Eat what the locals eat!
Today I want to introduce you to this super small bakery in the alley way of New Taipei City called Xiaopan Bakery (小潘蛋糕坊). It is not close to any train station, and it doesn’t have any fancy decoration, the pastry they sell looks very ordinary, BUT, the taste is unforgettable! Not to mention, they have won so many awards over the years!
I was introduced to this store by a local friend in Taipei, he told me that he’s going to take me to a very famous local bakery to buy the traditional Pineapple Cake. He also said that, once I took a bite into this little piece of cake, I would not want to try any other brands’. I was a bit skeptical at first, because to me, all the pineapple cakes which I have tried previously all tasted pretty much the same.
My friend picked me up from my hotel and drove me to this bakery called Pan’s Cake, which is about a rough 20-30 mins drive from central Taipei city. He told me that we need to go there early, as the bakery gets extremely crowded in the afternoon, and a lot of time, the pastry will be sold out. The day we went was a super rainy day, so I thought it shouldn’t be a worry because people don’t like to go out in the rain, but to my surprise, when we arrived at around noon time, the store was already fairly crowded!
I went into the store, it was a very small stall, and it was very packed that moving around was not easy. My friend went straight inside to help me to order the few boxes of Pineapple cakes when I was browsing around. Other than Pineapple cakes, there are also a lot of traditional Taiwanese pastry and other sort of sponge cake. All the pastry (other than the pineapple cakes) are neatly lined on the table for customers to choose from. None of them look fancy, but are all freshly baked from the oven.
My friend bought 2 boxes of the pineapple cakes which are individually packed for me to bring back to Hong Kong, and a box for me to taste straight away. We went back onto the car, and while the pineapple cakes were still warm, we all couldn’t wait and took a piece and place it right into our mouths! IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!! The crust is similar to a sweet pastry, but much softer; the center is filled processed pineapple meat with salted egg yolk, not too sweet, with a hint of sourness and saltiness to it. The taste is not easy to describe, it is one where you will have to taste it yourself to understand it. We each ate 3 of these little cakes before we stopped, because it was THAT YUMMY!
If you are in Taipei next time, I sincerely recommend you to get a box from here, and a box from other stores, then this way, you can really taste the different between a good pineapple cake, and a BEST pineapple cake.
The price of the pineapple cake from Xiaopan is actually much lower than what you get on the market. For the pineapple cakes with egg yolk, the cost is NT$16/each (NT$20/each if it’s individually packed)
The below shows the individually packed pineapple cakes, very easy to transport back to your country. The expiry date is about a week as they do not add in any preservatives.