Bali’s Best Spots for Sweet Delights.

Published 30 November 2016   


Zia Aussum

It’s been said that a party without cake is just a meeting. By that logic, travel to Bali without sampling the cake (and pie and cookies and cream puffs) and you might as well have stayed home.


Sugary baked treats may not be what comes to mind when you think of vacationing on a tropical island where a bikini and board shorts are de rigueur, but life is too short to say no to cake. Besides, calories don’t count when you’re on holiday, do they? Ponder that little riddle over an afternoon treat. We’ve rounded up the island’s best. No matter which way you slice it, we’re pretty sweet on these spots.

Coffee ‘n’ Oven

_mg_6438Rise and shine
Breadbaskets line the wall of the European-style bakery.

Coffee ‘n’ Oven is a favourite for locals and visitors passing through Canggu. Owner Jirka has created a European-style bakery with a touch of traditional Bali, set across the street from a handsome Hindu temple, so you can sit outside at one of the high top tables and take in the ornate sandstone gates.

Breadbaskets line the back wall, full of the day’s freshly baked goods. There are a baker’s dozen of different loaves on display at any one time, everything from sourdough and spiced rye, to traditional French baguettes and something called a Louix XIV (legend has it the monarch challenged his bakers to come up with a new twist on traditional French bread – they created a baguette with sourdough and a unique baking method that resulted in the long crispy loaf). Two glass display cases reveal even more goodies; flaky croissants in almond, cheese, butter, and chocolatine, and three tiers of refrigerated delights, including intricate profiteroles bursting with cream, a sinfully rich ‘mousse au chocolate brownie’, and perfectly cubed Lamingtons, a traditional Australian sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut.

Worth the calories:

Before you say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, and goodbye to Bali, be sure to try Coffee ‘n’ Oven’s German Apple Cake.
Rich buttery pastry surrounds a sky-high serving of moist shredded apple, mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins. Sweet but not saccharine. Rustic but expertly made.

_mg_6434Sugar and spice
A selection of freshly baked croissants, loaves, and cinnamon buns fresh from the oven.

Jalan Raya Pantai Berawa No. 51



Monsieur Spoon

_mg_6563Joie de Vivre
The cafe has several locations stretching from Umalas to Ubud.

The French have quite the reputation for baking aptitude, so it should come as no surprise that Monsieur Spoon, a chain of Bali-based French cafés, has made this list. The family-run business was started by two Parisian cousins in 2012 and in four years, they’ve grown to four locations, stretching from Umalas to Ubud.

They serve a range of handmade French pastries and cakes that are almost too pretty to eat, from the Passion Fall with a topper of crispy meringue, to the Opéra, a Parisian cake made of thin layers of ganache. Before you know it, you’ll be biting into one of their signature croissants – the flaky pastry reminiscent of heaven, if heaven was paved with butter roads.

The Canggu location puts on a monthly Kids Baking Class where you can send your little ones to learn trade secrets from Executive Chef Rafi Papazian, but we recommend leaving the baking to the experts and instead dropping by in person for your daily fix.

Worth the calories:

The chocolate and vanilla cake slices may look like Plain Janes next to the ornate pastry creations, but they’re two of the most decadent desserts in the shop. Bite into a smooth creamy slice and taste these classic flavours in their purest form.

_mg_6574Bon Appétit
The delicate designs are almost too pretty to eat.

Locations all over Bali / Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No. 55




150yr_teak_jogloIndulge all your senses
Biku’s treats taste even sweeter in the grand tea lounge.

Technically, Biku isn’t a bakery. It’s a legendary tea lounge, run by a member of Ubud’s royal family, serving afternoon high tea. But high tea means scones, and these scones are baked in house and described by many as “next level”, so they deserve a mention for that alone.

If the scones aren’t enough to draw you in, consider a citrusy Middle Eastern orange cake infused with rose tea syrup, delicate Balinese rolled pancakes (also known as ‘dadar gulung’), or light-as-air pavlova finished with a toppling tower of passion fruit, strawberries, mango, and freshly whipped cream.

Book in for a traditional tea fit for a queen. The plates are so pretty you won’t even notice how many scones you’ve sampled in an afternoon.

Worth the calories:

The cinnamon-spiced carrot cake topped with a decadent layer of cream cheese frosting is perfection. With a vegetable in the name, you can almost convince yourself this is a healthy treat.

highteaFit for a Queen
Afternoon tea service served in traditional style.

Jalan Petitenget No. 888



Poule de Luxe

img_7892An afternoon respite
The Batu Belig shop is the perfect place to relax and indulge.

When you need a dessert that will impress a crowd (or you want an extra special treat), Poule de Luxe is the place to go. Escape the chaotic scene on Batu Belig and step into the serene café. It’s a tiny shop, but good things come in small packages. Case in point? Their petits choux.

These traditional French cream puffs (round bite-size crunchy cakes bursting with crème patissière) are made daily on site.

The café carries 12 signature flavours, ranging from rich dark chocolate and salted caramel, to lighter bites of pistachio, green tea, and lemon curd. Each week, seasonal flavours also appear on the menu, inspired by whatever has caught the eye of pastry chefs and chief flavour makers, Mathieu Leguern and Violaine Bosquillon. Recent creations have included raspberry coulis, ginger, and plum.

All of the cream puffs are made with fresh, organic ingredients, with no artificial colouring or flavours. As if that weren’t reason enough to try a bite, Poule de Luxe is available to GoJek, making it dangerously easy to get your hands on a box (or two) with just a few swipes.

Worth the calories:

Everything. Trying just one cream-filled puff is like wearing one shoe – see? It makes no sense.
Boxes come by the half dozen, dozen, or increasing multiples of six. Invite friends and make it a tasting party, or keep them all to yourself – we won’t tell.

img_7995Tickle your tastebuds
In addition to 12 signature flavours, unique seasonal specialties appear each week.

Jalan Batu Belig No.16D



The Shady Shack / Betelnut

_mg_6450Bright boho design
The Shady Shack is a favourite with locals and visitors alike.

Betelnut Café is widely known for its fresh healthy fare like the heaps of greens in the Raw Gado Gado or the rainbow of vegetable goodness in the Veggie Patch, but it’s the freestanding dessert fridge situated next to the stairs that garners the most attention from the clientele. The lavish offering of cakes, squares, and bars is a testament to the irresistible mix of sugar, cream, flour, chocolate, and especially cream cheese.

Indeed cheesecake stands out as the signature dessert and comes dressed in more than half a dozen different flavours. Blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry – the gang’s all here. Bounty, Oreo, and chocolate mousse – all cheesecakes for lovers of cacao. The eponymous Betel and Gypsy are named after the café and its owner respectively – the first a combination of vibrant dragonfruit mousse and a brownie base, the second a blueberry mousse on a creamy cheesecake.
At The Shady Shack, Betelnut’s sister café, the tradition continues with a dessert case full of treats. After nourishing your system with a healthy vegetarian meal, satisfy your sweet tooth with a bite-size ball – spirulina barley if you’re still chasing the illusion of perfect health, peanut butter bliss if you’re not. Raw rules here, but these “baked” goods still deliver a punch. Try the raw banoffee cheesecake, the vegan carrot cake, or the raw vegan chocolate tart. This place is nirvana for health nuts who still enjoy dessert.

Worth the calories:

The world is divided between those that love the combination of chocolate and orange, and those that don’t. If you fall into the former camp, try the raw chocolate orange cheesecake at The Shady Shack. If you fall into the latter category, dig into the Gypsy cheesecake at Betelnut – when an owner puts their name on a dessert, you can be sure it’s a winner.

_mg_6460Decisions, decisions
Both shops are known for their incredible array of cheesecakes. Which one will you try?

Jalan Tanah Barak No.57 / Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No.60



Room 4 Dessert

sugar_3_the_raidDessert as art
Chef Will Goldfarb’s Cordon Bleu pedigree can be seen in his artful designs.

What do you get when you take a native New Yorker with a French pastry pedigree from Le Cordon Bleu, mix in a year of gastronomic fusion at the best restaurant in the world, and add a James Beard nomination for America’s Best Pastry Chef? The answer: Room 4 Dessert.

This Ubud institution is the reincarnation of owner Will Goldfarb’s SoHo sensation that went sour when kitchen dramas emerged. But Goldfarb, an El Bulli alumni, never gave up his dream of a delectable dessert bar, and when the opportunity came up, he relaunched Room 4 Dessert.

Creative confections are available à la carte, but for those who take dessert tasting seriously, consider the tasting menu, available in small (with half portions of all the desserts, designed for one or two people) and large (the entire dessert lineup, perfect for sharing in groups of three or four). The menu is constantly changing based on Goldfarb’s inspiration du jour. Recent creations have included a brioche french toast, finished with house vermouth, yogurt, and ginger palm, as well as s’mores petits fours. R4D also features an ambitious wine and cocktail list, paired perfectly with every sweet dish.

Worth the calories:

Go big or go home. Order the large tasting menu and sample the entire lineup of innovative creations straight from Goldfarb’s imagination – they won’t disappoint.

caramel_chocolate_creme_bruleeInnovative creations
Dishes are expertly balanced to delight, but never overwhelm, the palate.

Jalan Sanggingan



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