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The BEST Red Velvet cake in NYC

ISO the very, very best.

Have never tasted it + I want to knock someone's socks off at Thanksgiving.

Must be from a NYC bakery.

Must be reasonably price.


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  1. Amy's has a good version, but I'd suggest going out to Cake Man Raven in Brooklyn.
    Whatever you do, don't go to Magnolia...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Lucia

      I can not understand all the chow-talk about Magnolia.
      Everything I have had from there is dry and tasteless.

      1. re: Lettucepray

        i agree , I was looking for a cup cake and someone suggested me Magnolia, i really didnt like at all. I recently went to a party at Gasenvoort hotel roof top and they had the birthday cake in cupcakes, made by them.... i loved , was my first Red Velvet, i really liked , even the frosting was great.

        1. re: Lettucepray

          agreed...GOD AWFUL! The only reason it's hyped (or was) is because it was on sex and the city...so was down the hatch....enough said..

          1. re: Lettucepray

            Magnolia really is the reason Red Velvet became a craze. The quality has gone downhill, first after the breakup of ownership to form Buttercup Bakery, and then subsequently just to handle the volume. Even at their best, they were making very basic old fashioned cakes from another era, when that wasn't in style.

            Magnolia Bakery
            401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

            Buttercup Bake Shop
            973 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

        2. Two little red hens on 2nd ave betweem 85/86

          7 Replies
          1. re: UES Mayor

            Second Two Little Red Hens. Homerun.

            1. re: apple342

              Third vote for Two Little Red Hens. It's the best I've been able to find.

              Two Little Red Hens
              1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

            2. re: UES Mayor

              Sorry to be the voice of dissent here, but the worst Red Velvet Cake I've ever had was from Two Little Red Hens. Dry vanilla cake and food coloring hiding under an overly sweet over-iced cake doesn't really cut it. I would prefer one of the packaged cakes they sell at Dagistino's supermarket.

              Cake Man Raven makes a great version.

              Two Little Red Hens
              1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

              1. re: sugartoof

                Personal preference - I love TLRH's red velvet cake but didn't care for Cake Man Raven's at all.

                1. re: uwsister

                  Of course, but I don't believe Two Little Red Hens is a traditional version.

                  BTW - Did you have the cake itself or just the cupcakes?

                  1. re: sugartoof

                    Well, cream cheese frosting isn't traditional, and that's what TLRH frosts their red velvet cakes with - so no, their version is definitely not traditional. I still prefer cream cheese frosting to cooked buttercream on my red velvet cakes though, tradition be damned.

                    I've tried both cupcakes and regular cakes at TLRH - I actually had a wedding cake tasting there so I had a good opportunity to try regular versions of all their popular cakes (red velvet, Brooklyn Blackout, etc.)

                    If you like Cake Man Raven's red velvet, you might like Make My Cake's version - both super-moist and dense cakes.

                    Make My Cake
                    2380 7th Ave, New York, NY 10030

                    Make My Cake
                    121 St Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10026

                    1. re: uwsister

                      Cream cheese can be considered traditional (certainly over a straight buttercream, as Amy's Bread does it).

                      Two Little Red Hens sells a cake that is red in color, that's about it.

                      Amy's Bread
                      672 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

            3. Billy's Bakery makes great Red Velvet cup cakes

                  1. re: RGR

                    Princeofpork's post was from 2008.

                    1. re: loratliff

                      Still helpful as a reminder for those reading the revised thread.

                1. Baked bakery in Red Hook has a really good red velvet!

                  1. Dallas BBQ has the BEST red velvet cup cakes - heaven, just heaven

                    1. I spotted a red velvet cake at Between the Bread last week. I treated myself to a slice on a whim. Thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the cake. Yum!

                      1. I don't know the name of the bakery, but it's on 32nd street between 6th ave and 5th ave. If you're going towards 5th ave it's on your left side, BEFORE you get to the big bakery/cafe Koryodong. This smaller bakery is slightly elevated so you have to go up a few steps.
                        I had the Red Velvet cup cake there that was moist, good ratio of frosting to cake, as well as good balance of sweetness where the frosting complimented the cake. The crumb is very fine and just the right density. Both the cake and the frosting were very smooth in texture and taste, instead of the usual "coarse" feel you get from commercial bakeries these days.

                        43 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: HLing

                          Just had FABULOUS red velvet cupcakes from Big Booty Bread Company on W. 23rd St. Moist, tasty, great icing. Highly recommend!!!

                        2. I bought an Amy's Bread red velvet for my New Year's gathering last night. Wow! We all loved it! It was the best red velvet I have had to date. I highly recommend this red velvet cake.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: AToback

                            Amy's uses a buttercream, instead of any of the traditional Red Velvet frostings. Just good to keep in mind.

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              And thus their frosting just tastes like...butter. Oof.

                              1. re: sugartoof

                                Buttercream is traditional frosting for red velvet.

                                1. re: uwsister

                                  Actually buttercream isn't traditional, a cooked variation of buttercream involving dairy is traditional, or alternatively cream cheese frosting.

                                  What Two Little Red Hens put on my birthday cake was neither of those. It tasted similar to Duncan Hines, and probably involves a combination of butter, with cream cheese. The top layer was over an inch thick in cloyingly sweet icing only. It overpowered the cake layer.

                                  The cake itself should include cocoa. It should not taste of coloring paste in a butter cake/pound cake or vanilla cake.

                                  Simply put, what Two Little Red Hens serves as a red velvet cake does not taste like a red velvet cake.

                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                    I felt the same about Amy's...the icing to me tasted of butter and little else. I prefer Cake Man Raven head and shoulders above the others I've tried!

                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                      I mentioned cooked buttercream upthread - I should have specified. I don't know what Amy's Bread uses. I've had their red velvet cake, but it must have been unimpressive as I don't remember much about it.

                                      Cream cheese frosting, however, is definitely not traditional. You would never find cream cheese frosting on a red velvet cake in the 50's South. Just not traditional.

                                      TLRH's red velvet cake does include cocoa. Red velvet cakes I've had from there always tasted like red velvet cake to me. I'm pretty sure other posters who also recommended TLRH's version know what red velvet cake tastes like. Perhaps your birthday cake was baked on an off-day? Sounds like an anomaly, kind of like a stingy sandwich from Katz's ;)

                              2. Recently had a fantastic red velvet cupcake at Sweet Revenge on Carmine St.

                                1. Absolutely the best cakes in Manhattan - red velvet is amazing - moist, dense. Cupcakes ($2.50) are fantastic. The secret is apparently the Columbian baker puts dulce de leche in everything. The slightly pinkish rather than red comes from beet, the natural and original kind of coloring, so they're not FDA day-glo red etc. I hear it's Kate Winslet's favorite place. Most other decent/lauded ones I've tried - Amy's, Billy's, Citycakes even Lulu - don't quite match up to this. They're dry and crumbly in comparison. (Oh yes, forget Magnolia - it's only riding on its name - a shame - they use to be good - their cupcakes are outrageously small and outrageously priced at $3.50). The only other standout red velvet cake to my palate is that famous one in Brooklyn (what's it called?) where the cakes are around $50! Try Big Booty's yuca rolls too!

                                  Big Booty Bread Co.
                                  261 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: galfromdownunder

                                    This is an old thread, but I wanted to comment on it since I don't see Big Booty Bakery mentioned here all too often - they do have excellent red velvet cake, maybe as good as Two Little Red Hens' - I'd have to do a taste-off to say one is better than the other. And I have tried most every well-known red velvets in the city - Chikalicious is pretty good, Amy's and Billy's are OK, Magnolia not so good, neither is Make My Cake, no SSS for me, Buttercup and Crumbs terrible, I also didn't care for Cake Man Raven's at ALL. Big Booty and TLRH are definitely tops for me.

                                    Big Booty Bread Co.
                                    261 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                                    1. re: uwsister

                                      I remember you've been praising Big Booty on a few threads for their red velvet. So I tried a red velvet cupcake from there about a week ago. Fabulous! Not too sweet, moist delicate crumb with delicious cream cheese icing. Thank goodness I don't live near there anymore!

                                      Big Booty Bread Co.
                                      261 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                        Aren't they good? I'm so glad you tried them and liked them! BTW I'm still on the lookout for Mitchell London's cupcakes after your recommendation.

                                        1. re: uwsister

                                          They really are delicious. So glad you've mentioned them. I think I like them better than Mitchell London -- though it's been a long time since I've had one.

                                  2. If you are looking for a cupcake instead of a cake slice, Tonnie's Minis deserves mention for their red velvet. They stood out at Sandra Lee's bake sale with a full size cupcake (I guess they're not all minis?).

                                    Tonnie's Minis
                                    264 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

                                    1. After never having had red velvet cake before (Mr. R. said he'd never even heard of it), this past weekend, we found ourselves ordering slices in two different restaurants: Untitled and Hill Country. I thought Untitled's was the better of the two.

                                      Untitled: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                      Hill Country photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...


                                      Hill Country
                                      30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                                      945 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021