10 best sun cakes from Taiwan that you should consider to bring back as souvenirs

What’s one thing you should always get when you’re in Taiwan? Taiwanese sun cakes (or taiyang bing 太阳饼), of course! This flaky pastry originates from Taichung and is typically filled with maltose, and a buttery fragrance and taste that are irresistible.

This tasty snack is one of the most well-loved items to bring back from Taiwan when you travel there. In fact, the most popular stores typically see throes of people waiting to get their hands on them.

If you’re planning to try some of the best sun cakes in Taiwan, or to bring them back as souvenirs for your friends, here are 10 well-loved brands and where to get them.

1. Ruyi Sunny Cake (如邑堂餅家)

Ask any local which store to go to for the best sun cakes in Taiwan, and chances are Ruyi Sunny Cake will be brought up. The sun cake retailer has won the national “Best Suncake Competition” for five years now (including the last three consecutive years!) so it definitely is worth a spot in this list.

Ruyi is known for making suncakes that have thick, buttery, flaky crust that nobody can resist. Besides the traditional sun cakes, Ruyi also offers a version that infuses rose petals and roselle into the pastry, so it doesn’t just have a pretty pink tint to it, but also have a subtle floral taste to it.

Price: NT700 per box of 16
Where to buy: Ruyi has stores at Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Taichung. Find their addresses here.

2. Chia Te Bakery (佳德糕餅)

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Chia Te was started by Chen Tang-Peng, who grew up in a poor family that fish for a living. The baker worked at several well-known bakeries in Taiwan, beginning as an apprentice and working her way up the ranks. She then started Chia Te and grew it from a small bakery to one of the most well-known bakeries in Taiwan now.

While Chia Te is probably best known for its pineapple cakes (another specialty in Taiwan), its sun cakes is also among the best in Taiwan.

Chia Te is generous with its maltose filling but made sure that the taste is balanced so it isn’t too sweet and doesn’t overwhelm the buttery crust. The store is typically very crowded on weekends, so if you’d like to avoid the crowd, try to visit on a weekday.

Price: NT304 per box of eight
Where to buy: 105台北市南京東路5段88號 (105 Taipei City, Songshan District, Nanjing Dong Road, Section 5, Number 88)

3. Yu Jan Shin (裕珍馨)

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50-year-old bakery Yu Jan Shin started gaining following after its invention and launch of its butter puffs (奶油酥餅). The bakery then continued to innovate and continued to produce great pastries that are well-loved, including their sun cakes are known for their light texture and aromatic flavour.

Besides shopping for sun cakes and butter cakes, you should also check out its “healthier” series of pastries and breads that they’re also very popular for.

Price: NT240 per box of eight
Where to buy: You can find many of their stores in Taipei and Taichung.

4. Sugar and Spice (糖村)

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More than 20 years ago, Sugar & Spice was opened as the first bakery-restaurant in Taichung. Because of its unique and tasty offerings, Sugar & Spice has expanded in the last two decades and now has many branches all over Taiwan and more recently, in Mainland China.

Besides purchasing sun cakes with light buttery crusts in the store, don’t forget to check out other delicious baked goods in the stores, including Swiss rolls and Western cakes. You’ll be happy to know that there are many options for vegetarians and those who want to avoid lactose.

Apart from offering some of the best sun cakes you can find in Taiwan, you’ll love that they come in pretty packaging that makes them great as gifts.

Price: NT280 per box of eight
Where to buy: Multiple stores all over Taiwan. Find all locations here.

5. Tai Yang Tang Lao Dian (太陽堂老店)

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Started by three brothers in 1954, this bakery claims to be the only one that 100% hand-makes its sun cakes in Taichung City. Tai Yang Tang is one of the oldest sun cake bakeries around, and many popular sun cake chefs used to work there before they set out on their own.

Tai Yang Tang has a special recipe for its maltose, which is loved for its softness and fragrance. Besides the traditional flavour, the bakery also offers sun cakes in unique flavours like honey, coffee, cereal germ, and black sugar.

Price: NT420 per box of 12
Where to buy: Multiple stores all over Taiwan. Find all locations here.

6. Ah Ming Shi Sun Cake Shop (阿明師太陽餅店)

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With a bold claim that its founder (Ah Ming Shi) was the inventor of sun cakes, you can expect that this bakery will offer something that lives up to its reputation. In fact, the brand says that there are many sun cake chefs in Taichung that were students of Ah Ming Shi, but none have managed to pick up the essence of the craft, and the original recipe can only be found in its store now.

Reviews for their sun cakes seem promising, but you probably have to try and compare among a few of them to decide for yourself if what they claim is an exaggeration.

The sun cakes from Ah Ming Shi are said to melt in your mouth and has thin, flaky crust, and just the right amount of maltose. They also persist in using lard in its recipe – an authentic technique that their founder used when he invented the pastry.

Price: NT230 per box of 10
Where to buy: They have three outlets in Taichung City that are near to one another. Find their locations here.

7. 23 Sun Bakery (23 太陽餅店)

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23 Sun Bakery boasts of several experienced resident chefs who have been making pastries for 30 to 40 years.

Featured in several news bulletins and infor-tainment programmes in Taiwan, 23 Sun Bakery is known for sun cakes that are incredibly fluffy and crispy, with a unique taste, thanks to a special technique of frying lard in the process of making the sun cakes.

Price: NT270 per box of 10
Where to buy: No. 191 Sanmin Road, West District, Section 1, Taichung City (台中市西區三民路一段191號 (第一分局對面))

8. Le Cake (李儀餅店)

Le Cake (or Li Yi Pastry Shop) is a fourth-generation bakery that has been established for more than 100 years. The bakery was originally most famous for their green bean cakes, but in more recent years, they have also become the go-to for sun cakes.

Le Cake uses pure milk and butter in its sun cake recipe, which is why you’ll be able to notice an unmistakable fragrance of butter.

Price: NT300 per box of 10
Where to buy: No. 18, Qiche Road, Ruifang District, New Taipei City (opposite 7-Eleven) (台北縣瑞芳鎮九份汽車路18號(舊道口7-11的對面))

9. Lee Chi (台北犁記餅店)

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When you talk about the best sun cakes in Taiwan, Lee Chi will certainly be another name that is mentioned. Featured in many news reports and TV programmes, the brand has been established for more than 100 years and is seen as one of the most sought after Taiwanese pastry brands around.

Besides its sun cakes, if you happen to be in Taiwan near mid-Autumn festival, consider joining the queue for its mooncakes, which are also very popular, even among the locals.

Price: NT350 per box of 10
Where to buy: Lee Chi only has one store in Taipei at No.67, Sec. 2, Chang An E. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City (台北市長安東路二段67號)

10. Chia Wia Sina (嘉味軒)

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Chia Wia Sina started out as a bakery for bread and provided food for pre-schools. This is why they are dedicated to producing baked goods that are healthy and fresh, without compromising on taste.

Chia Wia Sina is where you can go, if you’re looking for a healthier version of sun cakes that still taste delicious. The bakery replaces shortening with cream and omits egg yolk from its recipe in order to offer lower-calorie sun cakes.

Despite the healthier recipe, you’ll be surprised that the sun cakes from Chia Wia Sina are considered sweet, making it popular with those with a sweet tooth.

Price: NT350 per box of 10
Where to buy: No. 5, Lane 12, Mofan Street, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403 (台中市西區模範街12巷5號)

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