Around the World in 80 Cakes: Malaysian Masterpieces

Time has flown while I’ve been in Malaysian and while I said I needed to go a diet after Australia… however, I remain committed to the cause of cake.

So for anyone who thought that the Malaysian round up would be lacking, fear not: cake has been eaten and this month has featured scones too.

A special mention also has to go to Malaysian coffee which is every bit as delicious and satisfying as Vietnamese coffee. The offerings aren’t quite as varied as in Vietnam – there is no egg coffee for a start – but a coffee with milk is always excellent.

The list of goods for import when I return to the UK extends once again.

Sago Dessert, Melaka

Obviously not a cake but I occasionally attempt to expand my eating repertoire and I love milk puddings.

This was a little different to the English version.

A small pile of sticky sago and I do mean sticky. It wasn’t so much taking a spoonful as carving a slice.

The sago was standing in a pool of liquid gula melaka (Malaysian sugar) which was a smoky caramel flavoured sauce, over which was poured coconut milk.

With desserts like this, I could possibly consider some aspect of reducing my dairy consumption. Once vegan cheese is perfected that will become more likely.

On its own, this would have been top scoring but the scoop of vanilla icecream, though generous was unnecessary and masked the flavours.

Calanthe Art Cafe, Melaka Verdict: 9/10 With Va villa icecream 8/10

Pastels de Nata, Melaka

Custard tarts, custard tarts, custard tarts. Portuguese custard tarts.

I have been delighted to arrive anywhere that the Portuguese spent long enough to leave the locals with a liking for pastels de nata.

Never more than two or three bites. Warm custard in flaky pastry… what more could you want?

In this instance, a little less grease in the after taste but walking down the street in Melaka eating a custard tart was a lovely experience.

Street Vendor, Melaka Verdict: 8/10

Nutella Cheese Cake, Kuala Lumpur

I know. I’ve complained about an over reliance on chocolate in afternoon tea. It doesn’t mean I don’t like chocolate.

On a chocolate crunchy base, topped with a lattice of milk chocolate and chopped walnuts, the cheesecake element also had a fruity element to it.

There weren’t actual pieces of fruit just the hint of a fruity syrup mixed in with the chocolate cheesecake ingredients.

It was a sharp contrast and prevented the chocolate entirety becoming overpowering. I really enjoyed it.

Second Cup, Kuala Lumpur Verdict: 10/10

Burnt Cheesecake, Ipoh

I’d gone in because I was intrigued by what (as shown in the menu outside) what an Onde-Onde cake was. Yes, of course, ai could have googled it but I wanted to try it.

I would of course end up resorting to Google as it wasn’t in stock.

However, the interestingly but unappealingly titled Burnt Cheesecake was.

Essentially, this was a baked cheesecake without a base. Ever wanted to have the cheesecake without the biscuit (though why would you)? This is the solution.

Light and fluffy, the texture was beautiful though there was a lack of flavour, bar the slight charcoal taste in the occasional bite.

Interesting, I think.

The Ice Cube Coffee I ordered with it was however, superb

Espresso ice cubes. Pour over the warm milk and sugar solution to your taste preference and let the coffee cubes melt.

A rich and delicious coffee.

Auds, Ipoh
Verdict: Burnt Cheesecake 6/10, Ice Cube Coffee 10/10

Banana and Walnut Cake topped with Passionfruit Frosting, Ipoh

One if the best ways to spend time in Ipoh is drinking coffee and if you’re going to have a coffee, you may as well have a slice of cake.

I arrived just as the heavens opened and it was clearly a sign that I was going to be here for a while.

The guy on the counter remembered me and sadly explained that they had just sold the last piece if cheesecake. That was fine I had my eye on something better.

Possibly, a little too much banana (or possibly under-ripe) had been used in the making of this cake as it had a wet and heavy texture. The walnuts gave a pleasant crunch.

And the passionfruit frosting added a sharp contrasting flavour to the mix.

The coffee continued to be marvellous.

Auds, Ipoh
Verdict: Banana and Walnut Cake 8/10, Ice Cube Coffee 10/10

Strawberry Scones, Cameron Highlands

I had been contemplating an additional afternoon tea in Malaysia but my head was completely turned by the idea of sampling the homemade strawberry scones at The Lord’s Cafe.

There was a choice: a plain scone with strawberry jam and cream or a strawberry scone with cream.

Tough call.

I decided to have both… in the interests of a complete assessment you understand.

Both were light and crumbly and while the addition of strawberries to the scone is a new one for me and entirely fitting in a district famous for growing them… I preferred the plain with the jam.

The sweetness of the fruit in the scone wasn’t enough and while the addition of jam would have been too much, I prefer scones with jam.

Sometimes I’m a creature of habit.

The Lords’s Cafe, Tanah Rata
Verdict: Strawberry Scone, 8/10, Plain Scone with jam, 10,10

Passionfruit Cake with Coconut Butter, Georgetown

There appears to have been a slight fruit bias this month and I concluded my time in Malaysia with passion, of the fruit variety.

China House, where I sampled this, is famous for the range of cakes on offer and it was a challenge deciding which of the selection to choose.

Just looking at this one made my mouth water and the taste did not disappoint.

Light and fluffy sponge with a sharp passionfruit taste complimented by the smooth coconut cream.

After such a generous helping, a lie down in a darkened room would have been an excellent recovery option.

China House, Georgetown

Categories: Cake, Malaysia, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Amazing selection of sweets. Don’t know if I said in a previous comment but a Manchester Chinatown bakery has the best pastel de nata I’ve had. Love passion fruit desserts so much.

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