Ok, so I might have gone just a wee bit crazy with this week’s treat but let me just tell you that everything I tried here was amazing. Seriously. Everything. And let me just tell you… I tried a lot of things.
Let me explain how I even came upon Empire Cake. I have walked by their location, right across the street from Google on 14th Street and 8th avenue, a number of times but being that I live in a hole I did not know that this place was filled to the brim with deliciousness. A personal trainer friend pulled me into this little gem on our walk to the subway recently and even my eyes began to water! I knew right then and there I had to make a Treat Day trip out of this place.
I was most excited for the snack cakes, but to be honest the real MVP of my trip was Empire Cake’s Black & White Cookie. On a regular basis, I am not a fan of Black & White Cookies because I normally find the cookie much too grainy. That is definitely not the case here! This cookie was actually soft, and buttery. Really it seems as if Empire Cake approached the Black & White Cookie as if it were a cake because this has a much spongier texture than your every day B&W. If you are a fan of B&W Cookies, make this your first pick from Empire Cake. If you are not a fan of B&W Cookies, I would still make this your first pick (just do not sue me if your tastebuds do not think this is the most delicious cookie you have ever had!)
My second pick also came from out of the woodwork: the homemade “Yodel”/”Ho-Ho” a.k.a the Swiss Roll. Ohhhhh baby! First this bad boy is BIG. I had to cut into it with knife and fork for fear of dropping it! That first bite (and the bites thereafter) of the Swiss Roll was heaven! What I love about Empire Cake is the elegance of the chocolate they use. They dip their Swiss Roll in a Belgian chocolate and you can tell, by the way it melts right into your tongue, that this is high quality chocolate. And then the chocolate cake on the inside. You guys, I love chocolate cake but sometimes I find that it can be too sweet. Anyone else feel that way? I hate when a cake overpowers your taste buds so much that you can only have 1 or 2 bites before going into a full on sugar rush. There is none of that with Empire Cake. The chocolate is so subtle, and so perfectly matched with the vanilla crème légère and chocolate ganache that you start to wonder how you ever lived without this Swiss Roll. I used to cringe just looking at Swiss Rolls. As a kid I found them to be one of the least appetizing treats.
Well, in one day Empire Cake managed to change my mind not just once but twice!
The snack cakes, which is what I originally intended to go in for were just as tasty as the other options on the menu. I opted for the Red Velvet and Peanut Butter flavors while J got the Brooklyn Blackout and Chocolate-Covered Snack Cakes. I have to say it would have been a four way tie except I am very particular about Peanut Butter, and while I loved the chocolate cake and coating of the Peanut Butter Snack Cake, I did not love the cream filling. (Sorry!) I found the filling to be too strong in flavor, but would really chock this loss up to personal preference. If you are a person that loves Peanut Butter any which way, then this cake is right up your alley.
The Brooklyn Blackout surprisingly knocked the Red Velvet Snack Cake out of the #1 spot by a hair. There was just no beating that exquisite Belgian chocolate coating. I will say though the white Belgian chocolate on the Red Velvet made my heart patter. And that cream cheese filling?
I am told there is a Passion Fruit Snack Cake that I absolutely must try, so I will put that on the list for the next time I pop in!
Finally, as a Twix fan I knew I could not leave without Empire Cake’s homemade “Twix.” While I was at it I grabbed a Vanilla Coconut Snowball at the suggestion of fellow Food blogger Cheat Day Eats. I will say the “Twix” left me a little bit disappointed mostly because I wished there was a little bit more of a crunch to the shortbread and less sweetness in the caramel (boy, I’m real picky huh?). There is a nice snap within the chocolate when you take a bite of the “Twix” and I feel as though a crunchier shortbread would have contrasted incredibly well with the creaminess of the caramel (I mean, that’s what I love about a regular Twix after all!) I think they could have scaled back on the caramel and bumped up the shortbread cookie just a little bit.
The Vanilla Coconut Snowball was very good except–please don’t hate me!– I am not a fan of marshmallow frosting. I like Marshmallows. I do not like Marshmallow frosting. But! Aside from that small, very small point the snowball is very tasty because you get Empire’s super soft vanilla cake on the inside and this very nice shredded coconut up top that just melt together and leave wonderful notes of flavor on your tongue.
I have already started drafting my list for the next time I pop into Empire Cake. Cupcakes, TriColor “Cookies” and Sea Salt Brownies– oh yeah, I’ll be throwing down again soon.
If you have not already, I strongly suggest stopping by Empire Cake. They easily make my top 5 of best dessert places in the city (and let me tell you, my top 5 is not reserved for just any ol’ dessert place!)