My dentist could attest to the fact that I have a crazy sweet tooth (shoutout Dr. S). Since I was a kid, I have always loved baked goods and candy and as I have gotten older that definitely hasn’t changed, I don’t think I skip a single day without having something sweet. I do love baking but there are some favorite treats I like that I don’t know if I could ever replicate because they are that good! Here’s a list of my all-time favorite baked goods around New York, whether you’re a native or a tourist, you need to try! Trust me on this, I know my sugar.
1. Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Levain Bakery
When I first wrote this piece it was still summer and Levain had their Lemon Loaf which is one of my favorite things to eat but unfortunately it’s a seasonal special and they stopped serving it! (brb while I literally cry and wait 6 months to eat it again.) Instead of the Lemon Loaf I decided to highlight my other favorite underrated Levain goodie, the Sour Cream Coffee Cake. Most people know Levain for their rock sized warm cookies but what I always wait in line for are the loafs. Every bite is moist and sweet, especially the bottom part that is absolutely divine. Whenever I go I always need to buy more than one slice. I promise you, next time you’re by a Levain location, pass up on the chocolate chip walnut and buy yourself to a slice of the coffee cake, you will never go back.
2. Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcake from Little Cupcake Bakeshop
Even though I’m dairy-free, I never really let it affect my baked good intake. Sometimes though, there are bakeries that kill the vegan game and Little Cupcake Bakeshop is one of them. Their Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcake is one of my absolute favorites. Their non vegan desserts are great too but this cupcake is like biting into a delicious pillow.
3. Rice Krispy from Molly’s Cupcakes
I have been eating the huge Rice Krispies from Molly’s Cupcakes since middle school. They are dreamy, chewy, and so much fun to eat with its ridiculous size. (Literally was the size of my head when I was 12.) If you’re ever in the West Village, you must go pick one up because no other Rice Krispy else compares.
4. Anything from Supermoon Bakehouse
It’s hard for me to give an exact favorite of mine from Supermoon Bakehouse on the Lower East Side because their menu is constantly changing! Especially in quarantine, they have been limiting their hours to the weekends with a special menu that changes every week. They specialize in loaded croissants, muffins, and doughnuts. The shop is not only aesthetically pleasing, I will say that everything I have tasted from Supermoon is delicious. They have rare flavor combinations such as Strawberry Lychee and Blueberry Rosemary. My most recent purchase was the Passionfruit Curd Doughnut and eating it was a spiritual experience. Make sure to get there when they open, there is always a line and they only bake a limited amount of items every day.
5. Steve’s Key Lime Pie
Steve’s Key Lime Pie is another sweet treat I have been obsessed with since I was a young kid. Key Lime Pie is my favorite pie and my father introduced me to this little bakery in Red Hook that only sold Key Lime products when I was a little girl. Since I started going there, people have gotten the message that it’s the best Key Lime Pie you can get outside of Florida so they now have grown their store and sell in Whole Foods and restaurants as well. With just one bite I promise you will feel like you’re chillin on a beach in Key Largo.
6. Chocolate Babka from Bread’s Bakery
I’m pretty sure this is another baked good that is not unknown to most of New York… Bread’s Bakery has one of the best Chocolate Babka’s I’ve ever consumed. Super flaky, gorgeous marble color, it is the ultimate *chef’s kiss*. This is a great item to bring as an offering to a gathering, especially if you know your friends haven’t tried it before because it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser!
7. Black and White Cookie from Zaro’s Family Bakery
I remember telling my ex one day while passing Zaro’s in Grand Central that if he ever wanted to make my day, “buy me a black and white cookie from this place.” I don’t know what it is but maybe people using the microaggression about me resembling a black and white cookie most of my life makes them more appealing to me?? Doesn’t matter, I just love Black and White cookies. It’s such a classic cookie even though it’s sometimes hard to find but I definitely believe Zaro’s has the spongiest, most delicious ones I’ve ever had in the city.
8. Cardamom Bun from Fabrique
When I was abroad in Copenhagen, I discovered one of my favorite pastries, the Cardamom Bun. It’s a Swedish pastry flavored with cardamom which is a very interesting natively Indonesian spice. They were seriously the most delicious thing ever and I was devastated when I had to leave them in Cope. My friend knew I liked them though and recommended I check out Fabrique, a Swedish bakery in the Meatpacking District. They definitely do a different take on the cardamom buns I had, they’re flat and more buttery, but other than that they are almost identical. They have a bunch of other yummy buns as well but I highly recommend stopping to try this, I promise you’ve never tasted anything like it before.
9. Red Velvet Donut from Peter Pan Donuts
The first time I ever had a Red Velvet donut I was enamored. I am one of those people who is obsessed with Red Velvet and Peter Pan Donuts in Greenpoint makes the best donuts ever but specifically, their red velvet is to die for. They are soft, warm, and the only type of donut you will ever need. I promise you suburban folk, Dunkin Donuts are NOT real donuts, please go check out Peter Pan.
10. Lady M Cake Boutique Green Tea Crepe Cake
One of the lightest, most tasty desserts, Lady M’s Green Tea Crepe Cake is a simple yet unique sweet. I have had many slices at restaurants, birthday parties, and at the Lady M Cake Boutiques. It’s a layered crepe cake with pastry cream and green tea flavor that melts in your mouth. It’s a luxurious cake that is perfect for special occasions (you can deliver it to friends nationwide!) or for a regular snack while walking up Madison Ave. Because of the light consistency, it’s the easiest cake to eat because it can never weigh you down, unless you eat the whole thing of course!
11. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread from Baked
Baked used to have a location in my neighborhood but now they are only in Red Hook. Baked was my classic after school walk snack for me and my friends and I miss it a lot. I think I’ve tried every dessert they have from the whoopie pies to the homemade marshmallows but my absolute favorite is the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. It is the perfect combination of chocolate and pumpkin that I’m surprised that this is the only place where I have ever seen this combination before.
12. Palmiers and Brioche fromClaude’s Bakery
Claudes was my neighborhood bakery as a child that my dad was getting daily pastries from since before I was born. I have 2 favorite things from Claudes that I love, first are the Palmiers. They’re so crispy and yummy and for such a low price you can easily get a pound of them and eat them all in a day. The other baked good I love is their brioche bread. It’s the perfect puffy shape and flakiness that with a coffee, is the best morning snack. Make sure to have cash with you, this old school bakery doesn’t take cards.
13. Maple Cruller from Daily Provisions
The maple cruller from Daily Provisions is one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten. It is the perfect combination of maple flavoring, not too subtle but not too sweet. They seriously nail the cruller flavor, which is not just a donut. They have a few different flavor options, right now they have an Apple and Honey one that I am dying to try.