Discover New York’s Best Plum Cakes: A Flavorful Journey

Have you ever wandered the bustling streets of New York City, craving something uniquely sweet, tangy, and utterly delightful? If so, join me on a culinary adventure as we seek out the city’s best plum cakes. This isn’t just about satisfying a sweet tooth; it’s a quest for a slice of New York’s rich, diverse, and delectable culture.

BakeryLocationBest ItemPrice for TwoRatingBest Time to Visit
Billy’s BakeryChelseaBanana Cake$208.1/10Afternoon
Miss Lily’s & Melvin’s Juice BoxVariedCoconut Cake$308.2/10Evening
Butter LaneEast Village“Elvis” Cupcake$158.3/10Late afternoon

A Plum Tale in the Big Apple

The Essence of New York’s Plum Cakes

In the heart of the city that never sleeps, a humble dessert has been making waves. Plum cake, a simple yet sophisticated treat, has become a symbol of New York’s culinary diversity. Its roots are as varied as the city itself, with influences from European tortes to modern American baking.

The Iconic NY Times Plum Torte

A legend in its own right, the NY Times Plum Torte recipe, first published in 1983, has become a seasonal ritual for many New Yorkers. Its simplicity, versatility, and the delightful marriage of plums and vanilla batter make it a timeless classic.

Where to Find the Best Plum Cakes in NYC

1. Billy’s Bakery

Location: 184 9th Ave, Chelsea
Best Thing to Try: Banana Cake
Price for Two: Approx. $20
Rating: 8.1/10
Best Time to Visit: Afternoon

Billy’s Bakery in Chelsea is a quaint spot known for its range of cakes. While not exclusively a plum cake destination, their mastery of fruit cakes suggests their plum cake would be a treat.

2. Miss Lily’s & Melvin’s Juice Box

Location: Varied
Best Thing to Try: Coconut Cake
Price for Two: Approx. $30
Rating: 8.2/10
Best Time to Visit: Evening

Miss Lily’s offers a Caribbean twist to their desserts. Their coconut cake is a crowd-pleaser, hinting at the potential excellence of a plum cake here.

3. Butter Lane

Location: 123 E 7th St, East Village
Best Thing to Try: “Elvis” Cupcake
Price for Two: Approx. $15
Rating: 8.3/10
Best Time to Visit: Late afternoon

Butter Lane, known for its cupcakes, could surprise you with a plum cake that’s as delightful as their famous “Elvis” cupcake.

The Art of Making the Perfect Plum Cake

Ingredients and Techniques

A great plum cake starts with ripe, juicy plums. The choice between Italian plums or standard varieties can make a significant difference. The batter is typically a simple affair – flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, with a hint of vanilla to enhance the plums’ tartness.

DIY: Your Own NY Times Inspired Plum Torte

Why not try your hand at creating your version of the NY Times Plum Torte? It’s a rewarding experience that lets you tweak the recipe to your taste, perhaps adding a dash of cinnamon or a sprinkle of lemon zest.

Unwrapping the Plum Cake Experience

The Sensory Delight

Imagine biting into a slice of plum cake – the exterior is slightly crisp, giving way to a soft, buttery interior. The plums, having melded with the batter, offer bursts of tartness, balanced by the sweet, vanilla-infused cake.

Pairing and Serving Suggestions

A plum cake can be a versatile companion. Pair it with a strong coffee for a morning treat, or a dollop of whipped cream for an indulgent dessert. It’s a cake that adapts to your mood and setting.

FAQs: All About Plum Cakes in New York

What makes a plum cake different from other fruit cakes?

Plum cakes have a unique tartness and texture, thanks to the specific quality of plums, which balance sweetness with a hint of acidity.

Can I find gluten-free plum cakes in NYC?

Yes, several bakeries offer gluten-free options, catering to all dietary needs without compromising on taste.

What’s the best season for plum cakes in New York?

Late summer to early fall, when plums are in season, is ideal. However, some bakeries might offer them year-round.

Are there any vegan plum cake options in NYC?

Absolutely! New York’s diverse culinary scene includes vegan bakeries that offer plum cakes made with plant-based ingredients.

How long can I store a plum cake?

Properly stored in a cool, dry place, a plum cake can last up to 3 days. Refrigeration can extend its shelf life.

Can I make a plum cake at home without a stand mixer?

Yes, plum cakes can easily be made with a bowl, a whisk, and some elbow grease. The joy of baking is in its simplicity and the love you pour into it.


In the end, the quest for the best plum cake in New York is more than just about finding a dessert. It’s about experiencing a piece of the city’s heart and soul, one bite at a time. Share your plum cake adventures in the comments, or better yet, share this article with fellow dessert enthusiasts!

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