

Why visit? Office workers in the area will be familiar with Jie Bakery, one of the few standing joints in town that prides itself on serving traditional rainbow bread in Singapore.

Conveniently situated in the middle of Tai Seng and Paya Lebar MRT stations, one can spot its location from afar, just from the array of old-school buns on display. Set foot into the store and you’ll be wowed by its bustling kitchen and massive industrial ovens baking away furiously, with the latest batch of loaves nestled within.

Established in the 1980s, the folks at Jie Bakery are unfazed by the ever-changing food trends dominating our F&B scene. They have kept to the same recipe for over 30 years (and counting), and continue to bake their goods the old-fashioned way. 

Price range: $

Crowd favourite: The bakery is known for its rectangular, kaleidoscopic loaves of rainbow bread (from S$2). Choose to savour them plain, or have them paired with a spread of your choice, such as kaya, margarine or butter.

3. Yi Jia Bakery House Cafe

229 Upper Thomson Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (7am to 8pm)

401 Hougang Avenue 10, 01-1164
Open: Monday to Sunday (7am to 8pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Yi Jia Bakery House Cafe/Facebook

Why visit? Feel free to nibble on a midday treat at Yi Jia Bakery House Cafe, a cosy, old-school establishment that’s known for its traditional bread. 

The bakery boasts two popular outlets at Upper Thomson Road and Hougang. Both branches have seats for dine-in service, but it’s recommended that you stop by before peak hours to snag a table. 

Prepared to be spoiled for choice, thanks to the drool-worthy lineup of freshly baked buns and pies on display. Here, relish old-school delights such as luncheon meat bun (S$1.50) and coconut bun (S$1.50), among others. The bakery also serves traditional kopi (from S$1.20) and teh (from S$1.20). 

Price range: $

Crowd favourite: We hear the pandan waffles (from S$2.60) are a must-order item here. Touting an adorable honeycomb shape, luscious filling is sandwiched between two crispy waffles. Pick from various spreads to go with the treat, which include the likes of homemade kaya, chocolate, peanut and more.

4. Dona Manis Cake Shop

Katong Shopping Centre, B1-93, 865 Mountbatten Road
Open: Monday to Saturday (9am to 4.30pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Dona Manis Cake Shop/Facebook

Why visit? For traditional cakes in Singapore, check out Dona Manis Cake Shop at Katong Shopping Centre. Nestled in the basement level of the mall, it’s an old-school bakery with toothsome bakes that will undoubtedly take you back to your childhood.

Helmed by Mdm Soh and Mr Tan, the pastry shop has been around for more than 30 years. Thanks to its gooey banana pies and fudgy chocolate tarts, the stall has garnered a loyal fan base that consistently returns to savour its nostalgic confectioneries.  

The couple begins the grind at 6am daily, where they bake their goods from scratch. From preparing the dough and crust to meticulously piping and slicing the cakes, the duo ensures their bakes are of the highest quality and freshness.

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: Don’t leave without trying its signature banana pie (S$3.30 for a slice). Arguably one of the best around, the crumbly treat is an addictive mix of crisp roasted almonds and chunks of banana. Chocolate lovers will love the chocolate tarts (S$6 for a box of five) — a heady combination of decadent chocolate filling atop a buttery crust.

5. Love Confectionery

122 Bukit Merah Lane 1, 01-60
Open: Monday to Sunday (12pm to 6pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Love Confectionery/Facebook

Why visit? Westies, have you checked out Love Confectionery yet? A stone’s throw from Ikea Alexandra, it’s a traditional bread bakery in Singapore with old-school biscuits, puffs and buttercream cakes.

Founded in 1979, the pastry store boasts an old-fashioned charm that reminds us of the olden days. With its rustic signage, wooden-fronted displays and an array of bakes proudly showcased on metal trays, this establishment is truly a time-honoured gem — a rare sight in today’s F&B climate. 

We’d recommend visiting the bakery early, as most items tend to sell out fast.

Price range: $

Crowd favourite: The buttercream cakes (S$1.50) are the bestsellers here. The frosting is whipped with margarine instead of butter and each slice boasts the same fluffy sponge base. The only difference is its toppings, which come in peanut, chocolate sprinkles, coconut and more.

6. Leung Sang Hong Kong Pastries

247 Victoria Street
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 8pm)

18 Jalan Membina, 01-06
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 8pm)

48 Smith Street
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 8pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Leung Sang Hong Kong Pastries/Facebook

Why visit? If you’re on the hunt for authentic Chinese confectioneries, we’d suggest popping by Leung Sang Hong Kong Pastries. Founded by chef Chik Sang, this pastry shop is his labour of love. 

Armed with refined culinary techniques and self-developed recipes, he wishes to share the traditional flavours of Hong Kong fare with Singaporeans. Today, the bakery is reputed for its flaky egg tarts (S$2 each), which are baked to perfection using fresh premium ingredients. 

It’s not just the egg tarts that skyrocketed the brand to fame. Other popular Hong Kong-style pastries span the likes of lao po bing (wife’s cake, S$2 each), bolo buns (pineapple buns, S$2 each) and lotus paste with salted egg puffs (S$2 each). 

Price range: $

Crowd favourite: You can’t go wrong with the egg tarts at Leung Sang Hong Kong Pastries. Its flavours are unrivalled, with its silky-smooth, creamy egg custard filling nestled in a buttery tart. 

7. The Pine Garden

Cheng San Centre, 01-2329/69, 529 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10
Open: Monday to Sunday (8.30am to 8.30pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: The Pine Garden/Facebook

Why visit? Another beloved confectionery store with traditional cakes in Singapore is none other than The Pine Garden. Established in 1984, it’s a heartland bakery in Ang Mo Kio that’s famed for its indulgent buttercream cakes. It’s also a family-owned business that has been operating for more than 30 years.

With classic options such as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry (S$2.60 each), every slice perfectly encapsulates the nostalgic flavours of yesteryear. There are also modern creations on the menu, such as chewy Milo (S$3.80), Nuttymisu (S$7.10) and mango passionfruit (S$4.40). 

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: We like the Nostalgic O’Fashioned rainbow sliced cake (S$3.60). It’s a dainty, colourful dessert that melts in your mouth with every bite. It also has the perfect balance of sweetness without being too cloying. Alternatively, the hazelnut chocolate crunch sliced cake (S$4.10) is another sinfully delicious treat that we’d go back for. 

8. Happy Oven

40 Beo Crescent, 01-08
Open: Monday to Sunday (5am to 7pm)

678 Hougang Avenue 8, 01-505
Open: Monday to Sunday (5am to 3pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Happy Oven/Facebook

Why visit? Opened in 2009, Happy Oven is a halal-certified bakery that doles out old-school pastries and traditional bread in Singapore. All bakes are prepared with natural ingredients and made from scratch daily.

What sets this bakery apart from other big-name brands is not just its extensive lineup of pastries, but its incredibly low prices. Happy Oven counts the elderly among the bulk of its clientele, so the bakery keeps prices affordable to cater to the needs of customers.

Between sandwiches (S$1 each, minimum 10 pieces) egg tarts (S$1 each), roll cakes (S$1 each) and more, you’ll find that most of the sweets on the menu are around a dollar. 

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: For a sweet dose of tradition, get the signature ondeh ondeh cake (S$1.40 each). Crowned with coconut shavings, the treat sees a gooey centre chock-full of gula melaka sauce. If you enjoy swiss rolls, the gula melaka roll (S$1 each) features moist pandan sponge cake and gula melaka cream.

9. Sing Hon Loong Bakery

4 Whampoa Drive
Open: Monday to Sunday (24 hours)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Sing Hon Loong Bakery/Facebook

Why visit? Another traditional bread bakery in Singapore that operates for 24 hours daily is Sing Hon Loong Bakery

Touting over 50 years of history, this is the place to make a beeline for if you’re craving old-school buns done right. The bakery also used to supply bread to Ya Kun Kaya Toast, so you can expect loaves of bread prepared with the finest quality and standards. 

All the buns are handmade without preservatives, so as to maintain utmost freshness. It’s reported that the bakery sells 600 to 700 loaves of bread a day. We can see why: All the baked goods at the store are affordably priced. It’s no surprise that Sing Hon Loong Bakery is popular with the crowd!

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: For breakfast, we’d recommend grabbing a plain loaf (S$2.20) to go with your morning cuppa. The classic coconut (S$2.20) and red bean buns (S$2.20) are also soft and fluffy treats that serve as a great midday snack.

10. Lek Lim Nyonya Cake Confectionery

84 Bedok North Street 4, 01-21
Open: Monday to Saturday (6am to 5pm), Sunday (6am to 2pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Lek Lim Nyonya Cake Confectionery/Facebook

Why visit? For traditional Peranakan pastries in Singapore, check out Lek Lim Nyonya Cake Confectionery

With a history of over four decades, it’s an established halal-certified bakery that specialises in a variety of handmade nyonya kueh, namely ang ku kueh (also known as red tortoise cake).

With delicacies boasting thin, chewy skin and a plethora of savoury fillings, it’s little wonder that customers regard the outlet as one of the best kueh institutions in Singapore. 

But if you’re not feeling kueh, fret not. There are also other savoury bites available, such as puffs and fried treats. Think carrot cakes (S$1.95 for a big piece, S$0.95 for a small piece), curry puffs (S$1.80 each) and sesame balls (S$1.80 each).

Price range: $

Crowd favourite: The star of the show is undoubtedly the signature ang ku kueh (S$0.95 each). It comes with a variety of fillings, such as coconut, bean and peanut. We’d go for the latter, as the crunchy peanuts pair perfectly well with the silky skin of the kueh.

11. Gin Thye Cake Maker

427 Sembawang Road
Open: Monday to Saturday (8am to 8pm), Sunday (8am to 3pm)

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Gin Thye Cake Maker/Facebook

Why visit? For authentic traditional pastries, add Gin Thye Cake Maker to your list of must-visit spots in Singapore. It’s a distinguished confectionery outlet that’s well-known for its festive delicacies and handmade pastries, all of which are handcrafted to perfection.

For old-school biscuits that will charm both the young and old, check out the myriad of bakes in the Golden Series collection. With mouthwatering options such as the sweet or savoury tau sar piah (S$1.20 each), pineapple bak kwa puff (S$1.80 each) and sun cake (S$1.80 each), you’ll be utterly spoiled for choice!

Price range: $

Crowd favourite: Of the Golden Series collection, the pastry that caught our eye was the yuan yang puff (S$1.80 each). It’s a gorgeous morsel that’s decorated with white and black sesame seeds. Bite into the crumbly tart to reveal a two-layered filling of yam and red bean paste.

12. Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh

Multiple stores islandwide
Open: Operating hours vary across stores

Traditional bread Singapore
Photo: Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh/Facebook

Why visit? If you’re a foodie, you’ll have heard of Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh — a local brand that’s famous for its traditional handmade ang ku kueh. Established in 1988, the confectionery chain was founded by a husband-wife duo, Mr and Mdm Toh. 

With a dream to sell one million ang ku kuehs, the couple opened their first outlet at Everton Park nearly 35 years ago. At present, the brand can be found all over the island, with nine branches dotting our sunny island. 

While Ji Xiang is chiefly known for its ang ku kueh, the other old-school treats on its menu also deserve a shoutout. There’s the huat kueh (from S$3), rainbow lapis (S$3.20 for two slices) and cassava balls (S$3.20 for a box of six). 

Price range: $

Crowd favourites: You must order the ang ku kueh (S$1.50 each, minimum six pieces). It comes with a variety of fillings, such as peanut, sweet bean, corn and more. If you prefer more modern flavours, there’s also the premium ang ku kueh (S$3.50 each, minimum two pieces), which boasts options such as durian mao shan wang, pistachio and black sesame.

For more eats, check out the opening of the new Mandai Wildlife West food concept at Bird Paradise or our guides on cheap spots for kopi and teh and the best hawker stalls at Chomp Chomp.  

All bakeries except for Jie Bakery, Yi Jia Bakery House Cafe, Dona Manis Cake Shop, Love Confectionery and Sing Hon Loong Bakery are on GrabFood Delivery Service and offer free delivery (up to S$3 off) with GrabUnlimited. They can also be found on GrabFood Dine-in.

Alternatively, book a ride to these traditional bakeries in Singapore.

Picture for WP

Phyllis Leong


The resident sweet tooth with a severe addiction to desserts.

Read More
Scroll to top