With all the talk about cupcakes, pies and mini desserts of all sorts, we got to thinking about classics that have come back in style and we couldn’t help but notice how layered cake has made its way back into the spotlight recently. Just think of Parm’s newly famous layered ice cream cake or Billy’s Bakery’s criminally good ice box cake. What we found were some pretty inspired and delicious takes on this old fashion cake, including Baked’s caramel apple layer cake. Here’s a few of our favorite discoveries…
Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
Address: 126 Rivington St, btwn Essex & Norfolk Sts.
Phone: (212) 995-1960
This East Village bakery crafts a variety of terrific baked goods, but people often overlook the standout selection of layer cakes. They’re so serious about their layer cakes that they make them available in single, double, or triple layers with all sorts of icings and fillings to choose from, like mocha buttercream, meringue, or cream cheese, to name a few. The cast of specialty cakes here include “The Ooey Gooey” cake, made with chocolate cake and chocolate almond butter-cream frosting, pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, or a “Goody Goody Cake: with dark chocolate and peanut buttercream.
Lady M’s Cake Boutique
Address: 41 East 78th Street
Phone: (212) 452-2222
Website: ladymconfections.com This Japanese patisserie and café feels more like a jewelry store than a bakery, replete with glass display cases lined with chocolates gems. But the lineup of layer caked is even more impressive. In fact, Lady M stacks the menu with 32 kinds with even more mix-and-match options to consider. Essentially, they’ve got whatever you’re craving. But our top pick is the banana mille feuille cake, divinely layered with cream custard and bananas. A close runner up is the Flan Aux Pommes, an insanely good combination of almond paste, vanilla bean flan and sautéed apples.
Black Hound New York Bakery
Address: 170 2nd Avenue, corner of 11th Street
Phone: (212) 979-9505
This little East Village shop crafts an extensive collection of wonderfully unique desserts and their layer cakes are no exception. The cakes come in both mini and regular, and are made with the best ingredients from freshly churned butter to roasted nuts. We’re big fans of the signature, Checker cake with chocolate and vanilla sponge cake, bittersweet chocolate buttercream filling and chocolate ganache.
Two Little Red Hens Bakery
Address: 1652 2nd Ave, at 86th Street
Phone: (212) 452-0476
Died and gone to this Upper East Side bakery with tons of mix and match layer cake options with over ten fillings and ten types of cake to choose from. And don’t get us started on frostings. (There’s upwards of 15!) Two Little Red Hens bakes up everything from carrot cake to almond, red velvet or marble cake. The Brooklyn blackout cake is a fan favorite, a four-layer dark chocolate cake, layered with chocolate pudding, frosted with chocolate fudge, and finished with dark chocolate cake crumbs. Died and gone to chocolate heaven.
Address: 359 Van Brunt Street (Brooklyn )
Phone: (718) 222-0345
It may be a bit of a trek, but it’s well worth the trip to Baked for everything from fresh baked whoopee pies to cookies. Let’s not forget their cakes, which range from traditional to unique , like the Sweet & Salty with salted caramel-infused dark chocolate cake, dark chocolate caramel ganache and a sprinkle of fleur de del or the Grasshopper with chocolate cake, mint ganache filling and creme de menthe-flavored frosting. There’s too many to cover, but we thought we’d name drop a few more… Oopsy Daisy, Oreo Layer, Banana cake, & Red Hook Red Hot.
Sweet Melissa’s Patisserie Bakery
175 Seventh Ave. (Park Slope)
They may have closed their Cobble Hill location, but Park Slope’s bakery-cum-cafe is going strong and offers several one-of-a-kind creations. Stay for lunch as the savories are nearly as good as the sweets, but save room for dessert. Especially the pumpkin layer cake with mascarpone filling and ginger frosting. We also like the vanilla layer cake, prepared with a light, passion fruit curd filling and topped with passion butter cream frosting.
Amy’s Bread Bakery
Address: 250 Bleecker Street, nr. Cornelia St.
Phone: (212) 675-7802
Amy’s Bread’s is a go-to for freshly baked bread and morning pastries, but they happen to have a solid selection of old school layer cakes to consider, too. One of the prettiest is the Coconut Cream, a snowy white cake layered with vanilla buttercream and covered in shredded coconut. But there’s lots more where that came from including Monkey Cake, Devil’s Food and German chocolate cake with a creamy caramel coconut pecan topping.
Address: 973 2nd Avenue, nr. 52nd Street
Phone: (212) 350-4144
If you’ve never sampled a Lady Baltimore cake, this spot is a great place to christen this old school dessert. The Lady Baltimore is an almond-flavored white cake layered with coconut, candied cherries, cookie crumbs and almonds, and that’s just what’s inside. Then, it gets frosted in meringue and topped with shredded coconut, cookie crumble and cherry halves.
Address: 184 9th Avenue, btwn 21st & 22nd Sts.
Phone: (212) 647-9956
The sugar craving head to this Chelsea shop for cupcakes and bread pudding and they’re just as famous for their ice box cake, a simple and sublime layer cake composed of nothing more than nilla wafers and freshly whipped cream. We’re just as taken with the german chocolate and the banana cake made with fresh bananas and cream cheese frosting.