Reader question: Where can I buy a cheap but halfway decent bday cake?

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What happens when you run out of birthday cake options.

Buying a nice birthday cake can get pricey, especially when you want to eschew the 90-percent-frosting, 10-percent-yellow-carpet that passes for a pre-made cake at your local Foodtown. A reader, who will remain anonymous in case there is some birthday surprising afoot, tells us she has “zero baking ability, so DIY is not an option,” so she’s looking for n affordable alternative in the Williamsburg or Greenpoint area for her boyfriend’s birthday. And since his family will be eating the cake, it has to be at least halfway decent, without costing an arm and a leg.

Who’s got a suggestion? There’s cake involved here, people, so let’s take this seriously.

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  1. Take the G to Ladybird in Park Slope and get a tiny Brooklyn Blackout cake. The small cakes are not cheap in and of themselves, but they’re so super-rich and fancy that you can give everybody the tiniest sliver along with a dollop of whipped cream or cheapo Breyers ice cream and nobody will feel like they missed out.

  2. If you care less about it being traditional “birthday cake,” try any of the Polish bakeries for CHEAP sweets. Syrena on Norman has an awesome chocolate babka (essentially just a yellow bundt cake with chocolate glaze). Cafe Riviera on Manhattan Ave does have cakes – they are mostly a little lighter/less sweet than most american birthday cakes, but so delicious. They also have kick ass eclairs with hazelnut filling.

    • cafe rivera is DANGEROUS. i started buying cakes there and had to stop, my dental bills got too high. SO. DELICIOUS.

      for just an up and up cake, the garden on manhattan ave has a nice cake counter; also at fabian’s on bedford ave they have some yummy cakes.

      why do i know so much about where to get the best cake in brooklyn?
      (ps, dumbo residents- send me some amondines!!)

  3. If you can make it down to Sunset Park, La Gran Via bakery on 5th Ave around 45th(ish) has some very birthday-tastic and delicious cakes on the cheap. They’re 24hr and their dulce de leche is delish!! …just don’t get anything with blue frosting…stains your mouth like a bad lollipop.

  4. I just ordered cupcakes from Fresh Direct and they were *quite* tasty (a nice, light buttercream on top) and pretty too. Everyone thought they came from somewhere much fancier.

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