Kele Roll Cake Review - Japanese-Inspired Premium Roll Cakes with Tantalising Local Flavours

5 January 2023

Kele is no stranger to Singaporeans. Established in Jurong West as a family confectionery shop since 1983, their pineapple tarts and roll cakes have been loved and devoured by generations of Singaporeans. It is no surprise to see long lines forming outside their stores in the days leading up to Lunar New Year.

Kele outlet at Chinatown

In 2021, Kele acquired the prestigious 'Made With Passion' label from the Singapore Tourism Board, cementing its status as a brand representative of the values of a good Singapore brand.

Pineapple tarts in a variety of flavours and packaging

Kele's pineapple tarts are known to sell out fast before Lunar New Year

Kele Pineapple Tarts

Did you know, the pineapple tarts you find in Singapore and Malaysia are not the same as the ones you find in Taiwan? Appearance-wise, pineapple tarts in Malaysia and Singapore often feature a dollop of pineapple jam on top of the pastry, whereas the ones in Taiwan often have the jam encased.

Pineapple production was in abundance in Singapore in the 1500s

Pineapple tarts commonly seen in Malaysia and Singapore (top), and Taiwan (bottom). Image credits: @bakefreshstudio (top), @rtanumidjaja (bottom)

Pineapple tarts in Singapore and Malaysia are heavily influenced by the Portugese way of making pastries, as the Malay Peninsula was once a colony of the Portugese Empire back in the 1500s.

This unique way of making pastry involves incorporating salt into dough by rubbing butter into flour. This practice was adopted by the Peranakan Nyonyas and coupled with an abundance in pineapple production in the region, gave rise to a local style of pineapple tarts which are buttery and crumbly with salty undertones.

The Taiwanese version, however, is more accurately referred to as a pineapple shortcake instead of a tart, as the pineapple jam is encased in the pastry instead of on the tart like the ones in Singapore and Malaysia. Traditional Taiwanese pineapple jam are also often mixed with winter melon purée, owing to the abundance of winter melons.

Kele Roll Cakes

When it comes to roll cakes, Kele's iteration is largely inspired from the founder's personal experience and tastes. 

Kele's roll cakes are inspired by Japanese "roru-keiki", or roll cakes, which the founders found to be much fluffier and luscious than the Swiss rolls typically found in Singapore. After much research and experimenting, the Kele Roll Cake was finally launched in Singapore to much fanfare. 

Luscious and creamy fillings made with fresh cream and real fruits

Part of the reason to the roll cakes' success is its wide range of flavours - you can choose from premium flavours such as Mao Shan Wang, D24 Durian, Lychee Martini, Ondeh Ondeh, Avocado Macadamia, Rum & Raisin, and special flavours like Black Sesame Peanut, Mango Cream Cheese, Strawberry Cream Cheese, Chocolate, Special Pandan, and Avocado Gula Melaka.

Kele Roll Cakes are made from ingredients such as premium Japanese flour, fresh cream, and fresh tropical fruits. They are best eaten chilled, and can last up to a month in the freezer.

Kele roll cakes feature a chiffon cake base with generous amount of filling

The Avocado Macadamia Roll Cake ($12.90) was inspired by the avocado and macadamia drink served on Singapore Airlines flights. We found this flavour to be a marvelous combination - both the avocado and macadamia had a rich, nutty, and buttery profile, whereas the grassy and earthy undertones of the avocado provided a refreshing aftertaste. 

Another flavour we recommend is the Lychee Martini Roll Cake ($12.90). The luscious and creamy filling contained a generous amount of lychee bits, and every bite was simply bliss. The alcohol taste was not too overpowering, but just enough to give you that 'kick'. 

Fresh lychee bits providing the crunch

In a way, Kele's roll cakes can be enjoyed in many ways - they are like ice cream when chilled, and Swiss rolls when soft. 

meREWARDS 1-for-1 Deal

Enjoy 2 premium roll cakes for the price of 1 when you flash your meREWARDS app in-store! The 4 premium flavours applicable for this promo are Avocado Macadamia, Ondeh Ondeh, Lychee Martini, and Rum & Raisin.

Kele (Chinatown)

Address: 2 Smith St, Singapore 058917
Opening Hours: Daily 10am - 8pm
Nearest MRT Station: Chinatown Station
Phone: 6908 1511

Redeem 1-for-1 deals at Kele (Chinatown) here

Kele (Vivocity Concept Store)

Address: 1 HarbourFront Walk, #B2-K10 VivoCity, Singapore 098585
Opening Hours: Daily 10am - 10pm
Nearest MRT Station: Harbourfront Station
Phone: 8841 4621

Redeem 1-for-1 deals at Kele (Vivocity Concept Store) here

Prefer other flavours instead? Get 10% OFF all premium roll cake flavours with our promo code!

Get 10% OFF all premium roll cake flavours