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The Sweet Life in Harlem and Beyond: Treat Yourself at These 14 Bakeries and Dessert Spots

Avrilililly's makes custom flower cakes.

With holiday party season in full swing, you might be looking to bring your hosts something sweet.

Happily, these uptown bakeries and confectioneries are alway churning out mouth-watering treats, from freshly-made cupcakes to artisanal ice cream pies.

Here's where to find them:

1. Avrilililly's

Hamilton Heights 1610 Amsterdam Ave between W 139th and W 140th Sts

A new spot for creamy house-made gelato (look also for vegan flavors like Flying Coconuts), plus stunning flower cakes and cupcakes, cookies and more.

2. Choc NYC

Inwood 4996 Broadway at 212th St

A wonderland of jewel-like pastries, confections and tarts, including glaze-topped pistachio eclairs and delicate flourless cakes.

3. Dulceria

Central Harlem 2220 Frederick Douglass Blvd between W 119th and W 120th Sts

Exquisite Chilean treats, from alfajores (sandwich cookies) to milhojas (a kind of Napoleon), and even empanadas.

4. Dutch Baby Bakery

Washington Heights 813 W 187th St between Fort Washington Ave and Pinehurst Ave

Locally-based chef Karah Rempe opened this bakery late last year, which now also includes a cafe serving everyday brunch. Stop by for a creative spin on pastries, cupcakes, tarts, layer cakes and plenty of other treats made in-house.

5. Harlem Chocolate Factory

Central Harlem 2363 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd between W 138th and W 139th Sts

Artisanal chocolate bonbons (Bodega Dreams), truffles (Red Velvet) and more inspired by Harlem's rich history.

Lee Lee's legendary rugelach comes in three flavors: apricot, raspberry and chocolate.
Lee Lee's legendary rugelach comes in three flavors: apricot, raspberry and chocolate.

6. Lee Lee's Baked Goods

Central Harlem 283 W 118th St and Frederick Douglass Blvd

The scrumptious "rugelach by a brother"—a.k.a Harlem baker Alvin Lee Smalls—comes in three flavors: apricot, raspberry and chocolate. There are cookies and pies, too.

7. Levain

Central Harlem 2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd between W 116th and W 117th Sts

Famous for its ginormous (six-ounce) chocolate chip cookies, this cult chain also makes its own banana bread, sticky buns and lots more.

8. Make My Cake

Central Harlem 409 W 125th St between Morningside and Amsterdam Aves

This Harlem institution opened a new location on 125th Street last year, featuring all the sweets it's famous for, including cakes and cupcakes in flavors such as red velvet and German chocolate, plus sweet potato cheesecake.

9. Ma Smith's Dessert Cafe

Central Harlem 2380 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and W 139th St

This offshoot of Make My Cake (see above) is your one-stop source for all the classics, including cheesecake, carrot cake, sweet potato pie and banana pudding.

10. Mojo Mousse Bar

East Harlem 177 E 100th St between Lexington and Third Aves

A truly one-of-a-kind destination for Belgian mousse made in small batches and served with little gold spoons.

A selection of fresh pastries from Pabade Bakery.

11. Pabade Bakery

East Harlem 135 E 110th St between Park and Lexington Aves

The pastry case here is filled with everything from flaky croissants to buttery financiers (made with almond flour, they're gluten-free). Plus cookies, cakes, brownies, vegan muffins and, yes, coffee to wash it all down.

12. Sugar Hill Creamery

• Central Harlem 184 Malcolm X Blvd between W 119th and W 120th Sts

• Hamilton Heights 3629 Broadway between W 149th and W 150th Sts

There are now two locations of this family-owned ice cream shop, with flavors such as the popular Chairperson of the Board (blueberry cheesecake) and Harlem Sweeties (salted caramel). Don't miss the ice cream cakes and pies during the holidays.

13. Super Nice Coffee and Bakery

East Harlem 156 E 117th St between Third and Lexington Aves

This popular East Harlem bakery is known for its hand-made donuts, and now even has a new location at 196 W 108th Street. Just some of the many options: rainbow sprinkle, chocolate glazed, and passion fruit.

Harlem bakery and dessert shops
A freshly made yeast donut from Super Nice Bakery.

14. Sweet Chef Southern Style Bakery

Hamilton Heights 122 Hamilton Pl between 142nd and 143rd Sts

The pies are the year-round draw at this 26-year-old small business. Choose from fruit-filled varieties like the apple and three-berry or the Yelp-approved sweet potato pie. Yep, there's also pecan and pumpkin.

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