Cake Love: The Babette Cake at Susan Lawrence in Chappaqua

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Hi, Katherine Curry, back with a quick post about something I sampled today at Susan Lawrence in Chappaqua.

I stopped into the shop this afternoon to pick up some lunch—I’ve loved Susan Lawrence’s food for years, but I try to steer clear because I have a tendency to spend over $50 on “lunch” here, which ends up including a beautiful little cake or tart, and something for dinner, and…ooh, look! lobster risotto and…well, you get the idea.

Here’s the new object of my affection.

There was a plate at the checkout counter with little cut-up cubes of the Babette cake for sampling.  What kind of food blogger passes up a free sample?

Oh, my.  Really, this cake —no bargain at $18.75—is incredible.  Crunchy on the outside, dusted with powdered sugar and coated with what I think are crushed almonds, the Babette is ethereally light on the inside, with an incredibly creamy, lemony center reminiscent of lemon curd. It’s a knockout.

Susan Lawrence owner Mark Kramer has written a little narrative about the Babette cake, which is displayed next to the cakes for sale.  In it he tells of coming upon the cake in Rome at Babette restaurant near the piazza de Popolo.  He was unable to get the owner (Babette, of course) to part with her recipe for lemon cake, so he’s been experimenting with recipes to recreate it.  Despite its similarities to Torta della Nonna, he decided it was really a French cake “with an Italian twist.”

I’ll never know if he’s recreated it—all that matters is what he has created, which is one of the simplest and best cakes I’ve ever tasted.

Susan Lawrence, 26 N. Greeley Ave., Chappaqua. 914-238-8833.

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Katherine,

    I came across your blog quite by accident! And so happy you have discovered my Babette Cake. I am working on a Tuscan Grape Cake now – inspired by the grapes growing at my country home.

    All the best!

    -Mark

  2. I shared this blog with two coworkers yesterday with an unexpected happy result: one of them just had to stop by Susan Lawrence this morning to try the cake. She showed up to work with lots of heavy bags and boxes. She very kindly shared the amazing Babette Cake with all of us and it absolutely lived up to Katherine’s glowing description. My generous coworker also shared a dense chocolate cake, a perfectly balanced kale/current/pine nut salad and a tangy potato salad. She had a lot of other stuff in her bags but we told her to not show us, or we would end up eating everything before she had a chance to get it home!

    I’m scared to set foot in the place because I fear I will throw caution to the wind. But I will definitely risk it so I can pick up a Babette’s Cake for my mom. Looking forward to the Tuscan Grape Cake. Maybe I will tempt my coworker again…

  3. Tina's Coworker! on

    Hi! Tina’s Coworker here. Yes, thank you to this blog and my friend, I stopped at Susan Lawence and got the Babette cake, Chocolate Souffle cake, Kale salad, Cole Slaw and Viennese Potato Salad (and coffee) — all were fantastic!! And, yes, shared with other coworkers who all were in agreement with “fantastic!”. Can’t wait to go back again and try SL’s other delectables. Thank you Susan Lawrence!

  4. The Babette cake is sinful!!! I can’t tell you, but I will…I brought the cake 3 times and each time IT NEVER reached the intended destination!! However, I will say, it would have been a great and lovely gift for the host (3 occasions for the same host)! Names will not mentioned to protect……ME!! LOL Glad you enjoyed it!!! Try the rugelach cookies, you will be real happy!!

    – Letia

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