The Cake Shop (Lower East Side)
Have you ever been out so late that even the diners are closed? Does the craving for cupcakes or ice cream hit you around then? That’s what happens to me nearly every night. My body has some sort of inner alarm clock that goes off somewhere between 11 pm & 3 am. It demands sweets.
Where can you get decent vegan goodies at that time of night? There’s the accidentally vegan treats, like Nutter Butter & Skittles. Those suffice sometimes. Most of the time I end up yelling at Siri, because she doesn’t know what’s open “right now“. One night I ended up stumbling upon this gem. They serve vegan cakes, cupcakes & whoopie pies.
I’ll start this off by giving you a heads up. The Cake Shop isn’t a bakery. It’s a music venue. Specifically, it’s a punk rock music venue. However, they DO serve cake & the like, so that’s how I ended up there. It’s located in what I’ve been told used to be a seedy Puerto Rican neighborhood. It’s still a little on the seedy side. Seedy enough for hipsters at least.
When I walked in, there was a stack of records on my right (they sell them). On my left was a glorious display of mainly vegan noms & a bar. Behind the counter stood a gorgeous, clever bartender. Holy hell. Yummy vegan treats & a yummy bartender? The sky opened up & angels were singing. I had to remind myself that I was there for baked goodies.
I had a super hard time deciding what to get. Their assortment is nothing to scoff at. I selected a chocolate peanut butter whoopie pie & a slice of Oreo cake. My slice was huge. I think she gave me 1/5 of the cake!
The whoopie pie was about the size of a Big Mac (don’t pretend you don’t know what those are). She talked me into a cup of coffee. It was a no-go, but she was crazy hot, so I included it in the order. I’m not usually one of those people, but damn!
Those sweets lasted me nearly a week. The Oreo cake had amazing frosting (sweet & fluffy)! However, the cake part was too chocolately & dense. I went through 1/2 a glass of almond milk every time that I ate a few forkfuls! It was pretty yummy (in moderation), so I’d say that it was worth it.
Everything about the whoopie pie was intense. Maybe that’s why it’s called a whoopie pie. It was ginormous & thick. I prefer baked goods to be airy. The cake portion was as dense as a brownie, but spongey like cake. The frosting part was thicker than the Oreo cake frosting. It was peanut buttery, but had a subtle coffee overtone. I’m more than fine with that. This one ended up in the freezer until I’d polished off the cake. It took equally as long to consume.
I obviously enjoyed them, because I went back a month later. This time I got a slice of brownie cheesecake & a red velvet cupcake. Red velvet cupcakes are my kryptonite. I was understandably excited to find a vegan one at 2 am.
The cupcake was waxy & flavorless. The texture & color looked the part, but flavor didn’t follow through. The frosting was essentially whipped sugar. I’m guessing that it was a sugar coated beet cupcake. I couldn’t finish it & didn’t want to take it home. Total let down.
The brownie cheesecake had too much going on. It would’ve tasted better if it were the brownie & the cheesecake. I liked the brownies. They were pretty authentic. The cheesecake had the New York texture- my fav. The flavor was as disappointing as vegan sour cream. (Email me if you find a decent vegan sour cream. It would greatly enhance my life.)
My buddy had a slice of carrot cake. He’s not of the vegan persuasion, but effin loved it. That shit was legit. It was fluffy, perfectly spiced & had complimentary frosting. I ended up pirating it while he was socializing. Cute girls get away with everything.
Would I go back there a third time? Hells yes. Their soy milk is actually yummy. Both of the bartenders that I’ve encountered are charming. Folkies kick it there on weeknights (my kind of people). Annnnndddd… Where else can I nosh on gourmet vegan pastries at 3 am?