Twinkie-Inspired Dessert: Cakies from Jae NYC Eats

Dessert delivery: the option where you can taste test 20 different sweets in the privacy of your own home. Why haven’t I tried this before? For my inaugural dessert delivery test I bought “Cakies” and “Tarties,” courtesy of Jae NYC Eats.

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Jae NYC Eats is a Queens-based startup bakery making more creative versions of your standard childhood nostalgia treats. The company currently has 3 types of sweets available for purchase: Cakies, based on artisanal Twinkies, Tarties, based on Pop-Tarts, and Mankies, which are described as mini cakie donuts. The founder, Janice de Castro, started the business a year ago. Within this time she has showcased her baked goods at many of the local food markets and coffee shops while expanding the menu along the way.

I’ve been following @jaenyceats on Instagram for at least half a year, hoping to run into the business at some random food market or pop-up. (they operate out of a commercial kitchen as of now) Since I am not one to line up at food stands on the weekends, this tactic didn’t work well for me. Eventually, I decided to email the bakery direct to get a bunch of items delivered at once.

The hard part was deciding what to try. The Cakies come in almost 20 flavors, all extremely inventive, with the option of ordering sets of flavor packs that come in 2 or 3 flavors. I placed an order for the following sets:

The New York Starter Pack, which includes Rose Cake with Lemon Buttercream topped with Macadamia Nuts, Chock-Full-O-Nuts Coffee with Cinnamon, and Cannoli:

 

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Cannoli, Chock-Full-O-Nuts Coffee, and Rose Lemon

 

The Halo Halo Starter Pack, Filipino-inspired flavors including Ube (AKA Purple Yam), Pandan Coconut, and Jackfruit Topped with Fruity Pebbles:

 

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Ube, Pandan Coconut, and Jackfruit with Fruity Pebbles

 

and The Kid at Heart Pack, including Funfetti (Birthday Cake) Sandwiches and Cookies & Cream:

 

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Cookies and Cream, Funfetti Sandwich (yes, this one is a double decker) 

 

I also ordered a special Mango Saffron Cakie that was not part of a flavor pack.

For the Tarties order, I decided to try 3 varieties in the following flavors: Matcha Marshmallow Creme, Banana Cream Pie, and Turon (Fried Banana with Jackfruit)

 

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Tarties.

 

Don’t expect any of these to be a Hostess replica in the slightest. The only thing Twinkie-like about Cakies is the shape. (Same with the Tartie/Pop-Tart reference) Luckily these homemade treats are much more charming than the shrink-wrapped Hostess versions.

I found it hard to pick an absolute favorite from the bunch, but I really loved the Rose Cake with Lemon Buttercream, as well the whole group of the Halo-Halo starter pack. I tend to obsess over tropical flavors, including most Filipino desserts, and this group of cakies really hit the spot for me. I’m not even a huge Fruity Pebbles fan, but it worked great as a Jackfruit topping!  My favorite tartie was the matcha marshmallow, but now I feel like I missed out on many flavors. Time to plan my next order.

You can find out more about Jae NYC Eats by visiting their Instagram page.

 

 

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When Classic French Bakeries Are Tucked Into Strip Malls.

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Queens bakery Canelle Patisserie has been in East Elmhurst for what seems like forever. They have added a second location in LIC that is more centralized to trains and Midtown Manhattan, but I hope the original location never goes away. I always love the surprise of good food in the most random of strip malls. This seems to be the sort of place you’d normally find in LA, where most restaurants pretty much have to be located in a strip mall. This is a west-coast-centric-quirk: here in NYC, a strip mall usually means blah chain stores. Which makes Canelle, tucked between a (also good) Greek restaurant and small grocer amidst rows and rows of parking, have a sort of strange magical quality to it. The continuous roar of low-lying airplanes about to land at nearby Laguardia airport adds to the strangeness. The planes are only around if a specific runway is being used that day. If so, they pass just over this strip mall where it feels like you can touch them overhead. On the morning I stopped by that particular runway seemed to not be in use, but trust me, you will know either way.

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I hear the cakes are good but I have yet to have a reason to pick one up. The pastries are always more reasonable to leave with when you don’t have a special occasion to attend that afternoon. Here we have a Chocolate Croissant, Guava Danish, and Pain Viennois. The croissant and danish are flaky perfection. The Pain Viennois was interesting to taste, like a baguette that’s softer and sweeter. It would pair well with jam and coffee.