Almondine Bakery on 85 Water St, New York
If you didn’t already know, Brooklyn has a bit of a reputation. Over the past several years, this corner of New York City has grown to be one of the most notable culinary destinations, boasting some of the best bagels, sandwiches, barbecued meats and fried chicken, among other things. Another tasty offering that Brooklyn can be proud of? It's baked goods.
Baked goods and bakeries in general have been something of an overlooked phenomenon for far too long. With television shows like Cake Boss, Unique Sweets and Food Network Challenge, the fame of sweet treats has certainly skyrocketed, and yet I find myself having to remind Brooklynites and visitors alike about how in this very borough, among the bagels and the coffee, some of the best sweet baked goods are just waiting to be enjoyed. Set your savory sites aside for just a minute; it’s time to get baked.
1112 8th Avenue
If one-of-a-kind cakes is what you’re on the hunt for, look no further than Ladybird Bakery. Here, you’re able to handpick every aspect of your cake, making for a culinary creation that is truly your own. While they are certainly delicious, skip over the standard vanilla and chocolate cakes and go for the specialties. A mocha chiffon cake with vanilla pastry cream may be just what you were looking for all along.
Butter Lane Cupcakes
240 7th Avenue
You may be familiar with Butter Lane’s sister store in the East Village, but as most food enthusiasts know, you haven’t really hit your stride as a successful business until you’ve opened up shop in Brooklyn. Butter Lane boasts some of the most delicious cupcakes this city has ever seen, and that mostly comes from their ability to not only offer up unique flavor combinations between cake and frosting (vanilla cake with chocolate caramel sea salt frosting, anyone?), but do it quite stylishly as well. Butter Lane also offers cupcake making classes, so you can whip up a batch or two at home.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
439 3rd Avenue
Four & Twenty Blackbirds is probably one of the most unique bakeries I have ever stepped foot in. Not only do they sell pies more often by the slice than by whole, but they bake everything in one oven, and prepare everything by hand. And I mean everything. Their ingredients are incredibly fresh and seasonal, and the pie menu is constantly changing as new seasons offer up new produce options. The best way to know what is chilling in their window sill each day is to stop by and grab a slice for yourself.
Sweet Melissa Patisserie
175 7th Avenue
The offerings at Sweet Melissa are somewhat of a hybrid of everything you want when you walk into a cafe. Something sweet, something savory, and perhaps a delicious cup of coffee to top it all off. Sweet Melissa does offer a ‘Breakfast Lunch and Later’ menu, which features quiches, salads and sandwiches, but the real piece de resistance here is their specialty cake menu. If you’re going for delicious as well as something irresistible to look at, look no further. Every cake option they have is sure to satisfy any and all sweets enthusiasts out there, but the attention to detail that is put into each and every decoration is truly the icing on the cake.
One Girl Cookies
68 Dean Street and 33 Main Street
The one thing about Brooklyn that truly sets it apart from other cities is how the best restaurants, bars and shops always come with the best stories. One Girl Cookies is a perfect example of this, and the love that the two purveyors of these fine baked goods is feel is both seen and tasted in each treat they make. Each cookie, cupcake, whoopie pie, cake, bag of granola, and pie is handmade with serious love and affection, and will certainly trigger the ‘oohs’ ‘ahhs’ and ‘awws’ that all good baked treats tend to do.
85 Water Street
Almondine Bakery is by far one of the best classic French bakeries in Brooklyn, and if you haven’t experienced one of their fresh loaves of bread, crusty croissants or to-die-for chocolate eclairs, you now have no excuse not to go and do just that. The store incurred some nasty damage after Hurricane Sandy, but thankfully they have rebuilt and opened their doors once again, making people’s days a little brighter with their incredible selection of baked goods.
386 Flatbush Ave EXT
A visit to Brooklyn isn’t complete without experiencing a slice of Junior’s New York Cheesecake. The restaurant itself offers a full menu of food and other dessert options, but it’s the cheesecake you’ll want to go for, and it’s a second slice of cheesecake that you’ll most likely end up staying for. Rich, creamy and incredibly decadent, this is the place that New Yorkers are referring to when they say that this city has the best cheesecake in the world. Many have tried, but none have been able to make a cheesecake quite as good as Junior’s.
Momofuku Milk Bar
382 Metropolitan Ave, 360 Smith Street
The Momofuku family of restaurants, cookbooks and general awesomeness originally started in Manhattan, but thankfully Milk Bar opened up two shops in Brooklyn to spread the sweet, sweet love. The cakes and cookies are certainly delicious, and baked fresh every morning, but the signature treat at Milk Bar is the crack pie, lovingly named after, as far as I’m concerned, it’s addictive and euphoric taste. If you have even a hankering for something sweet and buttery, this is the exact pastry to get your hands on. Paired with a glass of cereal milk, this is truly the dessert of champions.