Most bakeries are known for a few goods they do particularly well—red velvet cakes at Pinisi, banana pudding from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and pretzel croissants from City Bakery, are the first few that come to mind.
Two Little Red Hens is an entirely different story. The baked goods I've had here start at awesome, and only get better from there. Which is very impressive. Cheesecake, cherry pies, the oh-so-indulgent Brooklyn Blackout cake... I could go on forever. Worth anyone's trip to Upper East Side.
But they really shine during the holiday season. The menu is currently speckled with sweets of the pumpkin and ginger variety, and in the next few weeks, except to see chocolate-mint and eggnog goods make their holiday appearance.
After the jump, a look in at the pumpkin and ginger desserts... it'll be hard to settle on just one.
Their pumpkin mousse pie was the highlight of the Thanksgiving dinner I attended this year. We had four pies between ten people, and this one was the only pie wiped out by midnight—not just a pumpkin pie, but a pumpkin mousse pie. It's like eating pumpkin pie filling whipped into creamy oblivion; miles lighter. I've noticed that the pumpkin goods here, while spot-on in taste, are not "super" pumpkin-y, they're lighter, less intense. It works to their advantage, though; otherwise you could never appreciate the flaky pie crust, which is wonder all on its own. I could easily down three or four slices of this pie in a seating.
Big, moist, and sticky. Good gingerbread is a gift from heaven, and this along with the one from Locanda Verde are at the top of my list. Each dark square boasts a sticky moist exterior, and tender, aggressively spiced crumbs—not a dry spot to be found. The scent alone is intoxicating.
I like the frosting as much as I like the cake portion of this pumpkin cupcake—and I'm not a big frosting person at all. But every now and then I'm lucky enough to come across frosting I could eat by the spoonful. This was one those cases—a silky pumpkin and apricot cream cheese-based frosting, with the apricot coming though faintly in the end. The cake base? Light and cheerful, nothing too exceptional, but perfectly satisfying.
In the cookie department, don't pass on a classic buttery shortbread with chunks of crystallized ginger. Bright, refreshing, and buttery rich. The cookie could afford a touch more salt, but it's hard to be picky.
You'll remember their cheesecake from a Sugar Rush and as the winner of our Best Cheesecake in New York competition. Two Little Red Hens does indeed turn out a killer cheesecake. Now meet its companion: the pumpkin cheesecake. Gingersnap replaces graham crackers for the crust, a solid move. Equally decadent, only with pumpkin as the star, everything from the texture to depth and mouthfeel of the cake itself is retained from the original.
Two Little Red Hens
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