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Red Velvet Cake

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  • Laura Jan 29, 2005 06:39 PM
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I'm obsessed with this cake and am looking for the best in NYC. Any suggestions where I can find it?

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  1. Cake Man Raven in Fort Greene (708 Fulton Street). He's about 3 blocks east of BAM.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chorus Girl

      I second this emotion. Cakeman Raven's is the best I've ever had.

      1. re: Dag

        try the red velvet cake at martha francis cheesecake..on 88th and second avenue. tiny little privately owned dessert shop, where the really cute lady makes everything fresh daily. her cheesecake is deelicious.but she also makes a great red velvet cake

      2. re: Chorus Girl

        hallelujah and praise be for cakeman raven's red velvet deliciousness!!

        1. re: funkymonkey

          AMEN my brother! (or sister?)

      3. Everyone always talks about how wonderful his red velvet cake is. I tried it the other night and, quite frankly, was underimpressed. It seemed quite dry.

        I hate Magnolia cupcakes, but their red velvet cake is pretty good. They make a butter based cake, and not an oil based one though, so it tastes a bit different. Polka Dot Cake Studio makes an amazing red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing. I'm glad I don't live closer, or I'd be eating these every day.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lisa

          Agreed - Cake Man Raven is vastly overrated. Get thyself to Magnolia, Laura, and prepare to wait in line to be the only person not getting cupcakes.

        2. Make My Cake -- near Central Park North

          1. Lord's Bakery - Nostrand Ave between Flatbush and Glenwood Aves in Brooklyn. Perhaps not *best* but damn good.

            Parking is HORRID, but this is NYC. :)

            1. I was not impressed w/ Amy's Bread's red velvet. Great texture. No flavor. Magnolia's is also dull.

              1. Billy's on 9th Ave in the 20s has a good red velvet cupcake with delicious icing!

                1 Reply
                1. re: erica

                  The red Velvet Cake at Billy's is to die for , it melts in your mouth and stays in your soul ! Absolutley sinful!

                2. I am a pastry chef and besides making my own, I too was looking for the best red velvet cake in the city. The cake man's cake may be the most popular by choice but it is not a "true" red velvet cake. As a few of the other postings mentioned, it is a buttercake, but the red comes from food coloring unlike true red velvet cake. If you want the real southern inspired cake go to Amy Ruth's in Harlem. 116th St btwn MLK and Lenox.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bear

                    where does true red velvet cake get it's red from?

                  2. Just curious, why isn't Cake Man's red velvet cake not a true red velvet cake?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kris

                      Supposedly, a 'true' Red Velvet Cake is actually a chocolate cake, whereas the CakeMan Raven cake is more of a yellow cake (it only has one tsp of cocoa in it) and its intense red color comes from 1 oz of red food coloring. Instead, a 'true' red velvet cake is supposed to get its red from the chemical reaction between the baking soda and cocoa in the recipe (though the best you can hope for with the cocoa is a muddy reddish brown). There's some doubt that such a reaction actually occurs.

                      Here's more of the story:
                      http://www.leitesculinaria.com/food_h...

                    2. Miss Mamie's spoonbread has amazing red velvet.

                      1. I don't have anyplace to compare it to, but the Red Velvet at Buttercup Bake Shop (52nd and 2nd location only)is pretty good.

                        The cupcakes are sometimes dry but their cakes are always moist and delicious. Try their coconut cake. It is really good as well.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jenniebnyc

                          I agree - am no expert, but greatly enjoyed some RV cupcakes I had there a few weeks back.

                          1. re: jenniebnyc

                            Went to Buttercup last week on your reco. The cake's bottom layer seemed a little stale but the upper was fine. Jfood was not totally blown away.

                            But the frosting was way over the top FANTASTIC. It has to be the best icing/frosting/buttercream, call it whatever you want but please let jfood have more.

                            Thanks J for turning jfood onto this place. His legs gave out when he saw all the deliciousness and a short walk from his NY office..

                          2. I read, although I can't remember where, that originally Red Velvet Cake relied on beets for the color.

                            That said, I never understood why this cake was so popular....

                            1. Mama Duke's in Brooklyn @ 243 Flatbush Ave.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: tokyodmd

                                Mama Dukes is closed. Her cake was good, tho.

                              2. Try Tillie's of Brooklyn on Dekalb and Vanderbilt. They carry a really good red velvet cake.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: apple842

                                  Tillie's gets their red velvet (and lots of other cakes) from Baked in Red Hook. <br>It's pretty tasty, but I affirm the Harlem Cake Man, Cake Man Raven for the best red velvet cake in Brooklyn. It's heavenly, perfect, fluffy, creamy, delicious... I'm using their recipe for Valentine's cupcakes this week!

                                2. Actually, Tillie's switched out their Red Velvet Cake and cupcakes to another bakery in brooklyn awhile back. I wasn't a big fan of Baked's cake, but the one Tillie's has now is toe to toe with Cake man raven.

                                  1. I gotta go to bat for the Red Velvet from Baked. I had it for the first time last weekend and while I don't think that their cinnamon frosting is de rigueur, it was really delicious.

                                    1. Laura, I was just online looking for a recipe for Red Velvet cake when I came across your post. I was at the Atlantic Antic street festival this past Sunday ( Brooklyn ) and I had a divine slice of Red Velvet from a Bakery called "Betty" This was the best damn cake!!!! The people were sweethearts. And why I am looking for a recipe? because we are moving, if we were not leaving NY I would not bother to bake and only Buy the cake here. Please give them a go, I promise you will not be sorry. Best regards,
                                      here is a link I found as well. http://www.chow.com/digest/2126

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Artaine

                                        We bought a whole Betty's cake for a party - the price was right but everyone scraped off the undelicious frosting. Cake was acceptable but on the bland side. I mean, red velvet is a "what is that flavor, anyway?" cake, but this one was too much so. Not recommended, a shame.

                                      2. I don't know where they get it from, but I really like the red velvet cake at Rack & Soul (109th & Bway). I should ask the next time I'm there. I think it's the best thing on their menu.

                                        1. I know people may disagree, but I love Buttercup Bakeshop's red velvet

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: kcijones001

                                            The red velvet cupcakes are really great, no doubt.

                                          2. Pinisi Bakery, 4th St bet 1st & 2nd has RV cake in cakes , pieces & cupcakes. I think one of the best around.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: bruceb04

                                              I completely agree with your comment on Pinisi! Not only are the red velvet cakes fantastic, everything else I've had at the bakery has consistently exceed expectations. I was just there again last night, and was excited to see the red velvet with raspberry mousse! The owner, Alan, bakes on a whim, so you never know what kinds of goodies you'll find each visit. Also quite memorable there are the pecan pies, cheese danishes, and pumpkin cheesecake with pumpkin and chocolate mousse. Swoooooon! :)

                                              my post on the red velvet at pinisi:(http://apassionforfood.blogspot.com/2...
                                              )post on other cakes/pies/cookies at pinisi:
                                              (http://apassionforfood.blogspot.com/2...)

                                              1. re: kathyyl

                                                Betty Bakery has the MOST other-worldly red velvet cake. TRUST ME. It is so good they made it into my wedding cake. Superb. Moist. The most wonderful frosting.

                                                1. re: kathyyl

                                                  i tried their red velvet cake last saturday. it was very good and moist but i didn't really taste the chocolate flavor. their other baked goods were also very good. their cheesecake was so creamy which i like.

                                              2. Two Little Red Hens on 2nd Ave. at 86th St. makes terrific red velvet cupcakes, and I believe they have a full cake as well.

                                                ~Eddie
                                                http://oeno.blogspot.com

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Eddie H.

                                                  I agree. Two Little Red Hens not only makes great red velvet cupcakes but their cake of the same kind of AMAZING. I get one once a week and it comes in about 4 sizes. The smallest one is great for two or three (or one when you want leftovers!).

                                                2. I had the most wonderful red velvet cupcake at Buuby's in Tribeca.

                                                  1. I love Red Velvet cake as well. Now that I've read this whole blog, if your looking for a chocolate based red-velvet--try booty bakery on 23rd bet 8th and 9th ave. I never had the cake, but they have really yummy cupcakes with delicious cream cheese frosting, and it's really chocolate based. like they say below, it's not that red, but you can tell it's red velvet.

                                                    1. Cake Man Raven's come out on top for me too. He gets the texture right. A Red Velvet should have it's own density and flavor that's different then vanilla cake, or chocolate cake. I think it's vegetable shortening in this case. His slices are like a meal.

                                                      Sunshine Bakery in the LES makes good cupcakes. I used to suspect they were using box mix, but they've really improved the taste since opening, and the price is cheapest. I wouldn't go out of my way for one, but they are darn good if you're in the area and have a craving. Their cakes are a bit amature in presentation, but there's something nice about that.

                                                      Amy's Bread uses a buttercream frosting on their red velvet that's just wrong for it. Too heavy on the butter. The cake doesn't have an of the unique taste that Cake Man does.

                                                      Magnolia, it all depends on how generous they're being with the ingredients. They abandoned their original recipe a long time before they got popular, but their red cake used to taste like it had twice the butter and sugar. Those were the days. Now it's hit or miss, for some reason, but the cake is mostly incidental to the icing. There are better desserts there now then the cakes.

                                                      Buttercup, no surprise, tastes about the same as Magnolia. I've had cake that had no taste there, and then I've also had really good slices. They were the first to offer the red cupcakes, from what I remember, and I've never craved much more then a cupcake taste from them. The icing still takes over powers the cake, and a Duncan Hines box would offer more consistency. It's a fun place, and a shame they have franchise literature sitting out. I would never turn down a Buttercup cupcake, but I wouldn't send anyone up there to get one either.

                                                      Crumbs make giant cupcakes that cram a slice into a round glob. They're really disgusting in every way. It's just vanilla cake with food coloring, and generic vanilla icing. They're too sweet without much flavor.

                                                      Cake Man's is the only one that doesn't suffer from the whole "well it's red, but it just tastes like any other cake" problem.

                                                      1. Ooh. Magnolia makes a GOOOOD red velvet beauty. Not a fan of much else from there but ooh...the red velvet cake.

                                                        1. I actually just had fantastic red velvet cake this weekend - Mara's Homemade on E6th & 1st. It's definitely worth sharing though - we couldn't finish it - but delicious and authentic.

                                                          1. M & G Soul Food Diner
                                                            383 West 125th Street

                                                            Great red velvet cake the last time I was there

                                                            1. How Sweet It Is opened up a retail branch (rather than just special order) on Allen Street, and they have killer Red Velvet Cupcakes.

                                                              1. Great thread. I am in Westchester County on the Greenwich/Fairfield County border. I too, am always looking for a red velvet cake. A real red velvet cake. Anyone???

                                                                1. burgers & cupcakes in the 30s on 9th ave. has really good RV cupcakes. first time i went, i was having a hard time deciding btw RV and carrot - i chose carrot and the woman behind the counter gave me the RV for free. and the RV was much better!!