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Red Velvet & Carrot Cake suggestions

t
twofivenone Dec 17, 2010 05:45 AM

I'm looking to score a killer red velvet and carrot cake. Who makes the best in the city?? I'm cool with either full size cakes or cupcakes.

Thanks!

  1. w
    wlo Dec 21, 2010 12:37 PM

    Carrot Top Pastries ( I think there are 3 locations, but the one I frequented is near Columbia Presbyterian Hospital on 168th st). Their carrot muffins are INCREDIBLE. When still warm, they are out of this world. The cake is very, very good as well. If you head up there for cake, I recommend a muffin while you are waiting....

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    Carrot Top
    5025 Broadway, New York, NY 10034

    1. Jess321 Dec 19, 2010 08:58 PM

      As I type this, I'm enjoying a deliciously moist slice of carrot cake from Amy's Bread (Bleecker st. location). The frosting is really sweet and cream cheesy, but not grainy or fake tasting. The slice is HUGE also! They have other locations but can't vouch for the quality. Also-I picked up this slice as they were closing on a Sunday and the quality was still great, not one of those places where if you go at the end of the day it's all stale or bad.

      As for red velvet, as much as I love Two Little Red Hens for their Brooklyn Blackout cupcakes, I'm not the biggest fan of their red velvet cupcakes. I don't know what it is about them, maybe it's that they're too sweet or something? I'm not sure, but they actually do have a lovely carrot cake bar type thing which I just remembered-they have cupcake versions of it, but the bar is cheaper AND has more frosting!

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

      Amy's Bread
      250 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jess321
        k
        kathryn Dec 21, 2010 05:11 PM

        Serious Eats agrees that Amy's has the best carrot cake:
        http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...

        1. re: Jess321
          mstinawu Apr 27, 2011 04:53 PM

          I bought a slice of carrot cake from Amy's Bread but wasn't able to eat it until the next day. It was still really good, but not the best carrot cake I've had. I guess I need to eat it "day of" to make a fair comparison though.

          1. re: mstinawu
            i
            IntrepidNook Apr 28, 2011 05:36 AM

            This may sound crazy, but I am in love with the Cutie Carrot Cake at Whole Foods. The other sizes are different cakes, but the cutie size (about right for two... but me, no, I would NEVER eat it all to myself... *wipes crumbs off face*) is IMO perfection. I am very dismayed, however, that the last few times I have gone to my usual WF, I haven't seen it. After giving up sugar for lent for 40 days, me needs some of that cake.

        2. s
          sugartoof Dec 17, 2010 06:10 PM

          I've enjoyed Cake Man Ravens.

          I'd avoid the Two Little Red Hens version. It was bland, and dry, with too much of the overly sweet icing (and I love icing). It also just tasted like a white/yellow cake with red dye.

          I had high expectations from the reviews, but it was one of the duller cakes I've had in NY, and the only time I can recall having a whole cake from a nice bakery being tedious.

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

          8 Replies
          1. re: sugartoof
            p
            pbjluver Dec 17, 2010 06:16 PM

            Two Little Red Hens has the best carrot cake!

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

            1. re: sugartoof
              p
              Pan Dec 17, 2010 06:29 PM

              What's the point of Red Velvet other than the red dye (which is why I avoid it)?

              1. re: Pan
                r
                RedVelvet Dec 17, 2010 09:00 PM

                I find Red Velvet more flavorful than a plain cup/cake. Granted, if it's done right. The biggest kick is the frosting, though.
                I didn't try Two Little Red Hens or Cake Man Ravens but everything else I tried was mediocre at best - and I hate to say this but I like the Magnolia Red Velvet Cake (not so much the cupcakes) . Which is why I'd rather make it myself.

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

                1. re: Pan
                  s
                  sugartoof Dec 19, 2010 12:17 PM

                  Pan -
                  It's supposed to have cocoa in it. It's not supposed to be a vanilla cake.
                  You can also use beet juice to color it, and other tricks.

                  When made properly, it's not a generic cake with food coloring.

                  1. re: sugartoof
                    p
                    Pan Dec 19, 2010 01:24 PM

                    Thanks for the explanation. If it were colored with beet juice, I'd try it. I don't like eating red dye. Do you know any place that doesn't use artificial coloring?

                    1. re: Pan
                      s
                      sugartoof Dec 19, 2010 10:10 PM

                      Currently? No. The place I knew of closed.

                      Mind you, a real Red Velvet Cake gets it's red from a natural chemistry between the ingredients.

                      Somewhere along the way people decided they needed to help it along with red wine vinegar, coca cola, beet juice, beet powder, and an endless list of supposed solutions. Part of is the need for using a brand of non-alkalized Cocoa Powder with a reddish tint. You're not supposed to need any of that.

                      Today though, most recipes call for at least some food color to even the color out (Cake Man Raven for example, uses 2 tablepoons per cake, in his recipe). Some bakeries use a colored paste, not a liquid red dye.

                      Another thing people claim has changed is the frosting tradition, which was it's own variation, using boiled flour and milk.

                      Magnolia should get credit for reintroducing this cake to New York. This cake was really their draw, before the cupcake boom. Unfortunately, they've switched recipes or ingredients since they first opened.

                      1. re: Pan
                        chowdom Dec 21, 2010 12:40 PM

                        Debbie ( http://debbiesoulfulsweets.com/ ) will use the beet sugar. I can't vouch for it as I have only had her red velvet made with the red gel. The icing on this cake is on the sweet side but the cake is not. The cake has a drier crumb and tastes homemade I think it is excellent. She is based in Westchester buy may deliver to NYC.
                        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/22/nyr...
                        Have you checked Lulu's in Chelsea they may use the beet sugar as well
                        edited: if you do order Debbie's red velvet order it with the pecans

                        1. re: chowdom
                          chowdom Dec 21, 2010 05:06 PM

                          Correction she is located in NYC

                2. daffyduck Dec 17, 2010 10:30 AM

                  http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...

                  also bouchon bakery has a carrot cake cupcake but i think only during easter. it is amazingg.

                  1. t
                    tex.s.toast Dec 17, 2010 06:24 AM

                    At the risk of sounding like those people who answer "Whats the best pizza in manhattan?" type questions with "DiFaras" . . .

                    If you ever have reason to find yourself way out on Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn, Check out the red velvet at Lords Bakery on Nostrand and Flatbush. Its not remotely artisinal, fancy, or elevated (or even really that pretty to look at) but man is it good.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tex.s.toast
                      Motosport Dec 17, 2010 06:38 AM

                      Lords rocks and has been making fabulous baked goods for 50+ years. They are even open until the wee hours 2 AM (I think).

                      1. re: Motosport
                        t
                        tex.s.toast Dec 17, 2010 07:22 AM

                        5am-12midnight per their hilariously old-school website

                    2. thew Dec 17, 2010 06:04 AM

                      2 little red hens for red velvet

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: thew
                        s
                        sheio Dec 17, 2010 06:14 AM

                        +YES Two Little Red Hens

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

                      2. Motosport Dec 17, 2010 05:59 AM

                        Billy's Bakery in Chelsea

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Motosport
                          e
                          edwardspk Dec 18, 2010 03:58 PM

                          Be forewarned that Billy's has been known to use vanilla buttercream to frost their red velvet cakes. As a Southerner, the ONLY acceptable frosting for a red velvet cake is cream cheese frosting - so be sure you specify if you order the cake from Billy's.

                          As an aside, when I was in a pinch, I walked in and bought a red velvet cake at Billy's that was frosted with buttercream. When I told them it should be done with cream cheese, the person behind the counter said, "Maybe you should have made the cake yourself.". Kind of changed my opinion about Billy's....

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