Durian season in Singapore typically falls between June and September and fans of the fleshy, strong-smelling fruit have their favourite varieties and vendors. For those who are bored of eating the fruit in its natural form, there’s a wide variety of desserts that are made with durian and durian paste. Traditional treats such as durian pengat (a creamy dessert of durian pulp and coconut milk) and good ol’ durian ice cream are a dime a dozen, so we’ve sniffed out a few more unconventional confections for the adventurous.
1. D24 Pandan Waffle Cake from Goodwood Park Hotel
Ever since the 1980s, you just have to utter “durian puffs” and people will automatically associate it with The Deli at Goodwood Park Hotel. With luscious swirls of durian mousse practically oozing out of delicate, flaky choux pastry, it’s no wonder why this mainstay item continues to be a bestseller. This year, however, the hotel’s F&B team have pulled out all the stops to impress fans of the King of Fruits, with the star of the show being the D24 Pandan Waffle Cake. Inspired by the humble pandan waffle found in bakeries across Singapore’s heartlands, this hearty dessert features three pandan waffles slathered with generous layers of D24 durian pulp, allowing you to really feel the rich, creamy texture of the fruit and savour its sweet-savoury flavours. And if that’s not enough, the decadent dessert comes topped with gula melaka coconut crumble, coconut flakes and lashings of caramelised coconut sauce. Yum!
2. Durian Salat from Chalk Farm
This dessert is the perfect marriage between the Peranakan dessert kueh salat (a two-layered cake of coconut and pandan custard over sticky rice that’s tinted blue by butterfly pea extract) and the king of fruits. Chalk Farm’s durian salat (S$13 per slice, or S$165 for a 2kg cake) uses only the flesh of Mao Shan Wang or Wang Zhong Wang durians, considered premium varieties, for a rich and decadent custard layer that’s nicely balanced by the sticky and slightly salty glutinous rice underneath.
3. Durian Mille Crêpes from Classic Cakes
The classic French mille crêpe gets a durian makeover at Classic Cakes. Here, layers of thin crêpes are interspersed with pastry cream and a pure D24 durian filling (S$90 for the whole cake). The flavours are aromatic without being overpowering.
4. Bite-sized treats from Goodwood Park Hotel
If you prefer something lighter on the palate, take your pick from the selection of dainty desserts available from The Deli. There’s the eye-catching D24 & Sweet Potato in Chestnut Tartlets, where the D24 durian pulp is encased within a purple sweet potato purée vermicelli and set atop a chestnut almond cream tart shell; and the Mini D24 Salted Caramel Delights, where the buttery aromas of salted caramel sauce meld with the distinct fragrance of D24 durian. For something a bit more traditional, try the D24 Kueh Dadar where a fluffy pandan-flavoured crepe is filled with creamy D4 durian pulp and freshly grated coconut cooked with gula jawa (Indonesian coconut sugar).
5. Mao Shan Wang Tiramisu from Sinpopo Brand
Sinpopo’s specialities are its locally inspired desserts, and the durian-flavoured take on the tiramisu is a bestseller for good reason. Here, pure Mao Shan Wang durian paste and mascarpone cheese are layered with coconut finger biscuits. The result is a rich, creamy and decadent treat sold in a conveniently lidded glass jar for S$19. Try the Cat Mountain King durian cake (from S$58) as well, in which Mao Shan Wang cream is served between gluten-free cake layers made with black glutinous rice flour.
6. D24 Durian Yogurt from from Yanmi Yogurt
A delicious and healthier alternative to bubble tea, Yanmi Yogurt’s fresh yoghurt drinks will satisfy your sweet tooth – they’re made with imported Australian yoghurt, and the usual tapioca pearls are replaced with chewy purple rice imported from Mojiang, China. Try the D24 durian yoghurt drink (S$5.50), which consists of D24 durian paste and probiotic-rich yoghurt that is rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, folic acid and protein.
7. Durian Éclair and Strudel at Sunlife
This family-run bakery is helmed by a former SIA cabin crew member. Wendy Quek has helped her family’s durian puff business evolve from a heartland bakery to one whose confections are available on numerous online platforms. Its unique creations include a durian strudel (S$3 onwards), with 100% D24 durian paste layered between flaky puff pastry, a chewy Japanese-style D24 durian mochi (from S$7.50) and durian éclairs (S$10 for six éclairs), where the typical French-style crisp choux pastry is filled with pure D24 durian and glazed with chocolate.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
This story was originally published on 28 July 2020 and updated on 17 March 2021.